After a difficult weekend series with Coastal Carolina, Maryland will look to get back in the win column when it welcomes Delaware to Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium on Wednesday for a 4 p.m. first pitch.
Coming off two blowouts and a heartbreaking late loss to the Chanticleers in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, the Terps will play their second home midweek of the season, with a 13-3 drubbing of George Mason already under their belts.
Maryland has five key home games over the next week, starting with the game against the Blue Hens, followed by a three-game set with Bryant, and then another midweek game against James Madison.
With this five-game stretch sandwiched between tough series at Coastal Carolina and TCU, the home stand should allow time for the Terps to bounce back from their trip to South Carolina and gain momentum before heading to Texas.
On offense the Terps will look for sophomore Maxwell Costes to remain their most dangerous hitter and to continue his scorching form at the Bob, where he is six for his last seven with three home runs and a double.
Junior outfielder Randy Bednar, who leads the team with 11 RBI, also comes into the series hot. Hitting .351, Bednar had a tremendous game in Maryland’s last midweek, roughing up the Patriots to the tune of three hits and three RBI, including a mammoth home run.
On the mound the Terrapins may turn to junior Zach Thompson, who excelled in his first appearance of the season last week. Thompson shut down George Mason, allowing one run on four hits over five innings, and was efficient, tossing 66 pitches through his five frames of work.
With strikeouts coming at a premium, whoever starts for Maryland will need to hope for his defense to be better than it has in the season’s early-going, where the Terps have a .949 fielding percentage and have gotten through only one game error-free (Game three against Rhode Island).
Delaware Blue Hens (4-5, 0-0 CAA)
Delaware finished 2019 with a record of 21-33. The Blue Hens were 7-21 on the road, and went 7-3 in midweeks, including a pair of midweek losses to the Terps (both by a score of 11-6).
The Hens are 4-5 this year, as of Tuesday morning, but come in hot with wins in four of their last five games. They head to College Park as the second part of a midweek back-to-back after facing the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore on Tuesday.
Hitters to Watch
Delaware brings a dangerous offense to the Bob, with 50 runs scored over nine games and five qualified hitters batting above .300, as of Tuesday morning. Sophomore first baseman Josh Carpenter enters Tuesday leading the squad with a .419 average and four doubles, while senior backstop Jack Goan is pacing the Blue Hens with 10 RBI to go along with two long balls and junior Jordan Hutchins leads the team with three home runs.
Pitchers to Watch
While Delaware’s offense has produced well, the Blue Hens have struggled on the mound, with a team-wide 6.59 ERA. The Hens’ arms have struggled to find the plate, with 58 walks already issued this season. Opposing hitters have also had success when Delaware pitchers have thrown strikes, hitting .272 against them and knocking 28 extra-base hits.
The Blue Hens do have a trio of reliable arms out of the bullpen, with relievers Winston Allen, Bryce Greenly, and Nate Rolka combining for just two earned runs over 11 ⅔ innings. Only four pitchers have made starts for the Hens so far this season, so with five games in six days and a series with Rider beginning on Friday, head coach Jim Sherman may have to get creative with how he uses his arms.