Preseason Countdown No. 10: Top Series of ’21

Maryland’s 2021 season was a tale of two halves. 

Through its first 22 games of the regular season, the Terps sat at 10-12, two games below .500. They allowed seven or more runs nine times and lost by margins of 11 and nine. The season appeared over before it could begin. 

Then, a switch flipped. Over its last 22 games, Maryland went 18-4. The Terps won every remaining weekend series including three sweeps. In its biggest test, Maryland took two of three from No. 24 Michigan in Ann Arbor. 

The winning stretch catapulted Maryland to a 28-16 finish and into second place in the Big Ten standings. 

Considering this, the top series of 2021 is the home series sweep of Ohio State April 16 through 18, the metaphorical switch that flipped Maryland’s season for the better. 

Maryland kicked the series off with a 10-6 drubbing of the Buckeyes on Friday night in a game that wasn’t as close as the box score reads. Sean Burke allowed just one earned run in six innings of work with nine strikeouts. 

The Terps broke the game open and never looked back with a seven-run bottom of the sixth with the game tied at two, topped off with a three-RBI double from Chris Alleyne. 

Game two was a more closely contested affair. After an eight inning, two earned run outing from Nick Dean, Maryland led 4-2 in the top of the ninth inning. With no outs, Ohio State scored on a bases-loaded walk and a run-scoring double play to even the score at four. The Terps countered in similar fashion, scoring the winning run on a bases-loaded Luke Shliger walk to win 5-4 in 10 innings. 

With the series already decided, Maryland entered Sunday afternoon hunting for a sweep. After both teams scored four runs in the third inning, Maryland tacked on two more in the fourth. An Alleyne score on a wild pitch and Ben Cowles two-run home run gave the Terps a five-run lead in the sixth inning, a lead that never got smaller.