Midweek Preview: UMBC Retrievers

Maryland, who began the season unranked, now finds itself at No. 22 in D1baseball’s latest top-25 ranking after a series sweep of Baylor in Waco, Texas. The Terps controlled the series from beginning to end, outscoring the Bears 21-9 over the three games. 

The starting rotation, which Saturday starter Ryan Ramsey dubbed “one of the best in college baseball,” dominated throughout the weekend. Nick Dean, Ramsey and Jason Savacool combined for 21 innings, 17 strikeouts and a 1.71 ERA. 

Offensively, the middle of Maryland’s order found success early and often. Shortstop Matt Shaw was the star, homering twice on Sunday and going 4-5 on Saturday. First baseman Maxwell Costes also homered twice in the series finale, and outfielders Chris Alleyne, Bobby Zmarzlak and Troy Schreffler Jr. combined for five RBI and eight runs scored. 

The most surprising result of the weekend may have been catcher Luke Shliger, who hit leadoff in all three games. His .438 on-base percentage, courtesy of four walks and two hit-by-pitches, trails only Shaw, Costes and Schreffler Jr. on the weekend. 

UMBC Retrievers (0-2)

Last season

2021 was a season to forget for UMBC, who finished with a 17-26 record and a 12-26 record in the America East, winning just one series in conference play. 

After a 6-0 start to the season, UMBC followed by losing seven of their next eight. Its only conference series win came at home versus Hartford in April. The Retrievers ended last season losing 14 of their final 17 games. 

This season

UMBC, who sits at No. 7 in the America East preseason coaches poll, was swept by Navy in a two-game series over the weekend, losing two closely contested games by scores of 10-9 on Friday and 11-10 on Saturday. 

In game one of the series, UMBC led as late as the sixth inning. There, Navy pounced on the UMBC bullpen, scoring all 10 of their runs in the sixth, eighth and ninth innings. 

In game two, Navy flipped the script and jumped out to an early lead, going up 4-0 after the second inning. UMBC responded, putting up five runs in the top of the fourth, but Navy answered with five of their own in the fifth to retake a lead it didn’t relinquish until the ninth when the Retrievers brought the game to a tie. In extra innings, a base-loaded walk scored the winning run for the Midshipmen. 

Hitters to watch

The UMBC offense is led by Myles Nicholson, Tony Krueger and Justin Taylor. Nicholson dominated the Retrievers’ opening series in Annapolis, going 5-9 with five runs driven in. He added four walks and four runs scored. Krueger, a catcher, went 3-7 with a double and two RBI. Taylor is the team’s leader in extra-base hits. 

Probable starting pitcher matchup

TBD

Earlier this offseason, Rob Vaughn listed a couple of young pitchers who he could see settling into the midweek starter role. He highlighted two freshmen: LHP Andrew Johnson and RHP Ryan Van Buren. 

“We’re going to be able to develop some of those young arms,” Vaughn said about the opportunity the young pitchers will have in midweek games.