Following a three-game homestand against Cornell and Georgetown, No. 24 Maryland heads to Delaware to take on the Blue Hens for a one-game road trip.
Maryland won all three games – making it four consecutive wins for the Terps. Maryland is now 13-2 on the young season – and a perfect 6-0 in College Park.
The Terps’ bats came to play this past weekend – they scored 27 runs total in the three games. Maxwell Costes was a big reason for Maryland’s offensive showcase, as he crushed a home run in each game, upping his team-leading home run total to eight. Costes’ slugging is up to an absurd .808.
Junior infielder Nick Lorusso had a strong finish to his weekend against Georgetown on Monday. In the Terps’ final game of their three-game homestand, Lorusso clubbed a solo shot to help lead the Terps to a 5-1 victory. Lorusso finished the game 3-5 with a home run and two RBI.
“I saw pitches over the plate that I could hammer and that’s exactly what happened,” said Lorusso.
Jason Savacool pitched a gem against Georgetown to close the stretch of games at home. Savacool threw seven innings of one-run ball, allowing only three hits and one walk. Savacool struck out eight in the process.
“We [the staff] were able to see that they [Georgetown] attack fast balls that are over the plate, so trying to stay to the corners and trying to land a breaking ball early in counts and get after them with a fastball later to set them off a little bit [was key],” said Savacool.
Delaware Blue Hens (6-7)
The Blue Hens suffered through a less-than-ideal 2021 season. Delaware finished with a 12-22 record and won only two series all season. Delaware’s pitching staff especially struggled throughout the course of the season. The team’s pitching staff combined for a 6.43 ERA and a 1.67 WHIP. The Blue Hens’ 6.43 ERA ranked last among all schools in the CAA. Delaware’s offense ranked in the middle of the pack among CAA schools, not potent enough to overcome the team’s pitching woes. Kyle Baker was arguably the Blue Hens’ most consistent hitter last year, ranking first on the team in hits, walks, and total bases. Baker slashed .370/.476/.496 in 2021.
Like in 2021, Delaware’s pitching staff has been less than ideal to start the season. The Blue Hens rank in the bottom three in the conference in ERA, strikeouts, and batting average against. On the other hand, their offense has kept the team around .500. Delaware ranks in the top three in the conference in almost every offensive statistical category – average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage just to name a few. As a team, the Blue Hens have a slash line of .295/.375/.476.
Hitters to Watch
Delaware’s offense is led by a plethora of hitters hitting over .300 – Jake Dunion, Bryce Greenly, Aidan Kane, JJ Freeman, Dominic Ragazzo, and Joseph Carpenter. Kane has been arguably the Blue Hens’ best overall slugger, as he’s tied for the team lead in home runs (3), and leads in slugging percentage (.659) and OPS (1.085). The sophomore outfielder has hits in 11 of his 13 games played, and enters on a six-game hit streak. Ragazzo has been the biggest speed threat for the Blue Hens, leading the team with four stolen bases. Additionally, the sophomore infielder has recorded a hit in all of his 10 games played this season.
Pitchers to Watch
Zach Klapak has been a big piece of the Blue Hens’ bullpen this season, so expect to see him against the Terps. Klapak has appeared in five games – all in relief – and ranks fourth on the team in ERA (3.18). Klapak enters with a 2-0 record. Another name to keep an eye on is Carter Welch. Welch pitched last week against Delaware State, when he gave up five runs in only 2 2/3 innings. The freshman lefty has had a week of rest, so coach Jim Sherman may look to him to provide innings against the Terps.
Probable Starting Pitching Matchup
Coach Rob Vaughn expects to use numerous guys against Delaware – believing a bullpen game may be his best option in the midweek game.
“It’s crazy because the stables hadn’t been too full in the bullpen in quite a while but I feel like going into that game [against Delaware] you have some weapons to use,” said Vaughn.
According to Vaughn, David Falco and Nick Robinson are both back and ready to make their season debuts. Vaughn also mentioned Logan Ott and Sean Heine as possible arms able to provide an inning or two.
Delaware has played two midweek games so far, starting a different pitcher in each. Dom Velazquez started the Blue Hens’ first midweek game a couple weeks ago against the Terps in College Park. Dan Frake started Delaware’s last midweek game against Delaware State, so he is a viable option for the Blue Hens.