Preseason Countdown No. 3: Infield Preview

Maryland baseball had a rock-solid infield last season.

Some of the core players from the 2022 campaign in Kevin Keister, Matt Shaw and Nick Lorusso are all back with the Terps for another go-around, and there are also a few collegiate rookies joining the squad.

But with Maxwell Costes signing with his hometown Baltimore Orioles as an undrafted free agent after the conclusion of last season, there is a gaping hole to fill at first base.

Overall, the Terps have plenty of talent around the diamond and these players should come up big for the team once again this season.

It’s time to take a look at the returning infielders first.

Junior – Matt Shaw

Shaw is set for his third season with Maryland in what should be a huge one for the Massachusetts native. After dominating as a freshman and sophomore, Shaw has become one of the faces of the Terps.

Last season he was part of the 2022 First Team All-Big Ten and won the 2022 Cape Cod Baseball League MVP over the summer with the Bourne Braves.

Despite having the fifth-most plate appearances on the team last season, Shaw managed to finish with the second-most home runs and the third-most RBIs. He also accumulated 71 hits, 50 runs, and 148 total bases.

Junior – Kevin Keister

Just like Shaw, Keister returns to Maryland for his third season. There weren’t a whole lot of plate appearances for Keister during his freshman season, but the second baseman took a massive step forward as a sophomore.

Starting off the season on a great note helped Keister secure a spot in the infield in 2022, especially after being a main contributor during the series sweep against Siena in mid-March.

Keister’s numbers were impressive enough to make the 2022 First Team All-Big Ten, after sporting a .317 batting average and a .582 slugging percentage while driving in 44 runs.

Senior – Nick Lorusso

Lorusso’s first season as a member of the Terps was a strong one after he transferred from Villanova. Along with Shaw and Keister, Lorusso was part of the 2022 First Team All-Big Ten and was just about as reliable as one could get on the hot corner.

The third baseman hit to a .322 batting average and a .562 slugging percentage and got 70 RBIs, 15 home runs, and 83 hits.

Lorusso is also a pitching option, as the right-hander made eight appearances on the mound last season. Though Lorusso is a two-way option, his infield was tremendous last year.

Here are the rest of the returning infielders that provide key depth for the Terps. 

Senior – Matt Orlando | Senior – Michael Bouma | Sophomore – Jacob Orr

Matt Orlando joins Lorusso as another two-way player on this Maryland team. Though the right-hander didn’t get any plate appearances last season, he did get a combined 105 plate appearances the prior two seasons. 

Michael Bouma only went up to the plate 15 times last season. During the process, he got two hits and three runs. The Brookeville-native is entering his fourth season with the Terps.

Jacob Orr was a solid depth piece for Maryland during his freshman season. He hit .250 in 44 plate appearances while driving in 12 runs. Orr played in 21 games last season while starting in 11 of them.

Now for the transfers and first-year Terps.

Eddie Hacopian | Alex Irizarry | Caleb Estes | Simmi Whitehill | Jake Walman

Eddie Hacopian enters his first season in Maryland after spending his freshman year at Cypress College. As a Charger, Hacopian batted a monstrous .387 average.

Now for the freshmen.

Alex Irizarry was ranked the No. 4 shortstop in Connecticut by Perfect Game. He batted .434 in 2021 and led his alma mater East Catholic High School to an undefeated season with 25 wins.

Caleb Estes, from the close-by Severn, Maryland, was ranked the No. 3 shortstop in Maryland by Perfect Game. He is 6’3” and attended Archbishop Spalding High School.

Simmi Whitehill, a product of Bishop Shanahan High School and a Pennsylvania native, provides even more skill to the Terps middle infielder as he was ranked No. 6 in the category by Perfect Game in his home state.

Jake Walman can play both the catcher position and the infield. He resorts from Bourne, Massachusetts. With the ability to play multiple positions, Walman provides Maryland with various options.