Following a 2-1 start against USF in the season opener, the No.13 ranked Maryland is about to take on West Virginia, as the Terps and the Mountaineers will go head to head in the Maryland home opener. Maryland comes in hot, after beating a USF squad by a combined score of 17-6 in the last two games of the series, after narrowly dropping the first game.
The Terps were powered by grand slams in three straight games by Jacob Orr, Nick Lorusso, and Ian Petrutz. Nick Dean and Nate Haberthier led a solid starting pitching attack for UMD, with both combining to allow only two runs in the last two games of the series.
Along with the deafening grand slam blasts and efficient starting pitching displays, Matt Shaw would end the series on a perfect 5-for-5 day at the plate with three RBI, a double, and a home run. New faces in the rotation in Kyle McCoy and Kenny Lippman would also earn their first saves of the year during the opening series.
West Virginia Mountaineers (1-2)
West Virginia was a somewhat solid team in 2022. The Mountaineers finished the year with a 33-22 overall record, going 14-10 in conference play. Good enough for a 6th place finish in the Big 12 Conference.
The Mountaineers started off with 3 straight wins against Central Michigan and Kent State, starting off 7-3 on the year. West Virginia was able to preserve some of this momentum with over .500 play for the rest of the year, but the Mountaineers season ended on a 5-8 loss to Kansas State in the Big 12 Baseball Championship tournament.
West Virginia had a rocky start to their season after dropping their first two games to Georgia Southern. The Mountaineers were up 3-1 headed into the 7th inning of the first game on Friday, but Georgia Southern was able to score three straight runs in the 7th to go up 4-3, and a West Virginia comeback was not in the cards as Georgia Southern took the first game by the same score.
Saturday started out with a 1-0 West Virginia lead after two innings of play, but Georgia Southern’s offense would prove to be too overpowering after scoring six unanswered runs, which propelled them to a 6-2 win.
On Sunday, the Mountaineers would salvage the series with a show of offensive firepower in a 13-4 victory.
Hitters to Watch
The Mountaineers come into the game being led by 2022 All Big-12 Honorable Mention, sophomore infielder JJ Weatherholt, redshirt senior transfer infielder Caleb McNeely, and junior transfer outfielder Landon Wallace.
Weatherholt went 5-for-13 in the Statesboro opening series with three runs scored. McNeely went 4-for-12 with a home run and four RBI, while Wallace went 3-for-11 with a home run and four RBI.
Probable Starting Pitcher Matchup
During Coach Vaughn’s media day interview, when asked about other pitchers who could step into the starting rotation, those who Vaughn named that didn’t start this past weekend were Freshman LHP Kyle McCoy, fifth year senior RHP Kenny Lippman, and sophomore RHP Ryan Van Buren. junior LHP Logan Ott has also fulfilled the role of midweek starter for the Terps in the past.
Vaughn has said that he believes that the depth of this year’s pitching staff is “even better than we had last year.”