Following their Oxford weekend series against the defending college baseball champions in the No. 4 Ole Miss Rebels, No. 18 Maryland heads back to The Bob to take on the Delaware Blue Hens in a one game homestand.
The Terps road series against the defending champs started out in a very promising manner with a 9-2 win against Ole Miss on Friday, where ace Jason Savacool recovered from a rough opening game against USF. Even an unfamiliar glove was unable to hinder Savacool after his luggage was lost by Southwest, as he pitched seven innings, allowing only five hits and two runs, while leading the Terps to victory.
Along with Savacool’s gem, Ian Petrutz would hit his 2nd grand slam of the year, which marked Maryland’s fourth game of the season where a grand slam was hit.
However, things went downhill from Friday night for Maryland. The Terps were up 6-4 against the Rebels going into the bottom of the seventh on Saturday afternoon. Though, Ole Miss would score eight unanswered runs to end the game. Usually reliable bullpen arm David Falco Jr would allow a five run inning in the eighth, as the Terps dropped the second game of the series by a score of 12-6.
With the series on the line on Sunday, Maryland went into the bottom of the seventh down 11-8, however, the bullpen once again disappointed. Tommy Kane, Eliakim Stowe, and Andrew Johnson could not manage to get an out in the seventh as Ole Miss scored seven runs and the game ended in a bitter mercy rule for Maryland with a final score of 18-8, which dropped the Terps to 3-4 on the year.
Delaware Blue Hens (3-4)
Delaware’s 2022 season was one that could be described as mediocre at best and underwhelming at worst. The Blue Hens had a 25-26 record to end the year while finishing a miserable 8th in the CAA and 8-15 in conference play. Delaware’s season ended in the CAA tournament after two straight losses to the six seed Northeastern. The Blue Hens pitching was significantly lacking as they had a 5.06 ERA and a 1.54 WHIP overall. Delaware’s offense was substantially better than its pitching as their slash line was .277/.356/.439 as a team. The Blue Hens were led by 2022 first team All-CAA Joey Loynd, who had a batting average of .298 with 45 RBI and eight home runs, and second team All-CAA Joseph Carpenter, who had a batting average of .310 with 41 RBI and eight home runs.
Delaware is so far just under water to start the year as they go into Tuesday’s game with a 3-4 record and looking to get back to .500. Delaware’s pitching has been nothing short of horrendous, as the team has combined for a 10.83 ERA, this was thanks to a tough season opening series against Ole Miss, where the Blue Hens dropped all three games by a combined score of 35-6. Unlike the pitching, the offense for Delaware has been much better as they have so far slashed .267/.388/.412 to start the year with Bryce Greeley, Dan Covino, and Joey Loynd leading the way.
Hitters to Watch
With Joseph Carpenter having signed with the Lancaster Barnstormers in the Independent Atlantic League, the Blue Hens’ hitters have had somewhat of a hole to fill. Familiar faces who have stepped so far up include Joey Loynd who is hitting .323 with a whopping 14 RBI and one home run after just seven games played. Bryce Greeley leads the team in batting average as he hits .360 from behind the plate along with five RBI and two home runs. The Blue Hens also have new blood come up big for them this year so far as Central Connecticut State transfer Dan Covino, who was first team All-ECAC back in 2022, has hit .333 so far along with four RBI. Redshirt sophomore Brett Lesher has also started the year off nicely with five hits and a .263 batting average.
Pitchers to Watch
Delaware’s team weakness has been its pitching this year, but there are still those on the roster who have stood out in the Blue Hen’s first seven games. Luke Pizzico earned the win last year when the Blue Hen’s faced off against the Terps after pitching 2 scoreless innings. Pizzico has a 4.50 ERA in 3 appearances, with all of the appearances coming from the bullpen, making him very likely to see action against the Terps. Joey Silan is another name to watch, as he has made 2 appearances out of the bullpen and compiled a 3.24 ERA, including 4.1 scoreless innings with only one hit allowed against Ole Miss.
Probable Starting Pitching Matchup
This very likely will end up being a bullpen game for the Terps as the Terps’ main three starters in Jason Savacool, Nick Dean, and Nate Haberthier all started this past weekend in Oxford.
In Maryland’s only midweek game of the year, Ryan Van Buren earned the start, however he allowed 4 runs after only 2/3 of an inning, so it’s possible that Coach Rob Vaughn will seek to give another one of his guys a chance to start. Kenny Lippman, who has compiled a 1.80 ERA in three appearances and Logan Ott, who has a 2.70 ERA in 3 ⅓ innings, could be candidates for the start.
Delaware’s only midweek game so far was a bullpen game, with Bryce Greenly pitching a scoreless first inning, and Dan Frake pitching three innings, allowing two hits and one run as the Blue Hens beat UMBC by a score of 22-11. Both could possibly start in Tuesday’s game.