Midweek Preview: Delaware Blue hens

After a dominant weekend which saw No. 23 Maryland sweep Indiana in Bloomington, while outscoring the Hoosiers 43-12, the Terps are back on the road to take on the Delaware Blue Hens in Newark on Wednesday.

The Terps earned their 20th straight Big Ten series win in Bloomington this past weekend, as they not only catapulted themselves into the rankings for the first time since early March but also passed the Hoosiers for first place in the conference.

Maryland is riding a seven-game win streak and has already faced Delaware twice, with both matchups resulting in victories.

Here’s what Delaware will look like riding into Wednesday’s game.

Delaware Blue Hens (21-23)

Last Season

Delaware had an underwhelming season last year as they only managed a 25-26 record and went a miserable 8-15 in conference play in the Colonial Athletic Association.

The Blue Hens finished second-to-last in the conference and went into the conference tournament as the No. 8 seed. Their season ended with two straight losses to No. 6 Northeastern in the tournament. Delaware’s offense finished with a .277/.356/.439 slash line, but it was the pitching that gave the team issues, with their below-average 5.14 ERA and 1.54 WHIP.

This Season

Delaware’s record is nearly identical to what it was last year at 21-23, although they have managed to go a much better 10-11 in conference play, putting them in 6th place in the CAA. Delaware has once again managed a solid slash line of .289/.380/.469, however, the Blue Hens’ pitching continues to hold them back as they have a 6.65 ERA along with a 1.72 WHIP.

Delaware has also had some rough outings against non-conference opponents this season, getting swept by Ole Miss, though they did manage to take two of three from Stetson and UMass Lowell. Conference play has been a mixed bag, as they have swept Charleston and North Carolina A&T, yet they have also been swept by Elon and only managed to win one out of three against Northeastern and William and Mary.

Hitters to Watch

Delaware’s top hitter is undoubtedly 2022 first-team All-CAA third baseman Joey Loynd. Loynd’s slash line leads the team in all categories at .368/.435/.611 along with a team-leading 1.046 OPS and 56 RBI with nine homers on the year.

There’s also 2022 honorable All-CAA shortstop JJ Freeman who’s batting .335 with seven home runs and 34 RBI with an OPS of .936 in 2023. Delaware’s home run leader is Central Connecticut State University transfer and preseason All-CAA honorable mention second baseman Dan Covino, who’s batting .290 with 10 home runs on the year.

Delaware’s slash line is good enough for fourth overall in the CAA, so if anything this team is always prepared to come out swinging.

Pitchers to Watch

Despite Delaware’s tough luck on the mound this year, they have had some consistent guys. One such guy is righty redshirt junior Jack DiLeo who despite only nine appearances and 8 1/3 IP, has the third-lowest ERA on the team at 4.32. There is also redshirt junior and righty Owen Margolis who in 21 appearances and 28 IP has a 5.14 ERA.

Probable Starting Pitchers

Look for Maryland head coach Rob Vaughn to give Nate Haberthier the chance to start as he’s been a Tuesday fixture since Kyle McCoy took his spot as the Sunday starter. Though, if Haberthier fails to get going, this may turn into a bullpen game for Maryland. All of the Blue Hens’ latest midweek games have been bullpen games, so that trend should be expected to continue.