Game Preview: George Mason Patriots

After taking two-of-three from Rhode Island over the weekend, Maryland hosts George Mason for its first midweek game of the season on Tuesday at 4 p.m. The two teams met in mid-April last season in Virginia, where the Patriots came out on top 9-5. 

Now, George Mason it still looking for its first victory. The Patriots started the season 0-5 and they have struggled to limit their opponent’s offense. Through five games, George Mason has been outscored, 55-21. 

For Maryland, the Terps look to continue their great start to the season. Last season Maryland had success in its midweek matchups, posting a 9-4 record. The Terps look to duplicate that success this season, beginning with the Patriots.

Through its first six games, Maryland has impressed on both sides of the ball. Offensively the Terps have tallied 43 runs, averaging just about seven runs per contest and outscoring opponents 43-20.

Junior Randy Bednar leads the team in RBI (6) while also posting a .333 average. Fellow junior Tommy Gardiner, tied for the team-high in hits (7) with Bednar, has also been impressive at the plate. Gardiner leads the team in average (.412) and has totaled four RBI and scored three runs. 

This past weekend, reigning Big Ten Freshman of the Year Maxwell Costes’ bat began to heat up. Against Rhode Island, Costes went 4-for-9 with three RBI and four runs scored. Costes also belted his first home run of the season on Sunday and went on to hit his second in the same game en route to a 3-0 victory. 

On the mound Maryland has added depth, as junior Zach Thompson, who was the typical Saturday starter last season, will get the midweek nod this Tuesday. The start will be the right-hander’s first appearance for Maryland since last season, when he tossed a 5.08 ERA on his way to a 3-6 record in 14 starts, including 63 strikeouts.

The Terps’ bullpen has also been solid so far this season and a few more arms should get their opportunity in this midweek game. So far, the bullpen has allowed six earned runs in 23 ⅓ innings pitched, and the Terps’ pitching staff as a whole has the second-lowest ERA in the Big Ten (2.45, behind Penn State’s 1.68 ERA). 

George Mason Patriots (0-5, 0-0 Atlantic 10)

Last Season

George Mason finished last year 19-35 and went 5-19 in conference play, which kept the Patriots out of the Atlantic 10 Tournament. They also finished the season on an eight-game losing streak. 

This Season

With a rough start to the season the Patriots have continued their losing streak from last season and they are still on the hunt for their first victory of 2020. George Mason has lost all three of its road games so far. 

Hitters to Watch

George Mason lost one of its most powerful bats, Logan Driscoll, to the MLB draft last season. Now, it’s graduate transfer Cooper Mrowka who has been one of the players to step up offensively.

Mrowka is tied for the team-high in hits with five and is hitting .333 this season, including one RBI and four runs scored. Junior Scott Morgan has also been an offensive threat for George Mason. Morgan is batting .333 with two home runs, three RBI and four runs scored.

Pitchers to Watch

Sophomore southpaw Nate Young will get the nod on the mound for the Patriots. Young currently holds a 9.00 ERA after a three-inning relief outing, though it’s still early in the season. As a freshman Young made five starts and three relief appearances, and though he struggled on the mound does at least have some experience starting.

Out of the pen, sophomore Patrick Halligan has thrown the most innings with 4 ⅔ and has allowed three runs while freshman Lyle Miller-Green has thrown 4 ⅓ innings out of the bullpen and has also allowed three runs.


Maryland’s late offense propels the Terps over James Madison

Trailing 4-3 in the top of the seventh, sophomore Randy Bednar dug into the box with two outs and one on. After three straight balls, Bednar got the green light and smacked the next pitch over the left field wall to give Maryland a 5-4 lead.

The Dukes took an early lead over the Terps thanks to their baserunning and defensive mistakes by Maryland. Freshman catcher Zach Doss got his first career start, but two passed balls in as many innings hurt the Terps.

After a leadoff double by freshman Trevon Dabney, he was able to advance on a passed ball and would later score on an RBI groundout to give the Dukes an early 1-0 lead. In the second inning, junior Matt Dipasupil led off with a single and stole second. A few pitches later, another ball got passed Doss, allowing Dipasupil to advance to third. The following batter, freshman Travis Reifsnider hit one passed Freshman Maxwell Costes to plate the second run of the game.

Sophomore Drew Wilden got the start for the Terps, tossing two innings and allowing three hits. Both runs that were scored during Wilden’s two innings were both unearned. Junior Elliot Zoellner came into the game in the third inning and worked back-to-back 1-2-3 innings, while picking up two strikeouts.

On the other side of things, James Madison got a great start from sophomore Justin Showalter. The righty pitched five scoreless innings, allowing just four hits, while recording five strikeouts.

The Terps were threatening in the top of the fifth, after a bunt single by sophomore Chris Alleyne and a single by freshman Benjamin Cowles. With two outs and runners on first and second, Doss came to the plate, but was called out on strikes to end the inning. The Terps were just 4-for-18 against Showalter.

Showalter was taken out of the game after the fifth and the Terps’ bats got going in the sixth against senior Christian Bourne. Senior AJ Lee led off the inning with a single, which snapped his 0-for-25 streak. Bednar followed up with a single of his own and senior Taylor Wright drew a walk to load the bases.

With no outs and the bases loaded, Costes grounded into a 5-2-3 double play and it seemed like the Terps scoring hopes were cut down. But with runners on second and third, sophomore Michael Pineiro ripped a two-run double into right field to tie the game, 2-2 in the sixth.

After the Terps bullpen did a good job of quieting the Dukes’ offense, sophomore Sean Fisher ran into some trouble in the bottom of the sixth. After picking up two quick outs, Fisher allowed a single and a walk. With runners on junior Brady Harju roped a liner off the back of Fisher and it bounced into the outfield allowing one run to score. The following batter, Dipasupil slapped a ground ball into left field to give James Madison a 4-2 lead.

In the top of the seventh, Alleyne drew a leadoff walk and put himself into scoring position after stealing second and later swiping third. With two outs, Lee squeezed a ground ball between the third baseman and shortstop for an infield RBI to cut the deficit to 4-3. The following batter, Bednar belted a homer over the left field wall to retake the lead, 5-4.

For the bottom of the frame, sophomore Grant Burleson made his season debut on the mound. The left-hander picked up a quick strike out, but then walked two consecutive batters, forcing freshman Sean Heine to come in for relief.

With runners on first and second, Heine induced a ground ball to Cowles to setup an inning ending double play to preserve the Maryland lead.

In the bottom of the eighth, Heine remained in the game. With one out, freshman Kyle Novak hit a single and Harju followed up with a long fly ball out that brought Alleyne all the way back to the warning track.

In the top of ninth, Lee belted an insurance run over the left center field wall to give the Terps a 6-4 lead. In the bottom of the frame, senior John Murphy came in for the save. The right-hander picked up back-to-back strikeouts, but then plunked freshman Callaway Sigler. 

With one on, Murphy walked another batter. In a two-out jam, Dabney hit a grounder into the outfield scoring one run to cut it to 6-5. Murphy induced a ground ball up the middle, and Lee made a nice play behind second base to throw out the runner at first for the final out.

With the 6-5 win, the Terps split the season series with the Dukes and are now 25-27 on the season, which is more wins than the 2018 season.


Game Preview: James Madison Dukes

Maryland will head to Harrisonburg, Virginia to take on the James Madison Dukes for the second time this season. The Terps are coming off of a 1-2 weekend against the Minnesota Golden Gophers and currently sit in 10th place in the Big Ten.

The Terps and the Dukes faced off in College Park in April. James Madison had its way against Maryland, recording a dominant 14-1 victory. The Dukes are coming off of a recent 1-2 weekend against the Northeastern Huskies.

This will be a big momentum game for the Terps before they face the Iowa Hawkeyes in a crucial Big Ten series finale. After this past weekend, Maryland has put themselves in a tough spot and the Terps will have some work to do to get into the Big Ten tournament.

Maryland will be coming off of a tough last game against the Minnesota Golden Gophers, where the Terrapins’ bats were cold, hitting 4-for-29 and posting just one run in the loss. The Terps had a tough time at the plate against the Dukes in the first outing as well, hitting 3-for-30 and scoring one run.

Coming into this midweek game, the Terps’ lone batter above .300 is sophomore Randy Bednar. This past weekend, Bednar went 5-for-11 with four RBIs and four runs scored. For the season, the outfielder is hitting .302 with team-highs in RBIs (48) and runs scored (43). Senior Taylor Wright had a solid weekend hitting 5-for-13. The veteran is behind Bednar with a .288 batting average for the season.

James Madison Dukes (30-21, 10-11 CAA)

Last Season

The Dukes were .500 last season, finishing with a 26-26 record, but it wasn’t good enough to qualify for the CAA tournament. James Madison posted a 11-13 record in conference play, which put them just outside of the qualifying teams. In both games against the Terps last season, Maryland came out on top, with 2-1 and 6-1 victories.

This Season

James Madison is currently 30-21 and they hold an impressive 22-10 record at their home field. After their 1-2 weekend, the Dukes currently are in a three-way tie for fourth place in the Colonial Athletic Association.

Hitters to Watch

Freshman Kyle Novak is the only batter on James Madison with a batting average above .300, posting a .311 with 26 RBIs and 23 runs scored. Junior Brady Harju is far and away the team’s leader in RBIs with 40 as well as the home run leader with eight. The leadoff batter, freshman Trevon Dabney is another dangerous batter. Dabney is a .292 hitter, leading the team in runs scored (39) as well as leading the Dukes with 15 stolen bases.

Relievers to Watch

Redshirt sophomore Nick Robertson is the most dangerous reliever out of the James Madison bullpen. Robertson has a 0.57 ERA in 21 appearances with 50 strikeouts and a team-high seven saves. Sophomore Justin Showalter has made a few appearances as an “opener” in midweek games, recording a 4.31 ERA in 31 ⅓ innings. Redshirt junior Shelton Perkins has pitched 41 ⅓ innings in relief with a 3.27 ERA and 65 strikeouts.

Maryland hangs on in a wild one, securing series win

After senior AJ Lee slid headfirst into home, the shortstop got up and let out a huge fist pump in the direction of Maxwell Costes. The freshman had just belted an RBI double to give the Terps a 12-9 lead.

With the lead, it was time for John Murphy to shut it down. The senior pitched two innings allowing one run, two hits and four strikeouts to close out the wild series.

As a whole, the Terps’ bullpen was very impressive in this high-scoring series finale. Freshman Trevor LaBonte started and threw five innings, allowing eight runs on seven hits. Sophomore Mark DiLuia came into relief and pitched two solid innings allowing one run and two hits.

On what looked to be a routine ground ball to the second baseman, freshman Shawn Goosenberg, sailed the throw over the first baseman’s head, allowing senior Taylor Wright to advance to second.

This throwing error in the fourth, was the catalyst to the Terps offense. The following batter, freshman Maxwell Costes ripped an RBI single into left center to tie the game 1-1. The next batter, sophomore Justin Vought crushed a no-doubter over the left field wall, giving Maryland a 3-1 lead.

In the same fourth inning, Goosenberg had another throwing error allowing for Maryland to put more runners into scoring position. With runners on second and third, freshman Ben Cowles hit an RBI single. Sophomore Michael Pineiro followed it up with a great bunt single allowing for junior Caleb Walls to score, giving the Terps a 5-1 lead.

In the bottom of the frame, the Northwestern Wildcats answered back. With runners on first and second, freshman Michael Trautwein ripped a two-run double to cut the deficit to 5-3. A few batters later, junior Leo Kaplan hit a sacrifice fly to plate Northwestern’s fourth run.

It wasn’t until a few innings later, where Maryland tacked on some more insurance runs. With the bases loaded, the Terps recorded four straight RBIs, including a pair of RBI singles from Wright and Vought.

But the Wildcats answered back, like they’ve done all series long. In the bottom of the sixth, the Wildcats loaded the bases and Kaplan ripped an RBI single up the middle. A few batters later, Northwestern trailed 9-7, junior Alex Erro belted a bases clearing triple to tie things back up, 9-9.

With an 0-1 count, freshman Ben Cowles crushed his first career home run to give Maryland a 10-9 lead in the seventh inning. The Terps went on to tack on two more runs and they were very important insurance runs in this shootout.

Trailing 12-9, the Wildcats added one run in the eighth inning off  of single by Goosenberg. But in the ninth, Murphy was able to shut down Northwestern for the final time, securing the 12-10 victory. With this win, the Terps win their second consecutive Big Ten road series.


Maryland surrenders six runs in the eighth against Northwestern, putting the game out of reach

With runners on second and third, a ground ball hit to freshman Ben Cowles threw it to home to prevent the go-ahead run from scoring. In a play that looked like the runner was out, he was called safe, giving the Wildcats a 8-7 lead. 

After the play at the plate, the game got out of hand very quickly. A few batters later, junior Alex Erro belted a three-run homer to extend their lead to 12-7. The Terps let the inning get away from them a bit and were not able to recover.

Maryland’s offense had a tough time getting started as the Wildcats’ starter, freshman Mike Doherty tossed 3 ⅓ innings allowing just one hit and racking up five strikeouts. But once, Doherty was taken out, the Terps offense got going.

In the top of the fifth inning, sophomore Michael Pineiro hit an opposite field solo shot over the left field wall for the Terps’ first run of the game. A few batters later, Bednar crushed one over the left field cutting the deficit to 5-2.

In the sixth inning with a 2-2 count, the pitch from junior Josh Levy just caught a piece of Lee, allowing the tying run to cross the plate. Before this pitch, Levy was brought into the game with bases loaded and no outs. The junior plunked the first batter he faced, walked the next one and then hit Lee.

With the game tied, 5-5, Levy got a big strike out on sophomore Randy Bednar. Levy was then relieved by junior Nick Paciorek. The junior struck out the next two batters he faced and got the Wildcats out of a huge bases loaded jam. Paciorek finished off the game, pitching 3 ⅔ innings, allowing just two runs and tallying seven strikeouts. 

Junior Zach Thompson had a rough couple innings, but was able to settle down late in the game. The junior allowed five combined runs through the first two innings but then went on to pitch four straight scoreless frames. Thompson finished the day with 6 ⅓ innings pitched, allowing five earned runs on five hits, while picking up five strikeouts.  

Freshman Andrew Vail was brought into relief in the seventh, with runners on first and second. Vail struck out the first batter he saw, but freshman Shawn Goosenberg lined a two-run double that went right passed the glove of senior AJ Lee. Two runs came across the plate and Wildcats retook a late 7-5 lead.

The Terps showed off some plate discipline in the first game of the double header, working 9 walks. In addition to these walks, the team also recorded three hit-by-pitches. With these free passes, the Terrapins didn’t capitalize enough.

One of the times Maryland took advantage came after a drawn walk from Bednar. On an 0-2 count, freshman Maxwell Costes belted a two-run homer over the left field wall to tie the game, 7-7.

But the bottom of the eighth spiraled out of control as the Wildcats put up six runs on four hits. With the score at 13-7, it was too far out of reach for the Terps, as they drop the second game of the series.

Maryland comes out on top in an offensive shootout against Northwestern

The last time Quinn Lavelle pitched against the Maryland Terrapins, he coasted his way to a complete game shutout for a 4-0 victory. However, this game came last year. On Friday, it was a completely different story for Lavelle.

With a 4-1 lead in the fourth inning, the Terps recorded six consecutive hits, which accounted for five runs. With runners on second and third, senior AJ Lee ripped a double into left field plating Cowles and Alleyne. Sophomore Randy Bednar followed up Lee with an RBI double of his own, extending the lead to 7-1. Senior Taylor Wright brought Bednar in with yet another double and the inning was finally capped off after an RBI single off the bat of freshman Maxwell Costes to give Maryland a 9-1 lead.

AJ Lee had himself a great series opener. The senior tied his season-high four RBIs, while going 3-for-5 and also scored one run. Maxwell Costes also had an effective day at the plate, going 2-for-3 with two RBIs and two runs scored. The freshman also showed off his discipline as he drew a team-high two walks.

The Terps got to Lavelle early and they didn’t slow down. In the first inning, Maryland scored three runs including an RBI triple for freshman Josh Maguire. Lavelle was later taken out after four innings, surrendering nine runs on 12 hits.

It was an unusual Friday night game for the series opener as both teams combined for 21 runs. In the offensive shootout, it was a hit parade for Maryland as every Terp had at least one hit and they totaled a season-high 18 hits in the victory.  

Senior Hunter Parsons picked up two early strikeouts in the first inning and looked like it was going to be another solid start from the righty. When it seemed like the Terps were running away with it, possessing a 9-1 lead, the Wildcats stormed back.

In the fourth inning, Parsons walked a couple of batters and allowed five hits, which added up to six runs for Northwestern, to cut the lead to 9-7.

After this inning, Parsons showed the traits of a senior ace. The righty settled down and went on to deliver three more scoreless frames. It wasn’t a typical friday performance for the senior but he did pull out the win with 7 innings pitched, while allowing 7 runs on 8 hits.

The Terps scored one run in both the fifth and sixth inning, extending the Maryland lead to 11-7. After Parsons preserved this lead, sophomore Sean Fisher came in to relieve the senior in the eighth. Fisher allowed one run on an RBI bunt single but Maryland still had an 11-8 lead.

In the top of the ninth, Bednar belted a two-out, two-run homer tacking on some insurance runs for the Terps. This homer was Bednar’s sixth of the year, which now leads the team. In the bottom of the ninth, senior John Murphy came in to shut it down. The righty allowed two hits but didn’t allow a run. The game ended as the runner on first thought it was ball four and was thrown out trying to advance to second. A strange end to a wild Friday night series opener. 



Series Preview: Northwestern Wildcats

Maryland vs Northwestern

Maryland (16-16) is coming off a 1-1 record in its midweek games against William & Mary and West Virginia. Now, the Terps are on the road to take on Northwestern (15-14), which is riding a four-game winning streak. 

Maryland’s midweek games were two very different tales. Against William & Mary, the Terps poured on a season-high 16 runs on 12 hits, including four homers en route to a 16-10 win. The following game against West Virginia, the Terps only totaled one run on five hits and fell 8-1.

During the midweek games, the Terps used 10 different pitchers, resulting in 14 earned runs over the two games. Maryland hopes to get solid starts out of the starting pitchers this weekend, similar to last weekend against Illinois, where starters only accounted for seven earned runs.

In terms of hitting, sophomore Justin Vought, who has struggled as of late, belted a grand slam against William & Mary, accounting for four of his five RBIs on the day. Freshman Josh Maguire is continuing to make an impact after recently being inserted into the starting lineup. Maguire hit .375 in the midweek games with two RBIs and three runs scored.

Senior Taylor Wright continues to lead the team in batting average, hitting .276 and also leads the Big Ten in doubles with 12. Sophomore Randy Bednar ranks third on the team with a .260 batting average but leads the team in RBIs (28). The outfielder also is tied for the team-high in home runs (5).  

Northwestern Wildcats (15-14, 4-2 Big Ten)

Last season

Northwestern was near the bottom of the Big Ten with an overall record of 17-32, while posting a 6-18 record in conference play. Maryland hosted Northwestern dropping the first game of the series, but picked up the next two to win the series. Both of the Terps’ wins were decided by one run.

This season

The Wildcats are one of the hottest teams in the conference, winning nine of their last 10 games. Northwestern also possesses a four-game winning streak, including a series sweep against Ohio State. During this hot streak, Northwestern has outscored its opponents 36-12.

Hitters to watch

As a team, Northwestern is hitting .270 and leads the Big Ten in stolen bases with 49. The Wildcats have four batters hitting .300 or better, as the Dunn brothers stick out. Senior Jack Dunn leads the Big Ten with a .374 batting average, while his younger brother, David Dunn posts a .333 batting average. Along with the Dunn duo, senior Willie Bourbon leads the team in RBIs (23) and is tied with a team-high in home runs (3).

Relievers to watch

Junior Nick Paciorek posts a 2.08 ERA and has picked up a team-high, three saves. The righty has appeared in 13 innings and has allowed three earned runs, while limiting opposing hitters to a .156 batting average. Sophomore Anthony Alepra has done the most work out of the Northwestern bullpen, totaling 16 innings with a 2.81 ERA.

Probable Starting Pitching Matchup

Friday, 4:30 p.m. ET

Sr. RHP Hunter Parsons (5-2, 2.21 ERA) vs. So. LHP Quinn Lavelle (3-3, 4.08 ERA)

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Parsons, the Maryland ace has been very consistent on Friday nights. In each of his last three starts, the Senior has pitched into the eighth inning. Parsons leads the team with 42 strikeouts in 57 innings pitched.

For the Wildcats, Lavelle has won his last two starts, including one complete game shutout against San Jose State. The sophomore has the most innings pitched for Northwestern with 46.1 and is tied for a team-high in strikeouts with 31.

Probable Starting Pitching Matchup

Saturday, 3:00 p.m. ET

Jr. RHP Zach Thompson (1-4, 5.04 ERA) vs. Fr. RHP Mike Doherty (2-0, 6.35 ERA)

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Thompson will be looking to pick up hist first win since February. The Junior had a solid outing last weekend against Illinois, tossing seven innings, while surrendering four earned runs. Thompson ranks second in most innings pitched (44.2) and strikeouts (34).  

Doherty has done a lot of work out of the bullpen but is expected to make his fourth start on Saturday. In his first two starts, the freshman threw five innings in each but last weekend he only tossed two innings. Doherty has thrown 17 innings, racking up 15 strikeouts but also walking 12 batters.

Probable Starting Pitching Matchup

Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET

Fr. RHP Trevor LaBonte (1-3, 4.63) vs. TBD

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The Terps’ Sunday starter, LaBonte threw a solid 5 ⅓ innings, allowing just one earned run last weekend against Illinois. The freshman has pitched 35 innings and has picked up 30 strikeouts.