Coastal Carolina takes late lead to capture series sweep over Maryland

Unlike the first two games of the series, it was a pitcher’s duel between the Terps and the Chanticleers. But in the eighth inning, Coastal Carolina got a rally going against freshman  Connor Staine.

Staine got two quick outs, but let up a single to redshirt junior Fox Leum, who would steal second. The Chanticleers were stealing all afternoon as they were taking advantage of backup catcher, Tavan Shahidi behind the dish. Coastal Carolina stole eight bases on the afternoon.

Staine followed it up with a walk and the following batter, freshman Cooper Weiss laced an RBI into center field to take a 3-2 lead. After the go-ahead run, Staine walked another batter and would be taken out for senior Elliot Zoellner. Zoellner came into a bases loaded jam, and struck out the lone batter he faced.

But the damage was already done, as the Chanticleers possessed a 3-2 lead heading into the final inning. In the top half of the ninth, the Terrapins went down in order, resulting in a series sweep for Coastal after a 3-2 victory in the series finale.

Maryland hit a combined 6-for-31, which resulted in a .194 team average. The Terps also struck out 12 times. Coastal Carolina also had a rough afternoon in the batter’s box as they hit 5-for-29, which was a .172 team average and struck out 11 times.

In the early goings of the series finale, it seemed like the game was going to go similarly to the first two games of the series.

In the top half of the first inning, Coastal Carolina starting pitcher, Nick Parker struck out the side. In the bottom half of the frame, senior Scott McKeon jumped on a 2-0 pitch from redshirt freshman Sean Burke and sent it over the left field wall, for an early 1-0 lead.

But after letting up a leadoff blast, Burke settled down on the mound. Following the McKeon homer, Burke sent the next three batters down on strikes to get out of the inning.

The right hander had a very strong outing for the Terps and kept Maryland in the game during his time on the mound. Burke had a lot of success on the mound with his fastball as he was able to overpower the Coastal batters throughout the afternoon. Burke would finish his day on the mound with six innings pitched and totaled eight strikeouts, while allowing just two runs and three hits. This marks Burke’s third consecutive start with eight strikeouts recorded.

For Maryland, they answered back to tie up the game in the third inning. Freshman Matt Orlando got things started for the Terrapins as he ripped a double into left center. Orlando was moved over to third on a single by sophomore Benjamin Cowles and later scored on a single by junior Chris Alleyne to tie things up, 1-1.

In the sixth inning, it looked like Maryland was going to break things open. After a walk and an error, the Terps had runners on the corners with no outs for junior Randy Bednar. The junior outfielder hit a single up the middle to plate Alleyne to take their first lead of the weekend, 2-1.

After the single it would mark the end of Parker’s afternoon for the Chanticleers. Redshirt sophomore Shaddon Peavyhouse would enter and he had his work cut out for him. Maryland was threatening with runners on the corners and no outs, but Peavyhouse made quick work of the Terps. The righty struck out sophomore Maxwell Costes and then induced an inning ending double play off the bat of Shahidi. Maryland squandered a big scoring opportunity, but they did take a 2-1 lead.

But the lead didn’t last long for Maryland. In the bottom half of the frame, sophomore Nick Lucky led off with a walk and swiped second. . Lucky would advance to third on a wild pitch and later score on an RBI single from Leum to knot the game back up, 2-2.

After the Chanticleers took the late lead, Coastal Carolina brought in graduate student Chase Antle to close out the game. The hard throwing righty struck out Costes, but walked Shahidi to put the tying runner on base. But, Antle got the following batter, redshirt sophomore Michael Pineiro to ground into a game ending double play, to secure the series sweep over the Terps.

Maryland continues to struggle as they can’t contain the Coastal Carolina offense

In the seventh inning, freshman Ryan Ramsey issued back-to-back free passes and the Chanticleers moved over the runners with a sacrifice bunt. Sophomore Sean Heine was brought into the game to try to get out of the jam. Maryland decided to intentionally walk freshman Eric Brown to load the bases with one out.

On an 0-1 count, freshman Cooper Weiss laced a ground ball to third, but freshman Matt Orlando made a diving stop and stepped on third to limit the damage. But Heine would walk the following batter to reload the bases. Freshman Tanner Garrison jumped all over the first pitch he saw as he roped a line drive into left field to plate two runners, extending the Chanticleers’ lead to 6-1.

The five run lead seemed much larger, as the Maryland offense struggled in the box for the second consecutive day. The Terrapins hit just 5-for-31 at the plate, which was a .161 team average.

On the flip side, the Chanticleers offense was impressive once again against the Maryland pitching. Coastal Carolina racked up 10 hits, posting a .344 team average. The Chanticleers also showed off their plate discipline as they drew eight walks. The combination of the free passes and hits, allowed for Coastal Carolina to capture a 10-3 victory.

After getting shutout in yesterday’s game, it looked like the Terps were going to struggle on offense once again in the early parts of the game. Redshirt senior Scott Kobos started on the mound for Coastal Carolina and got off to a hot start. The left hander retired the first nine batters he faced.

But in the fourth inning, Kobos’ control began to dwindle. Junior Chris Alleyne led off the inning with a double and later advanced to third on a fly ball off the bat of junior Randy Bednar. Just a few pitches later, Alleyne would swipe home on a passed ball to tie the game, 1-1. This was the beginning of Kobos’ loss of control as he would walk three of the next four batters he faced to load the bases.

Kobos was pulled as he left the game with bases loaded and two outs. Sophomore Alaska Abney was brought in for the Chanticleers to try to get out of the jam. Abney threw just three pitches and struck out freshman Matt Orlando to shut the door on Maryland’s scoring opportunity.

Abney has been dominant all season long for the Chanticleers. The righty came into this game with 7 2/3 innings pitched and had only allowed one hit, while totaling eight strikeouts. In today’s matchup, Abney finished with 4 1/3 innings pitched and allowed just two runs on four hits, while totaling six strikeouts.

For Maryland, freshman Nick Dean had a strong start as he showcased his resilience on the mound. In the first inning, Dean allowed three hits including an RBI double off the bat of junior Alex Gattinelli.

But after allowing one run in the first frame, Dean threw three straight scoreless innings, before allowing another run in the fifth inning, to keep the Terps in the ballgame. The freshman finished the afternoon with five innings pitched and allowed two runs on six hits, while picking up six strikeouts.

The freshman right hander tossed five innings and allowed just two runs on six hits. Dean also racked up six strikeouts and issued three walks.

After Dean’s afternoon, the Terps’ used Ramsey, Heine and freshman Chris Chaney out of the pen. The Maryland pitching staff kept Maryland within striking distance until the seventh inning, but the Terps’ offense continued to fight.

In the top of the eighth inning, the Terps were finally able to get to Abney. The rally began with Alleyne once again, after he reached base after being hit by a pitch. The following batter Bednar, roped a double into right center field and the speedy Alleyne came all the way around to score. Bednar would later advance to third on a fly ball and then score on a ground out by redshirt junior Tavan Shahidi to cut the score to 6-3.

But as Maryland tried to claw their way back into the game, the Chanticleers would answer right back in the bottom of the frame and runaway with it. Coastal Carolina loaded the bases after a fielding error, bunt single and a walk.

With the bases juiced, the Chanticleers would plate two runs on a sacrifice fly and an RBI single before Heine was taken out of the game. Freshman Chris Chaney would come into the jam with runners on the corners and one out. On the first batter he faced, freshman Cooper Weiss chopped a double down the left field line to score two more runs to extend their lead to 10-3.

In the top of the ninth, the Terps came to the plate facing a seven run deficit and went down in order as they lost the second game of the series, 10-3. With this loss, it is Maryland’s will drop the series against Coastal Carolina.

Maryland struggles on both sides of the ball as they drop the series opener

With a runner on first, junior Sean Fisher was in the midst of a multi-pitch battle with the number nine batter, Makenzie Pate. On the seventh pitch of the at-bat, Pate turned on one and drove it way over the left field wall to take a 2-0 lead for Coastal Carolina in the third inning.

From there on, the inning spiraled out of control for Fisher and the Terrapins. With the top of the lineup due up, senior Scott McKeon went back-to-back as he smacked a home run of his own over the left field wall.

Fisher walked the following batter to spark a new rally for the Chanticleers, as three straight hits would follow. In addition to the hits, passed balls and wild pitches hurt the Terrapins before they were able to get out of the inning. But unfortunately for Maryland, they dug themselves in too big of a hole to come out of as they faced a seven run deficit after three frames.

With the Terps facing such a huge deficit, it made things even more difficult as they couldn’t get anything going on the offensive side of things. Maryland totaled just four hits and had few opportunities as they lose the series opener to the Chanticleers, 16-0.

Junior Zach McCambley started on the mound for Coastal Carolina and was dominant in his start. Coming into this game, he had allowed just three runs in 13 innings, while racking up 18 strikeouts. The righty tossed five innings as he recorded six strikeouts and allowed just two hits.

In the first inning it seemed like Maryland was going to be able to attack McCambley early. Junior Chris Alleyne led the game off with a walk and later found himself on third a few pitches later after a stolen base and a past ball. But with one out and a runner just 90 feet from scoring, junior Randy Bednar and sophomore Maxwell Costes were unable to bring him home.

On the defensive side of things, Fisher came back out onto the mound in the fourth inning, but ran into trouble once again. The junior hit the first batter he faced and then allowed three straight singles, before being relieved by sophomore Trevor LaBonte.

After two great starts for Fisher, his third career start at Maryland was a rough one. Fisher’s Friday night ended with three innings pitched, while he allowed 10 hits and nine earned runs.

In relief, LaBonte tossed 1 1/3 innings, allowed three runs on two hits, while surrendering three walks. After LaBonte, redshirt junior Mike Vasturia made his season debut as he entered in the fifth inning, with Maryland trailing, 13-0. The righty knuckleballer was impressive in his outing as he totaled 3 1/3 innings, while allowing six hits and picking up five strikeouts, while surrendering two runs. Vasturia’s outing was huge for Maryland as it seemed like the Terrapins were going to have to empty out their bullpen early on in the series opener.

The Terps struggled to get anything going against McCambley, but they got to face a couple of arms after the junior was taken out after five innings because of the large lead. However, as new pitchers came in, the Maryland offense still had difficulty getting anything going.

The Maryland offense was just 4-for-30 and posted a .133 team average. It was quite the opposite for the Coastal Carolina offense as the Chanticleers went 18-for-40 with a .450 team average.

This huge difference in the offenses was clearly reflected on the scoreboard, as Maryland suffers its first shutout loss this season, 16-0.

 

 

Series Preview: Coastal Carolina

Maryland travels down to East Coast to Conway, South Carolina, to take on Coastal Carolina in their the Terps’ first true road series this weekend, after picking up a 13-3 midweek victory over George Mason on Tuesday. Though Maryland has played on the road this season, this will be the first time it plays one team in a three-game set. 

For Coastal Carolina, they own a 4-3 record and they’ve played all seven of its games on its home field; last season the Chanticleers were dominant at home with a 24-12 record. 

After a pair of double headers last weekend, including a pair of double-digit offensive outpourings on Sunday (13-5 win over Kennesaw State and 14-2 win over West Virginia), Coastal Carolina had a bit of a break this week, as their midweek game against Charleston was cancelled due to inclement weather. 

Last season, the Terps and Chanticleers met at the start of the year for the Brittain Resorts Invitational, hosted by Coastal Carolina, where the Chanticleers came out on top, 7-2. 

While Maryland’s offense struggled against Coastal Carolina last season, this year the team has the most home runs in the Big Ten entering the third weekend of regular season play (7). Three of those long balls have come off of Maxwell Costes’ bat. The reigning Big Ten Freshman of the Year leads the Terps with a .429 average and a .647 on-base percentage.

As a whole the Terps have succeeded in large due to their ability to draw walks; in their seven games thus far Maryland has walked 46 times to their opponents’ 27. (Coastal has drawn 28 walks to their opponents’ 17).

While, on the offensive side of the ball, Maryland has shown great discipline at the plate and the it has resulted in a lot of run scoring opportunities. But on the defensive side the Terps have worked on cleaning up their fielding, especially with regard to infield fly balls. 

“We just have to come out of the gate and be clean on defense, that’s really one thing I want to see” Vaughn said. “And with really good starters, you get them in one or two spots. You get them in the first when they’re trying to settle in or you gotta grind them out and get them in the sixth or seventh when they get tired. So that’s going to be our biggest thing.”

Though Coastal Carolina’s pitching staff will be potent, Maryland’s barrage of arms is nothing to disregard.

The Terps’ pitching staff currently holds the second-lowest team ERA in the Big Ten (2.53), while starters Sean Fisher and Sean Burke have the fourth- and eighth-lowest ERAs in the Big Ten, respectively. Plus, Maryland’s freshman arms have recorded a combined 44 strikeouts, the most by a freshman pitching staff in the Big Ten.

“I think there’s some confidence with our guys,” head coach Rob Vaughn said. “I think we have a little bit more depth on the mound than we’ve had to attack them with the last couple years.”

Despite playing a tougher opponent like Coastal Carolina, Vaughn told his team that there’s no need to try to play different, though they should expect fewer offensive chances against the Chanticleers’ talented pitching staff. 

“It’s gonna take a full team effort.,” Vaughn said. “We know what they’re capable of and we’re just going to have to match energy and play clean baseball. We don’t have to do anything different, we just have to come out and take advantage of our opportunities and grind them out and create things.” 

 

Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (4-3, 0-0 Sun Belt)

Last Season

Coastal Carolina finished the year with a 36-26-1 record and went 15-13 in conference play during the regular season. The Chanticleers got hot during the Sun Belt Tournament and took home the championship, but couldn’t make it out of their regional in the NCAA Tournament and was eliminated after a loss to Georgia Tech.

This Season

So far this season the Chanticleers have had a bit of a slow start as they sit at just 4-3. Coastal Carolina hasn’t suffered a blowout loss yet, as its few losses have all been single-digit run differences. But, when the Chanticleers win it is usually a result of an offensive explosion. Through just seven games, the Chanticleers are outscoring their opponents 48-26. 

Hitters to Watch

Coastal Carolina lost a few of its best bats after last season, but not its hits leader from last season, Scott McKeon. This season McKeon has continued to be one of the Chanticleers’ best bats; the senior is the only player with double-digit hits so far, as he has gone 11-for-28, posting a .393 average. 

Another offensive threat for Coastal Carolina this season has been sophomore catcher, B.T. Riopelle. The sophomore leads the team with seven RBI and has also recorded seven hits. Riopelle also leads the team in home runs with two. 

Relievers to Watch

Sophomore Alaska Abney has had the most appearances out of the bullpen for Coastal Carolina and has proven dominant on the mound. The righty has appeared in four games and tossed 7 ⅔ innings, while allowing just one hit and picking up eight strikeouts. 

Redshirt sophomore Shaddon Peavyhouse has been another reliever that has found success four the Chanticleers this season. The right-hander has thrown four innings and has not allowed an earned run, while striking out four batters. 

Probable Starting Pitching Matchup

Friday, 4 p.m. ET

Jr. LHP Sean Fisher (2-0, 0.77 ERA) v. Jr. RHP Zach McCambley (1-1, 2.08 ERA)

 

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After moving from the bullpen in 2019 to a starters’ spot in 2020, Fisher has been solid as Maryland’s Friday starter. Through his first two starts the southpaw has tossed 11 ⅔ innings and allowed just one earned run, plus nine strikeouts. In both of his starts the Terps’ offense provided a plenty of run support, so it will be interesting to see how Fisher fares when he may not have the same backing.

“Ending guys’ at-bats quicker is the biggest thing,” Fisher said of what he’s been working on heading into the weekend. “Not getting in deep counts and not walking guys.”

Last season, McCambley started 11 games on the mound, posting a 6-3 record with a 5.21 ERA. The righty showed he had strikeout stuff as he tallied 76 strikeouts in just 67 ⅓ innings pitched for the Chanticleers. This season, McCambley has allowed three runs in 13 innings, while racking up 18 strikeouts. 

“When you’re facing McCambley on Friday night from Coastal, you might not get seven innings of opportunity like we got [against George Mason],” Vaughn said. “That game could be won or lost in the first or second inning on offense or defense, just because he’s that kind of arm.”

 

Probable Starting Pitching Matchup

Saturday, 2 p.m. ET

Fr. RHP Nick Dean (0-0, 6.75 ERA) v. R-Sr. LHP Scott Kobos (0-2, 2.45 ERA)

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After a stellar collegiate debut against Iona, Dean ran into some trouble against Rhode Island, allowing five runs through 4 ⅔ innings. Dean has thrown 9 ⅓ innings so far this season, and has allowed seven runs and picked up 11 strikeouts. The freshman will have an opportunity to bounce back this weekend against the Chanticleers.

In the 2019 season, Kobos only started five games for Coastal Carolina and recorded a 2-2 record with a 6.04 ERA. This season, the southpaw has put together some solid starts, but his offense hasn’t been able to provide run support. Through two games, Kobos has pitched 11 innings and allowed just three runs, while totaling nine strikeouts. 

Probable Starting Pitching Matchup

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

R-Fr. RHP Sean Burke (1-0, 0.84 ERA) v. So. RHP Nick Parker (1-0, 2.70 ERA)  

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Though he missed last season due to injury, Burke has been dominant in his first collegiate season on the mound. The righty has picked up eight strikeouts in each of his two starts and has only allowed one run through 10 ⅔ innings. Maryland has come out on top in both of his starts, beating Charleston 4-2 and Rhode Island 3-0. 

Parker had 16 appearances in the 2019 season and pitched in 46 innings, while he posted a 6.07 ERA. This season, the sophomore has made two starts and has thrown 10 innings. Through his two starts, he has allowed 10 hits and three earned runs, while tallying six strikeouts. 

 

Maryland’s plate discipline and late offense results in dominant midweek win

After failing to capitalize on big opportunities early on in the game, the Terps offense came alive in the last few innings to runaway with its first midweek victory, 13-3.

With the game tied 3-3, with two outs and runners on first and third, the Terrapins showed off their plate discipline, drawing three consecutive walks. The lack of control from the Patriots converted into two Maryland runs to give the Terps a 5-3 lead in the sixth.

The Terps broke things up in the bottom of the seventh and got it done with the small ball and the long ball. Junior Tommy Gardiner drew a leadoff walk and was moved over on a bunt by Chavis. Gardiner would later make his way around the bases to score after an error on a pick off attempt and a wild pitch. After another walk, junior Randy Bednar dug into the box and hit an absolute moonshot over the left field wall to give Maryland an 8-3 lead.

“That felt really good,” Bednar said. “I always think about singles and doubles, I know the power’s gonna come eventually. So I’m not too worried about that, but it’s definitely a good feeling to be able to come out and do that.”

The Terrapins drew 14 walks in this midweek matchup and collected nine hits, which totaled 13 runs. This was the most runs the Terps have scored in a game this season to secure the victory and move to 6-1, despite stranding 15 runners on base.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do,” Head coach Rob Vaughn said. “I told our guys don’t look at that scoreboard, that score is fool’s gold a little bit for me. I thought offensively that was probably our worst played game of the year. Leaving tons of guys on base, when you leave the bases loaded three times at home, you should lose, that’s the reality.”

Early on, the Terrapins struggled to capitalize on scoring opportunities early on in the game. Maryland found themselves with bases loaded in back-to-back innings, but only managed two runs in those situations in the third and fourth.

In the bottom of the fourth inning, the Terrapins did what they’ve done well all season long, draw free passes and get hit-by-pitches. Young hit two batters and walked one run in, but he bounced back and got out of the inning on a groundball, limiting the damage once again.

This theme continued for Maryland in the bottom of the sixth, with the game tied 3-3. With two outs and runners on first and third, the Terrapins showed off their plate discipline, drawing three consecutive walks. The lack of control from the Patriots converted into two Maryland runs to give the Terps a 5-3 lead.

Last season, redshirt junior Zach Thompson was the Terps’ Saturday starter in their weekend series. Thompson finished the season with 3-6 record and posted a 5.08 ERA.

This season, the right-hander found himself making his season debut in the Terps’ first midweek game. Thompson worked some quick innings and only ran into trouble in the fourth after allowing one run but escaping a bases loaded jam. The redshirt junior’s evening was done after tossing five innings, allowing just four hits and one run, while picking up two strikeouts.

“He trusted his stuff, trusted his preparation, was very focused and was awesome,” Vaughn said. “I’m gonna be honest with you, people wanna talk about Friday night guys and this and that, [but] midweek starting pitching is huge. We really haven’t had that the last couple years… But him coming out today was really good to see. He was tremendous, he was mature and I was really proud of him.”

Thompson left the game with the Terps out in front 3-1, but he quickly watched the lead disappear from the bench. In the sixth inning, sophomore Trevor LaBonte started the inning and issued a leadoff walk. The following batter, junior Scott Morgan smashed a long fly ball over the left center field wall to reset the game, 3-3.

But with the game tied back up, the offense began to come alive and senior Elliot Zoellner shut the door on the George Mason offense. Zoellner took over in the middle of the sixth inning and was dominant. The righty picked up the win in 2 1/3 innings in relief, without allowing a hit and recording four strikeouts.

“He really showed me a lot there today,” Vaughn said about Zoellner. “His composure was awesome. At the time, when we threw him in the game, the game was still pretty tight. Not only did he get us out of that one inning, but he gave us two more.”

In just the second inning, sophomore Maxwell Costes made a fielding error but when he  stepped into the box in the bottom of the frame, he looked for some redemption. With an 0-1 count, Costes turned on one and sent a sky-high fly ball towering over the left field wall. The sophomore gave the ball a stare and tossed his bat to the side as reigning Big Ten Freshman of the Year gave the Terps an early 1-0 lead on his third bomb of the season.

Costes followed up an impressive weekend with another incredible day at the plate. The sophomore reached base safely in all six of his at-bats and was just a triple shy of hitting for the cycle.

“[I’m] seeing the ball really well,” Costes said. “Swinging at the pitches I can swing at, taking the pitches I should.”

While the Terps were able to limit the Patriots’ offense, George Mason wasn’t able to do the same on the other side. After keeping it close for the first six innings, the game began to slip away for the Patriots as a result of free passes and timely hitting from the Terps. Maryland scored 10 runs in its last three offensive frames to capture the first midweek of the season.

 

 

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.