Mike Rescigno drafted in 25th round by the San Francisco Giants

By Jake Eisenberg and Ben Harris

Maryland right-hander Mike Rescigno was selected in the 25th round (755th overall) of the 2016 MLB Draft by the San Francisco Giants. Rescigno is the second Terp to be drafted this year, after Mike Shawaryn was drafted yesterday.

After beginning his collegiate career as an infielder, head coach John Szefc converted the Monmouth Beach, New Jersey, native to the bullpen. His strong arm and low-90s fastball (91-94 mph) translated well to his new relief role. In two seasons, Rescigno threw 23.1 innings out of the pen with a 5.06 ERA, 27 strikeouts and 18 walks. He struck out 23.72% of batters faced, walking 15.51%.

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Photo by Hannah Evans/MBN

Rescigno made great strides as a late-inning arm last summer, playing in the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League for the Bethesda Big Train. In 15 appearances (16 innings), Rescigno allowed just four hits (one extra base hit), three earned runs while striking out 17. His 75.8 first-pitch strike percentage allowed the right-hander to pitch to his strengths, leading to his increased strikeout numbers.

Rescigno saw an increased role in 2016 for the Terps, appearing in 23 games. He posted a 5.59 ERA and struck out 23 batters.

Prior to the draft, our Matt Present and Jon Lewis detailed Rescigno’s scouting profile.

Mike Shawaryn Drafted in 5th Round by Boston Red Sox

By Ben Harris

Mike Shawaryn, the most prolific pitcher to ever step foot in College Park, Maryland, was selected 148th overall in the 5th round by the Boston Red Sox in the 2016 Major League Baseball Draft, Friday.

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The junior from Carneys Point, New Jersey, will leave the University of Maryland after three dominant seasons between 2014-2016. Shawaryn provided consistency for the Terps amidst their conference change, greeting Big Ten hitters in 2015 with a career-best 1.71 ERA and 13-2 record in 116 innings.

Affectionately known as “The Unicorn,” Shawaryn is the Terrapins’ all-time leader in innings pitched (307.1), strikeouts (307), and wins (30). Throughout his career, he struck out nearly one of every four batters he faced while holding opponents to a paltry .215 batting average.

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Hannah Evans/MBN

In his freshman year, Shawaryn earned First Team Freshman All-American honors from the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association and Collegiate Baseball Newspaper. In 2015, he earned All-Big Ten First Team honors and was named a First Team All-American by the NCBWA, CBN and Perfect Game before representing his country on the USA Collegiate National Team.

Shawaryn put on a fitting performance in his last start in a Terrapin uniform, striking out 16 batters in a complete game win over Indiana in this year’s Big Ten Tournament opener. Those 16 punch-outs set a TD Ameritrade Park record.

Prior to the draft, our Matt Present and Jon Lewis broke down Shawaryn’s draft prospects.

 

Costes and Dunn Named Louisville Slugger Freshman All-Americans

by Ben Harris

Headlining the best recruiting class in the history of the program, Nick Dunn and Marty Costes earned Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American nods from Collegiate Baseball Newspaper on Wednesday.

The most potent bats in the lineup, Dunn and Costes were mainstays in the heart of the order for the Terps. And their numbers back it up.

Slashing .300/.382/.397, Dunn led the team in batting average as one of two Terps to start every game this season. This consistency was apparent early and often, as the freshman second baseman reached ase safely in each of the Terps’ first 20 games on the year, and posted the club’s longest hitting streak (13 games). His 13 multi-hit games tied for most on the team. Dunn finished the season one off the team lead with 39 runs scored, and led the club with 68 hits and 16 doubles. He hit more two-baggers and scored more runs than any other Big Ten freshman.

Just three weeks into the season, Dunn made his mark in the Keith LeClair Classic earning both Big Ten Player and Freshman of the Week honors after hitting .643 with nine hits and four RBIs. No Big Ten freshman had taken home both awards in a single week since 2013, and he became the first Terp to earn multiple Big Ten weekly honors at one time. He also became Maryland’s first conference Freshman of the Week in over a year since Kevin Smith won it in February 2015.

Where Dunn provided the reliability, Costes supplied the muscle. After playing himself into the starting lineup a few weeks into the season, Costes excelled. His power numbers—.479 slugging percentage, nine home runs, 37 runs batted in—were not only best on the team, but they led all Big Ten freshmen. Costes took home two Freshman of the Week awards a month apart in April and May.

Two weeks ago, both Dunn and Costes were named to the Big Ten All-Freshman team. Dunn was also the second baseman on the All-Big Ten Third Team.

Defense Falters, Terps Head to Loser’s Bracket

By Ben Harris

Maryland’s infield defense didn’t wake up for their second straight early morning start, making three errors that led to two unearned runs that proved to be the difference in their loss to Michigan State Friday.

In Taylor Bloom’s second start in two weeks against the Spartans, his infield defense left much to be desired. Last Saturday, four Terrapin errors (three from Andrew Bechtold at third and one from Nick Dunn at second) gave Michigan State an extra innings 4-3 win.

The infield spread around the errors today in another 4-3 loss: a botched slow-roller by Dunn in the fourth and another on a hard hit one-hopper in the eighth to Kevin Smith both led to runs.

With the weather compressing the schedule, and creating the possibility of playing four games in the next two days, effective (and rested) combinations of batterymates can be few and far between for many teams.

But Maryland’s roster is well-suited for the postseason with three aces, an above-average good fourth starter in freshman Hunter Parsons, and two catchers to boot in Nick Cieri and Justin Morris.

John Szefc slotted Morris at catcher today and was immediately rewarded. The sophomore ended the top of the second by gunning down Marty Bechina attempting to steal second, following up his defensive effort with an RBI single through the right side in the bottom half of the inning to get the scoring started. Morris impressively gunned down Kris Simonton in the following inning on a 76 mph changeup from Bloom, his thirteenth runner caught stealing on the year.

Designated hitter Cieri continued to see the ball well against Landon after going 2-3 against him last Friday with two RBIs. Cieri reached base in each of his three at-bats against Landon (two walks and a single), scoring on Morris’ second-inning single.

After punishing the Terps from the leadoff spot last weekend—7-13, five runs, an RBI and two walks—Brandon Hughes was nullified by Bloom today, striking out looking in his first two at-bats. Keeping him off the bases for the entire day benefited Maryland two-fold: Hughes is the Spartans’ top base stealer (17 for 22) and stole three of his club’s four bases against Maryland last weekend.

Instead of utilizing their top weapon, Michigan State was forced to try and create runs with lesser base runners. Neither attempt was successful.

Senior Anthony Papio launched a solo homer in the fifth to give Maryland a 2-1 lead after having unsuccessfully attempted to bunt for a hit in his previous at-bat. The next inning, the Big Ten’s leading hitter Jordan Zimmerman (.386) matched Papio, taking Bloom deep to left for his ninth long ball of the season.

Bloom sported a line nearly identical to his outing Saturday against the Spartans. Today he allowed seven hits, four runs (two earned) with no walks and four strikeouts in 7.1 innings. Saturday, he surrendered seven hits, three runs (two earned) with no walks and three strikeouts in 6.2 innings.

Zimmerman proved too much for Maryland, going 2-5 with a clutch go-ahead RBI single two innings after his game-tying homer in the sixth.

When Joe Mockbee relieved Landon after seven innings, Cieri continued to thrive, greeting him with a two-out solo shot to right, his first home run since the Terps’ second series of the year (February 28 vs. Rhode Island).

The Terps nearly came back against star closer Dakota Mekkes in the ninth. Freshman Dan Maynard slapped a pinch-hit single to left before stealing second on a well-read slider in the dirt. However, Bechtold ripped a liner directly at the second baseman Dan Durkin who gloved it and took it to the bag, doubling off Maynard to end the frame.

Entering the loser’s bracket, Maryland will play later today due to yesterday’s rainout, facing an Indiana team playing on a full day’s rest after losing to the Terps on Wednesday.

Shawaryn K’s 16 in Tournament Opener, Terps Beat Hoosiers 5-3

By Ben Harris

Mike Shawaryn brought his swing-and-miss stuff to Omaha, Nebraska, sitting down 16 Hoosiers (13 swinging) in the Terps’ 5-3 tournament-opening win.

The bespectacled veteran’s 16 strikeouts topped his previous career-high of 13 set last April against Cal State Fullerton, and are the most in the six-year, 247-game history of TD Ameritrade Park.

He fell one shy of tying a Big Ten Tournament record of 17 set by Bill Cunningham of Ohio State in 1985, and tied by Greg Everson in 1987.


Not even a 9:00 a.m. start could cool off Shawaryn. The junior right-hander opened the game with six straight strikeouts and, despite allowing an unearned run in the first, rung up eight of the first eleven Indiana hitters. Bearing down from the first at-bat of the game, the Unicorn’s third complete game on the season came on 125 pitches (91 strikes).

Not an inning went by that Shawaryn didn’t sit down a Hoosier on strikes. On the year, 67 of his 97 strikeouts have missed opponents’ bats, including his 300th career punch-out in the fourth inning.

Shawaryn allowed just four hits on the day, filling the zone with a devastating mix of fastballs low and away, sharp sliders on the same corner and down in the dirt. Eight batters were rung up on fastballs, seven on sliders and one on a changeup. Tracking each putaway pitch tells a similar story: Shawaryn’s fastball command down and away allowed him to exploit the corner with sliders and expand the zone. Furthermore, Shawaryn wasted no time, attacking hitters who fell behind early. Seven of his 16 strikeouts came on three pitches, six came on 1-2 counts and just three on 2-2 counts. His only three-ball counts on the day came on his three walks.

With their eldest starting pitcher Screen Shot 2016-05-26 at 10.36.55 PM.png
shoving, the youth movement of freshman Nick Dunn and Marty Costes stepped up in a big way. The pair combined to go 6-9 with three runs (all Costes), four RBI (three from Dunn) and four extra base hits, and found themselves in the middle of each of the Terps’ three run-scoring rallies. Three of those extra base hits came from Costes in the two-hole.

The hot bat of Costes was a welcome site for the Terps, as the freshman left fielder struggled against Michigan State last weekend. Starting the series 0-13, Costes notched a hit in the Sunday rubber match, but ended the series 1-18.

Unable to string together hits for the majority of the season, Maryland did just that in the tournament opener. In the first, the Terps rattled off three-straight base knocks—capped by a Costes triple and Dunn RBI single—to take an early 1-0 lead on Indiana’s Kyle Hart.

Tied 1-1 in the fifth, Zach Jancarski and Anthony Papio hit back-to-back singles, and Costes came through again, ripping an RBI ground-rule double over the fence in deep left center to plate Jancarski, and put Maryland ahead 2-1. Two pitches later, Dunn laced an RBI single to right field, but hit it too hard to score both runners, scoring just Papio. With the Indiana infield playing back, Kevin Smith grounded out to shortstop to score Costes and give Maryland a three-run lead.

Shining on both sides of the ball, Costes backed up Shawaryn with a spectacular leaping catch to end the fifth.

After a tough series defensively against Michigan State last weekend, Andrew Bechtold watched a ball go through his wickets in the third, leading to an unearned run that tied the game 1-1.

The only other inning of trouble for Maryland came in the fifth when a Colby Stratten RBI double scored Brian Wilhite and a Logan Sowers sac fly brought the game to within one. But that was as close as the Hoosiers would get. Both of Indiana’s first two runs originally reached base on leadoff walks surrendered by Shawaryn.

Again in the bottom of the seventh, Costes doubled to left and scored one batter later on another Dunn RBI, this time a double down the right field line to give their starter a two-run cushion.

While his shutdown stuff has persisted throughout the season, Shawaryn has struggled to stay locked into the strike zone. When he found himself amid a brief detour from the zone today, he quickly regained his poise and control of the plate.

Maryland will face the winner of No. 2 Nebraska and No. 7 Michigan State tomorrow at 6:00 p.m. ET, with Jake Eisenberg and Matt Present live on the call in Omaha.

Notes: Shawaryn won his 30th career game Wednesday, and became Maryland’s all-time leader in innings pitched. His impressive career postseason record (ACC/Big Ten Tournaments, NCAA Regionals and Super Regionals) of 5-2 is only surpassed by his 2.83 ERA and 49 strikeouts in 47.2 innings pitched. Over thirty-two percent of those strikeouts came this morning.

Top Pitching Performances According to Bill James’ Game Score

By Ben Harris

The secret to Maryland’s second consecutive Big Ten Tournament appearance is, well, anything but a secret. A starting rotation comparable to any in the country features three top-notch arms. Their 2015 NCBWA first-team All American and 2016 preseason Golden Spikes watch list candidate, Mike Shawaryn, is their third-best pitcher. That’s the type of season it’s been for head coach John Szefc and his three-headed pitching rotation. Two sophomores, Brian Shaffer and Taylor Bloom, comprised the remaining two weekend Screen Shot 2016-05-22 at 2.41.34 PM.pngslots. Each of Maryland’s three starters rank in the top 19 in ERA in the Big Ten, combining to allow just 89 earned runs in 279.2 innings, good for a 2.86 ERA.

Looking at Bill James’ Game Score, a metric that quantifies the effectiveness of any starting pitcher’s outing, we can see just how masterful these three aces have been when at their best.

Game Score calculates the overall dominance of a starter’s outing and is relatively simple as far as advanced statistics are concerned. Each pitcher begins with 50 points, and by weighting different measures such as earned runs allowed, outs recorded and strikeouts, a final score is given to encompass the entirety of a pitcher’s contributions in any given start. The full calculation and weighting can be seen to the right.

For reference, if we assign average stats to a “quality start”—six innings, three earned runs allowed and six hits, two walks, four strikeouts—that pitcher’s Game Score would remain 50. The following graphic breaks down the best start of the season for each of Maryland’s three aces according to Bill James’ Game Score.

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Screen Shot 2016-05-24 at 12.53.21 PM.pngOn the heels of a 13-2 2015 season (1.71 ERA) that propelled the right-hander atop the school’s all-time wins leaderboard, it looked as if “The Unicorn” picked up right where he left off this spring. In the Terps’ home opener February 26 against Rhode Island, Shawaryn dazzled, facing the minimum over eight innings without allowing a hit after the first. Connor Foreman, the Rams’ only base runner on the day, reached base in the first and fourth innings.

After Foreman’s single in the first he was immediately erased on a 4-6-3 double play. Shawaryn started to roll beginning with the twin killing, putting the next 10 hitters in two-strike counts. When Foreman reached in the fourth on a hit by pitch, the following batter lined into a 6-3 double play. Shawaryn set down the next 13 hitters in a row to complete his afternoon.

The game marked just one of two starts on the year in which Shawaryn didn’t walk a batter (May 7 vs. Illinois) and didn’t surrender a run (April 23 vs. Purdue). In the latter, he tied his season-high Game Score of 85 in a 10-strikeout, three-hit performance.

The Terps needed every bit of Shawaryn’s dominance that Friday afternoon. Opposing him was Rhode Island’s Steve Moyers, who threw an eight-inning complete game allowing just one unearned run in Maryland’s 1-0 series opening win.

Average Game Score: 54.35 (lowest of all three starters)
Standard Deviation:
18.27 (highest of all three starters)


Screen Shot 2016-05-24 at 12.53.27 PM.pngThe best start of Bloom’s breakout sophomore season came on April 8 in game one of a double header against Ohio State. In the first Friday start of his career—stepping in for a struggling Shawaryn—Bloom took a perfect game into the sixth en route to a 90-pitch Greg Maddux complete game shutout. The nine-inning effort was good for his third on the year to that point. By season’s end, his five complete games led the Big Ten and tied for seventh in the nation. Other than Rutgers’ Howie Brey (four), no other pitcher in the conference had more than two.

At 1 hour and 42 minutes, the game was the shortest of Maryland’s season. Shawaryn’s start against Rhode Island was the second shortest (1:52).

The dominant start lowered Bloom’s ERA to 1.99 and raised his innings total to a Big Ten-leading 58.2. Exactly one month later, his ERA was identical and led the Big Ten.

At the regular season’s conclusion, he ranked third in the conference with 95 innings pitched despite a gimpy ankle scratching him from the Purdue series. Had he pitched and lasted his average of 7.1 innings, he would have finished with the most innings pitched in the conference.

Average Game Score: 59.23
Standard Deviation:
15.66 (lowest of all three starters)


Screen Shot 2016-05-24 at 12.53.32 PM.pngWith the Terps dropping the first two games against Rutgers in their second to last regular season series, Brian Shaffer got the ball on Sunday, brought his best stuff, and saved the season. Had Maryland lost that series final and been swept at home by the Scarlet Knights, they would have missed out on the Big Ten Tournament. (Maryland would have lost the head-to-head tiebreaker against Iowa, assuming the Terps still took two of three from Michigan State in the final weekend.)

Shaffer overpowered Rutgers with a career-high eight strikeouts and fell one short of a career-best with 12 groundball outs. Including an infield pop out, 21 of his 24 outs recorded didn’t leave the infield. He didn’t allow a hit through the first 3.1 innings, keeping Maryland in the game long enough for their feeble offense to break through against Rutgers’ starter and take full advantage of a weaker bullpen. The Terps broke a scoreless tie, putting up runs in the bottom of the sixth, seventh and eighth innings.

Building off his breakout performance in last season’s Big Ten Tournament in which he snapped Illinois’ conference record 27-game winning streak, Shaffer emerged as a formidable weapon for Szefc worthy of pitching any day of the week, let alone as the Sunday starter. In six starts between March 13 and April 16, he lasted no fewer than seven innings and tossed consecutive complete games in his best 2015 Shawaryn impression (1.67 ERA, 0.82 WHIP).

In a crucial spot, Shaffer spun his best game of the season, topping his complete game shutout of No. 23 Cal State Fullerton in which he posted a Game Score of 80, the fifth highest for any starter this season.

Average Game Score: 59.5 (highest of all three starters)
Standard Deviation:
15.98


Interestingly, Shaffer didn’t hold the best per-start average in any of the categories that dictate Game Score, but averaged the highest Game Score per outing at 59.5 (Bloom 59.23, Shawaryn 54.35). His consistency at the back end of the rotation proved vital for the Terps who went 9-5 in games the sophomore started, and explains how, without having the best numbers in any of those six stat categories, his average Game Score was highest.

As further evidence of Shaffer’s reliability, the standard deviation of his Game Scores (15.98) was nearly identical to Bloom’s rotation-best 15.66.Screen Shot 2016-05-24 at 12.52.08 PM.png

Using the Game Score metric, Shaffer led all Maryland starters with seven outings that scored 60 or higher. Bloom had six. Bloom posted five Game Scores over 70, Shaffer had four, and Shawaryn just three. However, only Shaffer and Shawaryn had multiple starts scoring 80 or higher. Each starter had four outings that scored between 50-59. Both Shaffer and Bloom had just three starts with Game Scores under 50, compared to Shawaryn’s six, and Bloom was the only one without a Game Score below 30 on the season.

No Maryland starter’s Game Score was higher than Shawaryn’s two games of 85. He and Shaffer were the only two pitchers to post back-to-back starts that scored 78 or higher. Despite making just four starts on the year, freshman Hunter Parsons cracked the Terps’ top ten Game Scores, posting a 72 after a seven-inning, two-hit outing against James Madison for which he earned Big Ten Freshman of the Week plaudits.

**Update: This article covered the 2016 regular season. In the third game of the Big Ten Tournament, Brian Shaffer posted the most dominant start of the season for Maryland. In the 3-0 season-extending win over Indiana, he tossed a complete game shutout, striking out eight, walking none and allowing just two hits. He needed just 102 pitches to post a Game Score of 91, six points better than any performance from a Terp starter this season.**

Graphics by Ben Harris copyright-symbol.gif 2016

Terps Heading to Big Ten Tournament After Shaffer’s Gutsy Performance

By Ben Harris

With a trip to the Big Ten Tournament on the line Saturday, it looked as though Brian Shaffer’s day might be over as quickly as it started. Just four pitches into the regular season finale, Michigan State’s leadoff hitter Brandon Hughes sharply grounded a ball back up the box off of Shaffer’s right knee. The ball helplessly skittered into foul territory down the first base line, and Shaffer lay on the ground, leg outstretched and in pain.

After a lengthy delay, he couldn’t pull the trigger on his first warm-up pitch, wincing as he pushed off the mound with his right leg.

“I just took a stride and my knee buckled,” said Shaffer after the game. “For a second I thought, ‘uh oh,’ but it just had to loosen back up it was really tight.”

But, the tenacious right-hander gritted his teeth and fought the discomfort, carrying Maryland to a 6-4 win and into the conference tournament.

When it was all said and done, he had thrown 126 pitches over eight innings, allowing four runs and keeping Maryland in the game long enough for the offense to break through.

Head coach John Szefc wasn’t sure he would be even be able to stay in the game.

“When I went out there I thought it was maybe 50-50 that he might continue,” he said.

One batter after Hughes’ ground ball caught his knee, Shaffer walked Jordan Zimmerman, the Big Ten’s leading hitter, on four pitches. Dan Durkin then singled up the middle for his first RBI on the day to score Hughes. In all three games this series, the Terps trailed 1-0 after two innings.

After those first three hitters Shaffer settled in, getting Matt Byars to ground into a double play to alleviate the first inning pressure. From the second through the eighth, Shaffer allowed just six hits and three runs while striking out five.

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Inning after inning, Maryland refused Michigan State the opportunity to put the game out of reach. A two-run bottom of the third, courtesy of Dan Durkin’s homer, gave the Spartans an early 3-0 lead. However, the Terps manufactured two runs in the next half inning to cut the lead to 3-2.

The Spartans tacked on another in the bottom half of the fourth after a Kris Simonton triple and a squeeze bunt from Justin Hovis. Again, Maryland responded in the following frame with a run of their own. Marty Costes broke his 0-15 slump (0-13 to begin the series) with a two-out single. Nick Dunn then knocked an RBI double to left, his second on the day and third of four total hits.

But for Maryland, their most important inning of the season came in the seventh. Like so many times in the second half of the season, sophomore catalyst Zach Jancarski sparked the Terps offense with a leadoff walk when they needed it most. Two outs later Dunn grounded a single up the middle, advancing to second as Jancarski’s wheels propelled him from first to third, drawing a throw.

With two men in scoring position, reliever Keegan Baar was pulled for Cam Vieaux, Michigan State’s ace. Vieaux, who has been battling injury, received the weekend off from his regular starting duties. For head coach Jake Boss, the move made sense, especially after their win yesterday clinched a Big Ten Tournament bid.

Saturday marked the first time since 2014 that Vieaux pitched out of the bullpen. And it showed. After hitting just five batters all season, his first pitch – a rogue slider – caught Kevin Smith on the foot to load the bases. He had seemingly bounced back against the next batter, jumping ahead of freshman Dan Maynard 0-2. But Maynard worked the count to 2-2 before wearing a pitch from Vieaux, tying the game at four with an RBI hit by pitch.

The very next offering from Vieaux was laced the opposite way by sophomore Kevin Biondic (3-4 on the day), putting the Terps ahead for good, 6-4.

“Just hopped on that first fastball,” Biondic said after the game. “That’s our approach. Look for something to hunt and it was over the plate and luckily I hammered it.”

“I think a big part of that game was Brian’s ability to minimize damage,” said Szefc. “He never gave up a three-run inning. I say it all the time, it’s hard to win when you give up a three-run inning and that’s what they did in the seventh.”

The win solidified the Terps’ second conference tournament appearance in as many season in the Big Ten. They will enter play Thursday as the sixth seed.

Had they lost, Maryland would have needed John Szefc’s predecessor Eric Bakich and his Michigan Wolverines to beat Illinois Saturday afternoon.

Notes: Freshman Nick Dunn posted his second four-hit game of the season (March 1 at Delaware) with two singles and two opposite field doubles. Eight hits is the second most Shaffer has allowed this season (nine against Minnesota, April 16). Andrew Bechtold snapped his ten-game reached-base streak. Shaffer’s 126 pitches were the third-most thrown by a Maryland starter this season. Exactly one year ago Saturday, Shaffer snapped Illinois’ NCAA-best 27-game winning streak in the second game of the Big Ten Tournament.