Maryland’s Comeback Effort Falls Short, Ending a Historic Season in College Park

Following two huge wins on Sunday against Wake Forest and UConn to stave off elimination, top-seeded Maryland found itself just one win away from reaching its first NCAA Super Regional since 2015. The only thing standing in the way of this Terps squad was a winner takes all rematch with the Huskies.

Down 9-1 at one point in this game, Maryland was able to cut the deficit all the way back down to two runs. That was as close as the Terps could get though, losing 11-8 to UConn and putting an end to their season.

The game started about as well as the Terps could ask for, Luke Shliger leading off the game with a home run and sending the sellout crowd at Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium into a frenzy.

“You can see how much [the fans] cared that we were hosting a regional,” Kevin Keister said. “We had great fans out here this whole weekend.”

That was followed by two quick outs to start the bottom of the first by starter Andrew Johnson. From there, however, the wheels began to fall off.

Four straight two-out walks brought home the tying run. Sean Heine was brought in and immediately hit his first batter, giving UConn the lead.

“AJ is going to pitch in massive games here for us,” Head Coach Rob Vaughn said. “He’ll be able to look back at tonight, even though it didn’t go his way.”

A Matt Donlan grand slam in the next at-bat gave the Huskies a 6-1 lead while having only picked up one hit. The crowd was stunned and any momentum Maryland had now belonged to UConn.

With the score now at 9-1, the Terps put together a four-run rally in the fifth, capitalizing off a couple UConn miscues and RBIs from Keister and Troy Schreffler to make the score 9-5.

Following another UConn run to put the Huskies into double-digits, Chris Alleyne made his presence in the game known, hitting a laser shot over the right field wall to cut the deficit to three.

The home run marked Bubba’s 24th of the year, the most hit by any player in Maryland program history.

“I couldn’t be more proud of [Chris],” Vaughn said. “Just an unbelievable human, unbelievable kid. We’re gonna watch that guy play on TV one day.”

The lead was further shrunk to two runs when Keister drove in his second run of the game in the eighth inning.

“We always have confidence in our lineup,” Keister said. “We knew from the beginning that we were going to have to hit today and it just came later in the game than we thought.”

What happened next added a flair of controversy to the end of the game.

With Keister on third, Alleyne seemingly legged out an infield single to bring home a run, colliding with the UConn first baseman in the process. To the surprise of many, the home plate umpire called Bubba out for interference, infuriating the fifth-year senior.

“The guy made the call he thought was the right call,” Alleyne said. “And that’s just baseball.”

Following a review, the call was confirmed and Keister was sent back to third base, eliminating both a run and a baserunner. The crowd erupted into furious booing and shouting as Nick Lorusso grounded out to end the inning.

“I didn’t see it the same way, but there’s a reason I don’t umpire,” Vaughn said. “The rule’s the rule, and the way the rule was enforced is right, whether I like it or not.”

Maryland could not do anything in the ninth, having to watch UConn celebrate on the field amid more boos from the crowd.

This historic season for Maryland baseball comes to an end in the regional round, UConn advancing to play either Stanford or Texas State in the Super Regional.

Despite the loss, Coach Vaughn still held a very optimistic demeanor, especially when talking about the future of this program.

“We’re gonna keep building this thing,” he said. “This group is gonna walk though the gates in Omaha, there’s no doubt in my mind. This group is gonna do some special things.”

Maryland Walks Off UConn 7-6 in 11 Innings, Forces Winner-Take-All Game on Monday

After winning earlier in the day against Wake Forest, No. 1-seed Maryland still had a daunting task ahead of them: take down a UConn team who had beaten them 10-2 a day ago, two times in a row.

With a tie ballgame in the late innings, the Terps were leaning on the unlikely pairing of Ryan Ramsey and Andrew Johnson.

Ramsey, a stalwart of Maryland’s weekend rotation, was making his first relief appearance since the 2021 season. Following five innings of work as the starter on Friday night, the lefty went 2 1/3 scoreless innings out of the bullpen to keep Maryland’s hopes alive.

“Rammer got himself ready to go, came out, and gave us everything he had today,” Head Coach Rob Vaughn said. “That tells you a lot about the culture of these guys and how much [they] really care about it.”

Johnson, a true freshman, was not typically used for high-leverage situations during the regular season. Tonight he was asked to take the ball with the game tied in the 11th. He also held the Huskies scoreless, setting the stage for the Terps lineup in the bottom half of the inning.

“He didn’t let the moment get big,” Vaughn said. “He just executed pitches and got them kind of off balance.”

As is the case with most extra-innings games, the outcome of tonight’s game was still completely in question when Maryland came to bat in the bottom of the 11th.

That was until Nick Lorusso stepped up to the plate with the bases loaded. He launched a walk-off base hit of the right field wall, taking down UConn and staving off elimination for the Terps for the second time today.

“In that entire at-bat, I was just trying to think of a deep fly ball,” Lorusso said. “Eventually he there me the fastball that I could handle and I ended up punching it out to right.”

It was all Maryland early on, with the Terps lineup ambushing UConn starter Enzo Stefanoni in the first inning off an RBI single from Matt Shaw and a two-run home run from Troy Schreffler Jr.

Nick Lorusso added insurance to the Maryland lead in the fifth inning, launching a solo homer over the temporary outfield bleachers.

With all three weekend starters — plus Logan Ott — having already pitched extended innings this weekend, Nick Robinson was selected to make just his second start of the season.

He certainly justified this decision, tossing five shutout innings and getting Terps out of two jams, stranding runners in scoring position in both the fourth and fifth innings.

Upon finding out he would be starting such an important game, the sixth-year grad transfer could not have been happier.

“It’s unbelievable to be here and to be playing in this game,” Robinson said. “It’s just an opportunity of a lifetime.”

The early bullpen performance for Maryland was not quite as impressive. Both Nigel Belgrave and Will Glock struggled to keep the ball in the strike zone, leading to a four-run UConn rally in the sixth to tie the game.

From there, the scoring went back and forth, Maryland picking up a pair of runs in the seventh off RBI hits from Shaw and Maxwell Costes. That was immediately followed in the top of the eighth by a UConn RBI triple and another run off a Ramsey wild pitch.

Following a few scoreless innings from both bullpens, the Terps finally pulled through in the eleventh, sending the home crowd into a frenzy and keeping Maryland’s championship hopes afloat.

“What a day. There’s not a lot of other ways to describe tonight in particular,” Vaughn said. “[This team is] just a group of warriors.”

The uphill battle still is not over for Maryland. They need to take down UConn one more time to be crowned champions of the College Park Regional bracket. First pitch will be approximately 7:00 p.m. Pitchers are still to be determined.

Maryland Uses Huge Eighth Inning to Avoid Elimination and Defeat Wake Forest

Down 5-2 to Wake Forest going into the seventh inning, one-seed Maryland knew exactly what the stakes were: find a way to come back or a historic season would come to an end.

The start of any great comeback is the first run. Kevin Keister provided that with a leadoff home run. There was still work to be done, but the Terps had a much more manageable deficit going into the eighth.

After two groundouts to start the next inning, it looked like it would take a ninth-inning rally to keep Maryland’s season alive.

That was when the flip switched.

An Ian Petrutz walk gave an opportunity to Bobby Zmarzlak who had been hitless to that point. Following struggles earlier in the game both at the plate and in the field, the Terps outfielder sent a moonshot over the left field wall and tied the game at five.

That on its own would have been enough to get the crowd at Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium energized and back on its feet, but the Terps were far from done.

“It’s no secret he hadn’t had a great regional,” Head Coach Rob Vaugh said. “But big-time players show up when it matters.”

Two batters later, Luke Shliger hit an RBI double to give Maryland its first lead of the game. Almost immediately after, Chris Alleyne broke his regional round cold streak with a two-run homer of his own over the batter’s eye in center field.

Following one more eighth-inning run off the bat of Troy Schreffler, the Terps were in complete control of the game after being down two just a few minutes earlier.

Maryland carried this momentum through the ninth inning, defeating Wake Forest 10-5 and eliminating the Demon Deacons from the NCAA tournament.

“That’s postseason baseball right there,” Vaughn said. “I was really proud of our guys. They fought really hard.”

Wake Forest got out to an early lead, two RBI doubles in the first inning put Maryland down early and swayed the momentum.

The Terps responded the very next inning when Maxwell Costes hit a two-run home run into the temporary outfield bleachers.

That longball was number 40 in Costes’s career at Maryland, making him just the second player in program history to reach that mark.

Two home runs off Maryland starter Nick Dean in the fifth and sixth innings gave the Demon Deacons a 5-2 lead.

Dean had a very up and down day, at times mesmerizing the Wake Forest lineup, but also allowing five runs and seven hits in five and two-thirds innings.

David Falco Jr. was fantastic out of the bullpen, finishing off the game for Maryland with a season-long three and one-third shutout inning performance. Falco credited his ability to pitch at length in relief of Dean to this Maryland team staff.

“It’s a testament to our staff,” he said. “I’ve seen a lot of improvement on my ability to hold my fastball velo through the innings.”

The Terps won’t have too much time to relish this win as they’ll be right back in the Bob for first pitch against UConn at 7:06 p.m. Maryland’s starter is still to be determined.

Maryland Dismantles LIU in First NCAA Regional Game

History was made in College Park tonight as No. 15 seed Maryland hosted an NCAA regional game for the first time in program history. In front of a sold out crowd at Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium, the Terps put on a show, defeating Long Island 23-2.

If a scoreless first inning gave anyone the idea that this would be a close game, the Maryland lineup quickly put them to rest, bringing fourteen batters to the plate and scoring nine runs.

The Terps did not let up in the following innings, scoring three in the third and seven more in the fourth. Suddenly, it was 19-0 Maryland before the game had even become official.

Nick Lorusso and Troy Schreffler Jr. both had monster nights at the plate, hitting two doubles and driving four runs each.

“I think it’s safe to say the bats are warmed up and ready to go for tomorrow,” Schreffler said. “Hopefully we can come out with the same mindset we did today.”

Matt Shaw, Luke Shliger and Ian Petrutz supplied the fireworks, hitting home runs in the second, fourth and sixth innings respectively. Petrutz finished the night with five runs driven in, the most he’s had in a game all season.

There was no true weak spot for the Maryland lineup tonight. All nine Terps starters registered a hit, six driving in at least one run. The 23 runs scored by the Terps tonight marks the most Maryland has ever scored in an NCAA Tournament game.

“Obviously, that’s a good way to start the tournament,” Terps Head Coach Rob Vaughn said. “I thought it was just a really relentless effort from our guys. Just a really complete effort offensively.”

On the mound, Ryan Ramsey was completely locked in from the moment he first stepped onto the mound. Shaking off a tough start in the Big Ten tournament against Michigan his last time out, the lefty tossed five shutout innings, allowing just four hits and striking out eleven.

“Seeing them take bad swings on the fastball, I was just trying to pump them with that instead of mixing it up so much,” Ramsey said.

Logan Ott threw four relief innings to finish off the game, providing longevity that will be crucial to keeping the Maryland bullpen fresh for the rest of the weekend.

“Otty was outstanding,” Vaughn said. “He did a really good job just throwing strikes and doing his job.”

One aspect that seemed to have a big impact on the game was the atmosphere. With temporary bleachers set up in the outfield, Maryland drew by far its largest crowd of the season.

“It was definitely pretty cool,” Schreffler said. “We’ve worked hard all year for this, and to come out and see that we have so much support from fans and from the University of Maryland […] was pretty awesome.”

“I thought it was fantastic,” Lorusso said. “How loud and energetic everybody was was something really special.”

With the win, Maryland has secured a matchup tomorrow night against UConn, the winners of this afternoon’s College Park regional game. Jason Savacool will get the start for the Terps.

Maryland Eliminated from Big Ten Tournament After Eleven Inning Loss to Indiana

In a game both teams needed to win to stay alive, top-seeded Maryland fell to Indiana 6-4 in eleven innings, eliminating the Terps from the Big Ten tournament.

The Terps led for most of the late innings until the Hoosiers scored on a double play in the top of the ninth. The decisive blow came off the bat of Josh Pyne, who capped off a fantastic day at the plate with a two-run single in the top of the eleventh.

The game was back and forth all afternoon, an early 2-0 Hoosier lead being countered by RBI singles from Schreffler and Chris Alleyne in the fourth and fifth innings respectively.

Schreffler entered the game leading all batters with six hits in tournament play. With two more today and another run driven in, the third team all-Big Ten honoree was the clear MVP for this team over the three tournament games played.

On the mound, Nick Dean produced a solid outing, allowing two earned runs on five hits in five and two-thirds innings pitched. The Terps starter worked his way through a few precarious situations including a three-error inning that resulted in an unearned run crossing the plate.

While errors certainly hurt Maryland today, they also provided scoring opportunities. A Maxwell Costes sixth inning bunt was airmailed past first base by Indiana pitcher Braydon Tucker, allowing Schreffler and Matt Shaw to score.

Despite his error leading to two runs, Tucker was one of the biggest reasons Indiana was able to come out on top, providing six quality innings out of the bullpen. He came on in relief in the sixth inning and pitched all the way to the end of the game, throwing 98 pitches in the process.

Maryland leaves Omaha losing two out of three games played in the Big Ten tournament, falling to 46-12 on the season and 3-1 in extra-inning games.

For now, this Terps squad will have to wait until Monday when NCAA tournament seeds are announced to find out who they will be playing in the regionals and if those games will be played at Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium.

Survive and Advance: Terps Take Down Indiana on Walkoff Hit By Pitch

Coming up to bat with the bases loaded in the bottom of the eleventh, the goal for Ian Petrutz was clear: do whatever you can to break the 5-5 tie and send No. 10 Maryland off with an opening round win in the Big Ten tournament.

He had already tied the game in the tenth. Now he had a chance to send his team and the fans who had made the journey to Omaha, Nebraska back to their hotel rooms happy.

The Maryland freshman got a little help from Indiana pitcher Jack Perkins, getting hit by a pitch in the elbow, but it counted just the same as any hit, securing a 6-5 extra-innings win over the Hoosiers.

Because of a lack of tournaments the past two seasons, this was the first Big Ten postseason game for the Terps since 2019. It certainly did not disappoint.

A big fourth inning provided most of Maryland’s offensive production, the Terps getting three RBI doubles from Bobby Zmarzlak, Kevin Keister and Chris Alleyne.

Alleyne picked up right where he left off at the end of the regular season, going two for five with a pair of doubles and a run driven in.

One issue the Terps lineup faced today despite the win was leaving runners on base. There were multiple times in the late innings that Maryland squandered opportunities to score with runners on base, something that will most likely need to be looked at moving forward.

Jason Savacool was almost unhittable early on, retiring fourteen consecutive Indiana hitters from the end of the first inning to the middle of the fifth.

Into the seventh though, the Maryland ace began showing signs of fatigue. Indiana took full advantage, bringing home three runs and tying the game.

Savacool finished the day with eight strikeouts, allowing four runs on six hits in six and two-thirds innings of work.

Neither team scored for the rest of the first nine frames, sending the game into extra innings.

The two teams traded blows in the tenth, Indiana striking on a tough infield play that resulted in a fantastic sliding score by Evan Goforth. The Terps responded in the bottom half with Petrutz’s RBI base hit.

Indiana threatened to score again in the top of the eleventh, but an incredible throw from right field by Troy Schreffler Jr. to the plate saved the potential go-ahead run from scoring and setting up the eventual walkoff in the bottom half.

With the victory, Maryland continues to increase its win total for this historic season and build its NCAA tournament resume, now 45-10 on the year. The Terps will get the late game tomorrow, facing off against the winner of Illinois vs. Michigan at approximately 10:00 p.m. ET.

The Hoosiers will have a tough road ahead in trying to win the Big Ten tournament following the loss, now needing to win four consecutive games if they want to be named conference champions. That road will start tomorrow at approximately 6:00 p.m. ET against the loser of tonight’s Illinois-Michigan contest.

Six Home Runs Lead Maryland Past Michigan on Senior Day

The stage was set for No. 17 Maryland on Sunday: celebrating senior day on a beautiful afternoon for baseball, the Terps came in with a chance to sweep Michigan and gain more ground in a crowded top of the Big 10 standings.

The Terps took full advantage, defeating the Wolverines 15-10.

It was all Michigan to start, scoring quickly in the first and taking a 3-0 lead halfway through the fifth inning. The Terps had plenty of early chances to score, but couldn’t take advantage, going 0-5 with runners in scoring position in the first four innings.

After looking lethargic early on, the Terps lineup finally came alive in the fifth with four home runs.

Nick Lorusso got it started with a two-run shot, immediately followed by Matt Shaw’s fifth home run of the weekend. Three batters later, Ian Petrutz launched a three-run home run over the right field wall, giving Maryland its first lead of the game.

“I went up in the count early and I knew he was going to throw a lot of changeups,” Petrutz said. “3-1 I was just banking on a fastball. He threw a fastball belt high that I could drive and I drove it.”

Number four came off the bat of Chris Alleyne, just barely pushing one over the fence to bring two more runs across. After trailing the entire game, Maryland was now fully in control.

“Bubba’s our captain. He’s tough as nails,” Head Coach Rob Vaughn said of the fifth-year senior. “There’s not enough adjectives I could use to describe his importance to this program.”

A Luke Shliger three-run shot in the sixth and another Shaw home run in the seventh made the Maryland lead ten and put the game fully out of reach.

With his two home runs today, Matt Shaw finished off a historic weekend, hitting six home runs and driving in twelve runs across three games. He also now finds himself ahead of Chris Alleyne for the conference lead in longballs with nineteen on the season.

“You’ll get a few days where you see the ball well,” Shaw said. “I’m hoping to stay consistent with this through the end of the season.”

It was a mixed bag start of sorts for Nick Dean today, giving up four runs on eight hits in five and 2/3 innings of work.

There were points where the Maryland starter looked as dominant as he did at the start of the season, striking out six Wolverines, but he also showed the same signs of struggle from late March and April, allowing eleven batters to reach base.

After a Michigan rally in the ninth that brought home four runs, Lorusso came on and got the final out, securing another conference win and a sweep over the Wolverines.

The win today capped off a senior day celebration that saw recognition for Maryland’s six graduating seniors.

“This group, they’ve turned in the best year in school history up to this point in the regular season,” Vaughn said. “When you get that, you have to have special people.”

With the win, Maryland improves to 41-10 and 16-5 in the Big 10, now tied atop the conference standings with Rutgers as the schedule enters its final week. Michigan falls to 10-11 in conference play, still having work to do next weekend to secure a spot in the Big 10 tournament.

The Terps will look to extend their winning streak to five games on Tuesday against James Madison in the team’s final regular season home game of the year. The starting pitching matchup is still to be determined.

Maryland Splits Double-Header with Rutgers, Keeping Position in the Big 10

After two consecutive days of rainouts, Maryland and Rutgers finally took the field for a weekend series with huge conference implications, splitting Sunday’s double-header and setting up a big rubber match.

Game one was all Maryland, dominating the Scarlet Knights by a score of 16-8.

Multiple Terps had fantastic days in the batter’s box, with almost everyone in the lineup producing in some kind of way.

Five runs in the first two innings knocked out Rutgers starter Jared Kollar and set the stage for a long day for the Scarlet Knights’ pitching staff.

Chris Alleyne hit a pair of two-run home runs into the outfield trees, now at 16 on the season and reclaiming his lead in the Big 10. Matt Shaw, Troy Schreffler Jr. and Ian Petrutz all joined the long ball party, accounting for five of Maryland’s runs with their home runs.

Coming off a perfect game in his last outing, Ryan Ramsey did not look like he had lost any focus, giving the Terps six quality innings and allowing two runs. His only blemish of the game came from a Chris Brito two-run home run in the sixth inning.

Though he only struck out one, the Maryland ace was sharp early, getting ahead of batters quickly and inducing weak contact. With a winning decision today, Ramsey improves to a Big 10 and national best record of 9-0.

A couple Rutgers rallies off Logan Ott in the last two innings brought the Scarlet Knights to within eight, but the Terps would close the door and secure a game one victory and a regular season record 37th win.

Game two was almost a complete mirror opposite of game one, Rutgers winning by a score of 18-7.

It seemed as though the Scarlet Knights had fed off the momentum gained in the late-inning rallies of the first game, barraging the Maryland pitching staff with timely hitting and home runs early on.

The top three of the Rutgers lineup was especially potent in the second game, going eleven for fifteen and driving in nine of the Scarlet Knights’ eighteen runs. Ryan Lasko himself went six for six with two home runs, continuing an amazing week and a half of baseball for the national player of the week.

It was a concerning site entering the second inning as Jason Savacool was replaced by Noah Mrotek after just 33 pitches. He had looked a bit uncomfortable planting his foot on the mound but was allowed to stay in by Rob Vaughn in the first. He finished the day giving up three runs after just an inning of work.

From that point it was a bullpen game for the Terps, seven relievers seeing action after Savacool’s exit. Andrew Johnson seemed to be the only one with an answer for the Rutgers lineup, not allowing a hit in an inning and a third of work.

Most of Maryland’s production at the plate in game two came off the bat of Kevin Keister who hit a grand slam in the second inning, his sixth home run of the season. After early season struggles, he has continued to prove he belongs in this Maryland starting lineup.

After a bit of a comeback effort including RBIs from Shaw and Maxwell Costes, Rutgers quickly responded with four more runs of their own. A scoreless eighth and ninth sealed Maryland’s fate with an eleven-run loss in game two.

With the series split today Maryland exits the field at 37-10, Rutgers at 37-11. The Scarlet Knights hold on to their two and a half game lead in the Big 10 over the Terps as the end of the regular season draws closer.

Maryland and Rutgers will wrap up this three-game series tomorrow afternoon. Nick Dean will get the start for the Terps, looking to build on a solid start last Sunday against Northwestern. Rutgers has not yet announced a starter for tomorrow’s game.

Series Preview: Rutgers Scarlet Knights

First place in the Big 10 is on the line this weekend as No. 18 Maryland travels to Piscataway, New Jersey for a three-game series against the Scarlet Knights of Rutgers. This Rutgers team will pose the most difficult challenge yet in conference play for the Terps, both teams entering action with 36 wins on the season. If Maryland can pick up a sweep this weekend, they’ll find themselves leaders of the Big 10 with six games to go.

It was another successful week for the Terps, winning a weekend series over Northwestern that saw three fantastic starting pitching performances including Ryan Ramsey’s perfect game on Friday night. Tuesday’s showdown with Georgetown saw another dominating performance by this Maryland lineup, lighting up the Hoyas pitching staff for 19 runs.

Chris Alleyne and Maxwell Costes continue to provide the power to this lineup, each hitting a home run over the weekend against Northwestern. The pair of sluggers currently sit at one and two in the Big 10 for homers, Alleyne on top with fourteen and Costes right behind him with thirteen.

Kevin Keister had a huge game on Tuesday, going four of five and driving in three runs against Georgetown. After a really difficult start to the season that saw him platooning with Drew Grace and Jacob Orr, Keister is now batting .328 and has firmly secured his spot as the starting second baseman.

Freshman pitcher Matt Cunningham made a great first impression on Tuesday, striking out the side in order in his first outing as a Terp.

Rutgers Scarlet Knights (36-10, 15-3 Big Ten)

Last Season

2021 saw a middle-of-the-road year for Rutgers in a season of conference-only games, going 21-23 and finishing eighth in the Big 10. Hitting was a struggle for this team a year ago, having a conference third worst .257 batting average. Pitching was a bit better but still toward the middle of the league, finishing seventh in the Big 10 with a 5.00 ERA. By the end of the season, 21 wins were not enough to earn the Scarlet Knights a bid to the NCAA Tournament.

This Season

There were not too many people outside the Rutgers dugout who would have told you back in February that this team would be in first place in the Big 10 with three weeks to go in the regular season, not even projected to finish in the top six based on the preseason coaches poll. Yet after the first week of May, that’s exactly where they find themselves. At 15-3, the Scarlet Knights enter the weekend two and a half games ahead of second place Maryland, meaning only a Terps sweep will be able to dethrone them. Timely hitting and dominance on the mound have been key for Steve Owens’ team. At the plate, the Scarlet Knights lead the Big 10 in batting average, hits and runs scored. At 3.52, Rutgers also boasts the second-best team ERA in the conference.

Hitters to Watch

You would be hard-pressed to find a hitter in this Rutgers lineup who is not having a fantastic year. Currently, there are seven players, all consistent starters, who are batting over .300 on the season.

The best among them has without a doubt been redshirt junior Nick Cimillo. His name appears all over the Big 10 leaderboards, sitting in the top five for batting average, slugging percentage, OBP, OPS and runs scored.

Sophomore Ryan Lasko was awarded national player of the week by D1 Baseball for his performance last week where he went a combined 14 of 21 against Hofstra and Ohio State, hitting five home runs and driving in fourteen. He has also won Big 10 Player of the Week twice this year, consistently providing a spark for this Rutgers lineup no matter who the opposing pitcher may be.

Pitchers to Watch

Redshirt junior Dale Stanavich has been almost unhittable out of the bullpen this year for Rutgers. In 18 appearances, the Scarlet Knights closer has allowed just three earned runs across 23 1/3 innings. He will be a lethal weapon against the Maryland lineup late in games this weekend.

Redshirt sophomore Sam Bello has been a great bullpen piece this year for Rutgers as well. Aside from one tough four-run outing against Coastal Carolina, the reliever has not allowed more than two runs in any appearances and enters the weekend with 2.10 ERA. His best outing of the season came back in February where he provided 4 1/3 shutout innings out of the bullpen in a win over Houston Baptist.

Probable Starting Pitcher Matchups

Saturday, 1:00 p.m. ET

Jr. LHP Ryan Ramsey (8-0, 2.42 ERA) vs. 5th Year Sr. RHP Jared Kollar (7-1, 2.76 ERA)

There really isn’t much more to say about Ryan Ramsey’s performance last Friday night that hasn’t already been said. He completely outmatched Northwestern’s lineup on the way to throwing just the 34th perfect game in the history of college baseball. It was an utter display of dominance that truly encapsulated how good he has been this season. Entering the weekend, the Maryland lefty finds himself fourth in the conference in ERA, second in opposing batting average, first in wins and seventh in strikeouts.

Jared Kollar will get the start opposite Ramsey on Saturday. A graduate transfer from Seton Hill University, he has provided a great lift to this pitching staff, posting a 2.73 ERA and 1.02 WHIP to this point. His best start of the season came back in March against Omaha where he went 7 1/3 shutout innings, only allowing two total hits.

Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET

So. RHP Jason Savacool (7-2, 2.39 ERA) vs. 5th Year Sr. Nathan Florence (5-2, 2.94 ERA)

Jason Savacool will get the ball in game two of the series, coming off yet another fantastic performance. With so much to live up to following Ramsey’s perfect game, the sophomore went seven shutout innings, only allowing three hits and lowering his season ERA to 2.39, good for second best in the Big 10. With nine punchouts in the performance as well, he continued on his path to striking out the most batters in the conference, now 15 K’s ahead of second place in that category. A late-inning comeback by Northwestern prevented Savacool from getting the win, but he’ll enter the weekend with lots of momentum on his side.

Another graduate transfer for Rutgers, Nathan Florence has been a welcome addition to this pitching staff alongside Kollar. He hasn’t necessarily been an innings eater for the Scarlet Knights, only pitching up to six innings in one start, but he has very effective nonetheless. His best outing by far came against Nebraska on April 9, where he went five innings, only allowing two total baserunners and striking out seven.

Monday, 1:00 p.m. ET

Jr. RHP Nick Dean (3-2, 4.12 ERA) vs. So. LHP Justin Sinibaldi (2-0, 5.81 ERA)

Moving to the Sunday spot seemed to have worked for Nick Dean as we saw a version of him closer to what he looked like back in February and early March. Over five innings he did not allow a run to Northwestern and only gave up one hit. There still seemed to be some issues with his command though as he allowed four walks, but the outing as a whole was still very encouraging as the end of the regular season draws closer.

It’s been tough going for Sinibaldi since he assumed the Sunday starter role at the beginning of April, only going more than three innings once in his past four starts. In his last start against Ohio State he only lasted 2/3 of an inning, allowing four runs, three hits and three walks to the Buckeyes lineup. He was also brought out of the bullpen on Tuesday to face two batters in a loss to Seton Hall, so it will be interesting to see how long he is allowed to go on Monday given the abnormal week he has had.

Maryland Sweeps a Wild Double Header Over Illinois, Improving its Big 10 Positioning

With the Sunday forecast in Champaign Illinois looking bleak, Maryland was suddenly in a position to play in a double header on Saturday against an Illinois team that had just beaten them 19-1 the night before.

That did not seem to phase this Terps squad, taking both games and winning the overall weekend series against the Illini.

Game one was a nail-biter that went back and forth the whole way, Maryland coming out on top by a score of 13-9 in ten innings.

The matinee featured late-game heroics from Luke Shliger. Having already hit a home run in the first inning, the Terps catcher came through again, blasting a go-ahead two-run double that gave Maryland the lead in the extra frame.

Home runs were the main source of offense for the Terps, starting with Shliger’s shot in the first at-bat of the game. Troy Schreffler, Bobby Zmarzlak, Kevin Keister and Chris Alleyne each had home runs as well, giving Maryland five total in.

This was a game of comebacks, the biggest one coming in the bottom of the ninth. Down three runs and only one out to work with, the Illini scored three runs off of David Falco, sending the game into extra innings. Even in the bottom of the tenth, Illinois loaded the bases before a double play finally closed the book on an extremely hot Illini lineup.

Ian Petrutz was very impressive in the designated hitter role in game one, reaching base in all five plate appearances and delivering an RBI base hit in the fourth inning. He tallied two RBIs across the double header today.

Justin Janas continued to tear apart Maryland pitching, hitting a three-run game-tying home run in the seventh inning off of Sean Heine. He finished the game with four runs batted in.

Ryan Ramsey was touched up a few times early on by the Illini lineup, allowing three runs in the first three innings. For the rest of his outing though, the lefty was almost untouchable, only allowing two Illinois hitters to reach base over the next three frames.

The final line for Ramsey today: three earned runs and seven hits in six innings of work. He finishes the day with a no-decision, remaining 7-0 on the season.

Game two picked up right where game one left off, both teams exchanging blows early. Maryland eventually took control, winning 7-4 and sweeping the doubleheader.

Illinois got off to a hot start, scoring three quick runs off of starter Jason Savacool in the first inning.

Maryland quickly responded with a Maxwell Costes home run, his twelfth of the season. After three more runs in the third, the Terps had their first lead of the game.

As was routine today, Illinois immediately retaliated, tying the game on a solo home run from Jacob Campbell… which was responded to in kind by a Matt Shaw RBI that put Maryland back on top.

Savacool has his share of troubles early on, getting into dicey situations and allowing four runs in the first three innings.

The sophomore looked much more settled in as the game went on though. Even after loading the bases with no outs in the fifth, he immediately got a strikeout and induced a double play to prevent any damage. He was visibly fired up walking off the mound after getting a strikeout in his final inning of work.

Savacool’s final line on the night: four earned runs, ten hits and nine strikeouts across eight innings. He earns the win tonight, improving his record to 7-2 on the season and tying him with Ryan Ramsey for the Big 10 lead in wins.

After a few more insurance runs of the bats of Petrutz and Schreffler, Nigel Belgrave picked up the save after throwing a perfect ninth inning and secured the series win for the Terps.

With the double header sweep today Maryland improves to 32-8 and 9-3 in the Big 10. Meanwhile Illinois falls to 20-17 and 11-4 in conference play. The Terps now sit just half a game back of the Illini in the conference standings as the postseason picture starts to clear up.

Maryland will head back to College Park for a five-game homestand starting on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. against Navy. Pitchers for the game are still to be determined.