No. 24 Maryland had zero answers on the mound or at the plate for the Illinois Fighting Illini on Friday night, losing 19-1 in the first game of this weekend series.
It was a dominant outing for Illinois starter Cole Kirschieper, only allowing one run on two hits and striking out eight Maryland hitters in six quality innings of work.
Illinois started the scoring in the third off an RBI single from Janas and a three-run home run from Kellen Sarver. After a fielder’s choice and throwing error plated two more in the fifth, the Terps found themselves down five runs early.
The middle of the Illini lineup blew the game wide open with a five-run sixth and four late-inning home runs.
It was a tough outing for Nick Dean tonight, allowing six earned runs to cross the plate in four innings of work. The Terps starter was able to get out of a few jams, stranding the bases loaded in the first, but a four-run third and two more in the fifth were enough to tab him with the loss.
The Maryland bullpen did not fare much better tonight, allowing thirteen more runs over the final five innings of the game.
Troy Schreffler Jr. was the only Terp able to produce a run tonight, picking up a sacrifice fly in the fourth inning.
A three up, three down ninth inning closed the book for Maryland on a night that Coach Rob Vaughn and his team will want to forget sooner rather than later.
With the loss, Maryland falls to 30-8 overall and 7-3 in the Big 10. Illinois improves to 11-2 in conference play and jumps to two and a half games ahead of the Terps in the Big 10 standings.
Maryland and Illinois will be back in action tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. ET and 8:00 p.m. ET for a day-night doubleheader. Ryan Ramsey will take the mound for Maryland in game one and Jason Savacool will get the nod for game two.
No. 24 Maryland will take on the Fighting Illini in Champaign, Illinois this week, looking to further improve its conference record with about a month left to go in the regular season.
With a 7-2 record in the Big 10, the Terps are currently in third place, only trailing Rutgers and Illinois, meaning the outcome of this series could go a long way toward final seeding in the conference tournament.
Last time out on Tuesday, Maryland went the distance with Towson, defeating the Tigers, 4-3, in 10 innings. Bobby Zmarzlak continued to play the hero for the Terps, hitting a go-ahead solo home run in the extra frame. David Falco Jr. shut the door in the bottom of the inning, securing Maryland’s 30th victory of the season.
To say Zmarzlak is entering this weekend on a hot streak would be an understatement. In his last five games, the junior is batting .474 with four home runs and nine RBI. His efforts were rewarded on Tuesday when he was named Big 10 Player of the Week.
Kevin Keister has also continued to produce at the plate, driving in three runs on Sunday against Ohio State and another versus Towson on Tuesday. After a slow start to the season, Keister has upped his batting average to .316, good for fourth best on the team.
On the mound this past weekend, Jason Savacool had another solid outing, striking out seven Buckeyes and only allowing five total baserunners in seven innings. To this point, Savacool ranks first in the Big 10 in ERA (2.39), innings pitched (64) and strikeouts (76).
Illinois’ 2021 season was the definition of “middle of the pack,” finishing their conference-only schedule with a 22-22 record and in seventh place in the Big 10. It was night and day when looking at batting versus pitching with this team. The Illini offense hit .278 last season, good for second best in the conference. On the mound however, the Illinois pitching staff posted a 6.44 ERA, second worst in the conference. With no Big 10 Ten tournament last year, Illinois was left without a bid for the 2021 NCAA Tournament.
The number 15 in the loss column for this team is a bit deceiving, with thirteen of Illinois’ losses coming in non-conference games. At 10-2, Illinois is currently positioned in second place in the Big 10 standings, just one and a half games ahead of the third place Terps. Despite a loss to Indiana State on Tuesday, the Illini will enter this series with just as much momentum as Maryland, winning six of their last seven games, including a sweep of Northwestern last weekend.
Hitters to Watch
Cam McDonald has undoubtedly been the leader of this Illinois lineup. His .361 batting average ranks eighth-best in the Big 10. He also leads the team in hits, home runs and RBI. McDonald by himself will make this Illinois lineup a formidable challenge for the Maryland pitching staff.
Branden Comia has also been excellent for this Illinois offense. His .328 batting average, five home runs and 32 runs driven in are all second on the team only to McDonald. Danny Doligale rounds out Illinois’ trio of hitters batting over .300 that Maryland will have to contend with this weekend.
Pitchers to Watch
Cole Kirschsieper has been fantastic as a starter for the Illini this season, posting a 2.75 ERA and getting 57 strikeouts, eighth best in the Big 10, in 52 1/3 innings. In his last start versus Northwestern, the sophomore struck out seven Wildcats in five innings and gave up only one run, leading Illinois to a win.
After a tough start to the season, Riley Gowens has shown that he deserves to be in this Illinois weekend rotation. Over his past two starts, Gowens has allowed just two runs and struck out twelve over thirteen innings in wins over Iowa and Northwestern.
Probable Starting Pitcher Matchups
Friday, 9:00 p.m. ET
Jr. RHP Nick Dean (3-1, 3.94 ERA) vs. So. LHP Cole Kirschsieper (4-2, 2.75 ERA)
Nick Dean will take the mound for Maryland on Friday night coming off a start against Ohio State with some mixed results. Last time out he gave the Terps six innings of work, allowing four runs in the process. With an ERA currently sitting at 3.94, he will look to bounce back and prove why he is Rob Vaughn’s Friday starter.
It will be Cole Kirschsieper on the mound for Illinois opposite Dean. His 2.75 ERA ranks fourth best in the conference. He also leads this Illini pitching staff in innings as well as strikeouts. Last time out, Kirschsieper put together a solid outing in a win versus Northwestern, giving up just one run and striking out seven in five innings pitched.
Saturday, 8:00 p.m. ET
Jr. LHP Ryan Ramsey (7-0, 2.59 ERA) vs. So. RHP Jack Crowder (2-1, 6.59 ERA)
Ryan Ramsey will pitch Saturday for the Terps, coming off an uncharacteristic outing last weekend. In 4 1/3 innings against Ohio State, the Maryland southpaw gave up three runs, only striking out two Buckeyes and allowing six hits. That start still does not take away from the incredible season Ramsey is having. His seven wins are best in the Big 10. His 2.59 ERA, .186 opposing batting average and 55 2/3 innings pitched are all good for top five in the conference as well.
Jack Crowder will get the nod for Illinois on Saturday. It was a rough beginning to the season for the sophomore. After a solid first start of the season, he was only able to make it through five innings once and allowed 17 runs in his next four starts. He will have some momentum going into this weekend though as in his last outing against Northwestern he gave Illinois five quality innings, only allowing two runs and striking out eight.
Sunday, 2:00 p.m. ET
So. RHP Jason Savacool (6-2, 2.39 ERA) vs. So. RHP Riley Gowens (4-1, 3.97 ERA)
Jason Savacool will get the ball in the series finale on Sunday, and there just isn’t much left to say with regards to how fantastic his pitching has been this season. He currently leads the Big 10 in ERA, innings pitched and strikeouts. His six wins and .190 opposing batting average are also ranked top-five in the conference. His dominance over opposing lineups has solidified a Maryland weekend rotation that stacks up with the best in the country.
On the other side, Riley Gowens will get the start for the Illini. It has been an up and down season for Gowens, going back and forth between fantastic outings and starts where he can’t seem to find a rhythm. He has put together two solid starts in his past two outings, going thirteen combined innings and only allowing two runs, bringing his season ERA back down to 3.97.
It was another fantastic day in all facets for Maryland on Sunday, beating Siena, 19-2, and sweeping the Saints in this weekend series.
Maryland’s first run of the game came in the third inning off Chris Alleyne’s bat, legging out an infield single and allowing a run to cross the plate. That single extended Alleyne’s hitting streak to an impressive twelve games.
The Terps offense broke the game open in the fourth when Maxwell Costes launched his eighth home run of the season over the center field wall, quickly followed by a two-run shot just three batters later from Troy Schreffler. After a stand up triple from Luke Shliger and a sacrifice fly from Alleyne, it was 7-0 Maryland in the blink of an eye.
Two Terps picked up the first home runs of their college careers with Kevin Keister sending one out in the fifth inning and Sean Lane hitting a grand slam in the seventh.
“The wind was blowing in all day, so I kind of figured it wouldn’t happen today,” said Keister. “It was a good feeling and all my teammates were happy for me.”
Prior to this series, Keister had been platooning at second base with Drew Grace and Jacob Orr, something that he had taken well, per Head Coach Rob Vaughn.
“He’s been really mature and he’s worked his tail off,” said Vaughn. “I thought Kev was outstanding this weekend.”
After a series of Maryland rallies in the seventh and eighth innings, it was clear the game was out of hand with the Terps holding a 19-run lead.
The 19 runs scored by Maryland today marks the team’s largest run total this season.
Much like Ryan Ramsey yesterday, Savacool looked locked in early, striking out six Siena batters in his first three innings of work. After five innings he had already tied his career-high with ten punchouts.
The Terps starter explained that building off of the early innings was key to a solid outing.
“It gets me into a rhythm and allows me to settle into the middle innings,” said Savacool. ”I’m usually pretty good for the first two, but last year I kind of struggled in those three four innings and that’s where I added something to my outings.”
Savacool had everything working today, getting swings and misses up and down the entire Siena lineup. He finished the day with 14 strikeouts, only giving up one hit in seven stellar innings of work.
“[Jason] was about as dominant as I’ve ever seen him,” said Vaughn. “It makes it a heck of a lot easier [to win] when you run back out there and get three quick outs and then go back and do it again.”
After a small rally by the Saints in the ninth, Gavin Stellpflug closed the door as Maryland clinched the series sweep over Siena, scoring an incredible 40 runs over three games this weekend.
With the win today, Maryland improves to 16-3 on the season. After a tough loss to Delaware on Tuesday, the Terps have started a new winning streak that they’ll hope to take into this upcoming week. Siena falls to 2-14, continuing their tough stretch. The saints will have two more road games this week before coming home for the first time this season on Friday.
Maryland’s next game will come on Tuesday against UMBC. Originally scheduled to be played in Catonsville, Maryland, it will now be played in College Park — though Maryland will still be treated as the road team. Starting pitchers are still to be determined.
On a beautiful Saturday afternoon in College Park, the Terps swept the Siena Saints in both games of a double header, getting great showings both at the plate and on the mound.
Game one was an absolute offensive clinic for the Maryland lineup, beating the Saints, 14-9.
Maryland got out to an early 2-0 lead in second off RBI doubles from Kevin Keister and Luke Shliger, but the Saints would respond almost immediately with four runs of their own in the top of third.
After Devan Kruzinski brought home two more runs for Siena in the fourth, the Terps found themselves with a four run deficit heading into the middle innings.
Maryland responded with a complete offensive barrage in the fifth inning that saw 10 Terps come to bat and seven runs cross the plate coming off RBI from six different players. The inning was capped off by a Chris Alleyne home run, his fifth of the season.
On the comback, Alleyne emphasized that staying calm and doing the little things had a big impact the team’s fifth inning success.
“We always know what our offense is capable of,” said Alleyne. “The mindset was ‘don’t panic and keep swinging the bats’ so it worked out for us.”
The Terps lineup continued to produce in the sixth with a three-run home run off the bat of Troy Schreffler Jr., his third of the season. A solo shot from Lorusso in the seventh brought Maryland’s run total for the game to 13, the most this team has scored all season.
For the first time this season Nick Dean turned in a rough outing for the Terps, only lasting four innings and giving up six runs on nine hits. Thanks to the production of the Maryland offense though, he avoids taking his first loss of the season.
Despite Dean’s struggles today, Head Coach Rob Vaughn was not too concerned.
“Nick Dean is the reason we’ve won a lot of games in the last two years,” said Vaughn. “It felt good for us offensively because [that outing] is just a blip in the radar. I expect him to have a really good bounce back start next week.”
After a small rally from Siena was thwarted in the ninth, Maryland left game one with a 14-9 win over the Saints.
Game two took a much different tone than its predecessor, showcasing the utter dominance of Ryan Ramsey on the mound as Maryland cruised to a 7-0 victory, sweeping the double header.
Picking up right where he left off on Sunday, it was apparent early on that Ramsey had brought his best stuff to Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium, striking four of his first seven batters faced. Routinely getting ahead of batters and staying aggressive, the Siena lineup looked like they had no clue what pitch was coming every time up.
Ramsey did not show any signs of tiring as the game went on. At the end of the sixth inning he was up to eleven strikeouts.
The Terps starter explained that success in the early innings helped feed into a better back half of his outing.
“Feeding off of the last at bats, and then just getting into a groove and getting stronger as I go definitely is a big factor towards [success],” said Ramsey.
Ramsey’s day was done after six innings, striking out eleven Saints batters and only allowing on hit. He improves to 5-0 on the year, Maryland winning every time he has taken the mound.
Vaughn attributed Ramsey’s recent success being more in season shape over the past few weeks.
“Every outing he’s just gotten better and better, and I think that’s a sign,” said Vaughn. “When Ryan’s good he’s getting a lot of swings a misses on his fastball and you’re starting to see more of that these last two weeks.”
The Maryland lineup was not as potent in game two as it was earlier in the day, but the three runs Maryland produced were more than enough to complement Ramsey’s stellar outing.
Once again the Terps got off to an early start, Alleyne scoring on a ground out from Costes in the first inning. After more runs scored off a Siena throwing error and a wild pitch, it was quickly 3-0 Maryland.
Two more runs for Maryland in the sixth inning, Alleyne’s second home run of the day in the seventh and a Bobby Zmarzlak RBI provided the rest of the Terps scoring in game two, giving them a 7-0 lead.
With two wins today the Terps move to 15-3, improving upon one of the team’s best starts in school history. Siena falls to 2-13 on the year, continuing what has been a really tough stretch to start the season for this Saints squad.
Maryland will go for the three game series sweep over Siena tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. Jason Savacool will get the start for the Terps, looking to build off his eight inning, one run performance on Monday.
After a tough 6-3 loss to Delaware on Tuesday, No. 24 Maryland heads back home this weekend for a three game series against the Siena Saints. At 13-3, the Terps will look to continue one the best starts in school history and pick up some momentum as conference play inches closer. This series will unfold across two days with a double-header being played on Saturday and the finale taking place on Sunday.
Despite the loss its last time out, Maryland still comes into this weekend on a hot streak, winning five of its last seven over the past two weeks. Maxwell Costes continues to tear the cover off the ball with five home runs and eleven RBI since the start of March. His seven home runs this season are tied for 20th in the country.
Chris Alleyne has also gotten himself into mid-season form over the past two weeks, picking up 15 hits and knocking in 11 runs since March 1. He enters this weekend looking to extend a nine game hitting streak.
The Terps’ weekend rotation has continued to blank the competition. Logan Ott provided three shutout innings on Friday versus Georgetown in a spot-start, replacing Nick Dean who was out with forearm tightness.
On Sunday, Ryan Ramsey had his best start as a Terp, striking out 13 Cornell batters and only allowing one hit in six innings pitched. His efforts resulted in Big Ten Co-Pitcher of the Week honors.
Jason Savacool closed out the home stand on Monday night against Georgetown with yet another impressive outing. In eight innings of work he allowed only one run on three hits, striking out nine Hoyas.
With Nick Dean back in the rotation vs Siena, Maryland’s three weekend starters will look to continue their dominance against a struggling Siena lineup.
Similar to Maryland’s 2021 season, Siena played a conference-only schedule, facing off against other Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference teams the entire regular season. In those conference games, the Saints finished with a 14-22 record, good for seventh place in the MAAC. Pitching was the biggest sore spot for Siena, posting a 7.04 team ERA, the third highest in the conference. The Saints fared a bit better at the plate, but not by much, batting .269 as a team, putting them in the bottom half of the MAAC. Siena’s season ended in the first round of the MAAC championship, losing a best of three series to Monmouth.
It’s been a tough start for Siena in a rather unusual first thirteen games with every contest being played on the road so far. The Saints have taken a step back from their 2021 numbers both on the mound and at the plate, posting a 9.34 team ERA and a .220 team batting average. Containing opposing lineups has been a major issue for this pitching staff, allowing ten or more runs eight times already this season. If Siena can take any momentum into this series, it will be from a 9-5 win over Fairleigh Dickinson on Wednesday where the Saints lineup exploded for a seven-run sixth inning.
Hitters to Watch
While the Siena offense as a whole has struggled this year, there have been some bright spots within this Saints lineup. Sophomore infielder Kobe Stenson has started all thirteen games for Siena and leads the team with a .326 batting average, 15 hits and eight runs. Redshirt junior infielder Brett Young is slashing .311/.415/.578, with his OBP and slugging numbers leading the Saints offense. His two home runs on the season are also tied for most on the team.
Pitchers to Watch
Senior RHP Arlo Marynczak has been the go-to arm out of the bullpen for Head Coach Tony Rossi. In a team-high five relief appearances this season he has provided 14 innings for this Saints team, posting a 2.57 ERA, also best on the team. His most dominant outing this season was a save picked up in a win against the Citadel where he pitched three perfect innings and struck out six batters.
Probable Starting Pitcher Matchups
Saturday, 12:00 p.m. ET
Jr. RHP Nick Dean (2-0, 0.93 ERA) vs. Sr. RHP Mike McCully (0-3, 11.37 ERA)
It’s been almost two weeks since Maryland’s number one starter last took the mound after he missed a start last Friday due to forearm tightness. Aside from this one minor setback, Dean has been nothing short of incredible this season. His 0.93 ERA is ranked 30th best in the country among all qualified pitchers. In his last start versus Michigan on March 4, he went 5 1/3 innings for the Terps, giving up two runs on four hits while issuing three walks.
It’s been a tough going in three starts for Mike McCully. He went a solid five innings in his first start for the season against Central Florida, only allowing two earned runs on five hits. Since then though, McCully has allowed seven earned runs in both of his past two starts only pitching a combined 7 2/3 innings in those outings.
Saturday, Approx. 3:30 p.m. ET
Jr. LHP Ryan Ramsey (4-0, 2.84 ERA) vs. Sr. LHP Ben Seiler (1-2, 4.22 ERA)
Ryan Ramsey will take the mound in game two of Saturday’s double-header for Maryland, and to say he will have momentum going into it would be an understatement. Ramsey is coming off arguably his best start of the season where he struck out a career-high 13 batters, only allowing one hit in six innings of work against Cornell this past Sunday. Ramsey has pitched at least six innings in all four of his starts this season and will look to continue this trend on Saturday.
On the other side it will be Ben Seiler starting for Siena. His 4.22 season ERA is the best among Saints starters, but it can be a bit deceiving as it truly is a tossup of what type of pitcher he will be every time he takes the field. In his first and third starts of the season against Central Florida and Jacksonville State, he gave up eight and six runs respectively. In his second and fourth starts against Charleston and The Citadel however, he gave up just one run over twelve innings of work. Which version of Seiler that shows up to Bob “Turtle” Smith stadium on Saturday could have a big impact on the outcome of game two.
Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET
So. RHP Jason Savacool (3-1, 2.70 ERA) vs. Sr. RHP Noah Rubino (0-2, 10.80 ERA)
Jason Savacool will get the nod for the series finale on Sunday. After a rough outing against East Carolina two weeks ago, Savacool took the mound on Monday night against Georgetown and gave a great bounce back performance. In eight innings pitched he fanned nine Hoyas, only allowing one run and five total base runners in the game.
Noah Rubino is Siena’s probable starter for Sunday. In three starts so far this season, he has failed to make it into the fourth inning, posting a 10.80 ERA ad allowing 19 hits in just 11 2/3 innings pitched. Rubino’s last appearance game on March 6 against The Citadel where he gave up five earned runs off five hits and four walks.
Looking to secure a series sweep to open the 2022 season, Maryland played with purpose at the plate and on the mound, defeating Baylor, 8-3, on Sunday.
Home runs were the weapon of choice for the Terps today, getting two moonshots each from Maxwell Costes and Matt Shaw that accounted for five of Maryland’s runs.
After the game, Head Coach Rob Vaughn had nothing but praise for Shaw.
“He’s the most relentless worker and the most disciplined young player I’ve probably ever had,” said Vaughn. “He was phenomenal today, was phenomenal all weekend, and that’s going to be big for us.”
A Baylor error, Luke Shliger sacrifice-fly and Troy Schreffler RBI base hit accounted for the rest of Maryland’s scoring in the team’s second straight day with an explosion on offense.
“It’s very easy to hit when you have guys ahead of you and guys behind you like we do,” said Costes. “We have an incredibly complete lineup. I don’t there are any holes in our lineup anywhere.”
On the mound, it was Jason Savacool tabbed to contain the Baylor lineup on Sunday, and he did not disappoint. After giving up three runs in the first five innings, he dominated the Bears, facing the minimum in the sixth, seventh and eighth.
“I’ve got a couple things I definitely got to clean up before my next start,” said Savacool. “But to be able to go out there and give ourselves some length out of the start was huge.”
Savacool finished the day with six strikeouts, giving up three runs on seven hits in eight innings pitched — Maryland’s third fantastic starter performance in as many games this season.
“I think that’s kind of the story [for this weekend],” said Vaughn. “Three great starts give your offense a chance to work.”
After a one-run inning from Nick Lorusso, the Terps were on the field celebrating a season opening series sweep over Baylor.
This is Maryland’s first series sweep since May 2021 versus Purdue, and the Terps will start this new year with a 3-0 record and lots of momentum heading into the rest of the season.
Maryland’s next game will the first chance to the see the team at home as they will take UMBC at 4 P.M. on Tuesday.
If game one of this Baylor series showcased Maryland’s prowess on the mound, today showcased the Terps’ ability to produce on offense as they defeated the Bears, 9-5.
Just like Friday night, the Maryland bats got things going early. After a leadoff walk by Luke Shliger and a base hit from Chris Alleyne, Matt Shaw got the Terps on the board with an RBI double.
The Terps then got some help from the Baylor defense, scoring two runs on third baseman Esteban Cardoza-Oquendo’s throwing error. A Troy Schreffler base hit gave Maryland a four-run lead before starter Ryan Ramsey had thrown a single pitch.
The offensive barrage continued in the third when Bobby Zmarzlak led off launching a home run over the center field wall, extending the Maryland lead to five.
Three more runs off a second RBI hit from Shaw and a two-run double from Maxwell Costes made it an 8-2 game in the sixth. Shaw looks to already be in mid-season form, going four-for-five with a double and two RBI.
One more insurance run in the ninth gave Maryland a comfortable lead with three outs to go.
This offensive performance was more than enough for the second game in a row, the Terps got a solid performance out its starter.
While Ramsey’s start today was certainly a bit more shaky than Nick Dean’s opening day gem, he proved why Head Coach Rob Vaughn inserted him as the Saturday starter for this team.
Baylor threatened on multiple occasions early on, putting runners in scoring position three times in the first four innings. Though he did give up two runs off a Cortlan Castle double in the fourth, he was still able to strand at least one runner on second or third in each of those innings. From there it was smooth sailing as he set the Bears down in order in the fifth and sixth innings.
Ramsey finished the afternoon with three strikeouts, giving up two runs on five hits in six innings of work.
After picking up one more run off Sean Heine in eighth, Baylor put together one last desperation rally in the ninth against Nigel Belgrave. The Bears put up two more runs, but could not complete the comeback, and the Terps will start this new season 2-0.
These two teams will meet one more time tomorrow at 2 P.M. for the Sunday series finale. Sophomore Jason Savacool (0-0, 0.00 ERA) will get his first chance to take the mound after an up-and-down 2021 season. His counterpart for Baylor will be Nevada-transfer Jake Jackson (0-0, 0.00 ERA).
The stage was set. Maryland took the field tonight for the first time since a heartbreaking loss to East Carolina in the 2021 NCAA regional round. The Terps did not disappoint, defeating Baylor, 4-0, in game one of the 2022 season.
The star of tonight’s game was undoubtedly Maryland starter Nick Dean as he proved why Head Coach Rob Vaughn tapped him to be the Friday night starting pitcher this year, finishing the night after seven stellar innings where he struck out eight Baylor hitters.
It was apparent early on that Dean had his best stuff going, setting Baylor down in order in the third and not allowing the Bears to get into scoring position until the fourth.
The only real trouble spot Dean faced was in the fifth inning when Golden Spikes Award watch list player Jared McKenzie led off with a double, putting a runner in scoring position with no outs. Almost effortlessly though, the Maryland ace retired the next three batters, immediately putting the threat to rest.
On the other side, Baylor starter Tyler Thomas was almost equally as impressive, striking out nine over six innings pitched, but those two early Maryland runs turned out to be the dagger as he will take the loss in his first start of the season.
Fifth-year Senior Chris Alleyne got the scoring started right away for Maryland, launching a triple that scored Luke Schliger who had led off the game with a double. Two batters later, Villanova transfer Nick Lorusso picked up his first RBI as a Terp, pushing the lead to two runs.
After six innings of scoreless ball, Maryland picked up two insurance runs in the eighth off of relievers Grant Golcumb and Hambleton Oliver from a wild pitch and an RBI single from Bobby Zmarzlak.
Freshman Noah Mrotek came on in relief of Dean in the eighth, making his first career college appearance. He struck out two in the eighth, only allowing one hit.
Coach Vaughn then showed the trust he has in his young arm, sending Mrotek back out to pitch in the ninth inning. The Freshman responded by retiring the Bears in order, sealing a victory for the Terps.
Maryland starts this season with a win and gets itself some momentum as this team starts to navigate the 2022 baseball season.
Maryland and Baylor will take the field again tomorrow at 4 P.M. for game two of this season-opening three game series. Junior Ryan Ramsey (0-0, 0.00 ERA) will take the mound for the Terps in his first career regular season start. His opponent will be Junior Blake Helton (0-0, 0.00 ERA).
The wait is finally over. Tomorrow night, Maryland Baseball will take the field in Waco, Texas, to open up the 2022 season against Baylor. Maryland ended last season with a 30-18 record, losing in the NCAA regional round to East Carolina. While the season ended in heartbreak for the Terps, it brought a lot of hope and optimism that this program is about to take the next step in becoming a major threat in the Big Ten and all of college baseball.
In Head Coach Rob Vaughn’s fifth year at the helm of this Terps squad, he brings in a dangerous weekend rotation consisting of Nick Dean, Ryan Ramsey and Jason Savacool. D1baseball.com named Nick Dean preseason Big Ten pitcher of the year and he will be the Friday night starter for Maryland. Ramsey led the team with a 1.67 ERA out of the bullpen in 16 appearances last season. He will slot in as Maryland’s Saturday starter. Savacool had a bumpy end to his freshman season, but he still led the team with seven wins in 14 starts and will look to build upon this as Maryland’s Sunday starter.
Maryland’s lineup features a plethora of returning stars for Maryland in senior Maxwell Costes, sophomore Matt Shaw and fifth year senior Chris Alleyne. Costes was an all around threat at the plate for the Terps, slashing .310/.512/.483 in 2021. Shaw is coming off a fantastic freshman season in which he led the team with a .332 batting average and 61 hits in a year that earned Freshman All-American honors. Alleyne was awarded second team All-Big Ten honors last year for a season that saw him bat .306, pick up 55 hits and lead the conference with 22 stolen bases.
Baylor Bears (0-0)
Baylor finished the 2021 campaign with a 31-20 record, going 11-13 in Big 12 conference games. A loss in the second round of the Big 12 tournament to Kansas Sate ended the Bears season as they did not receive a bid to play in the NCAA tournament. The biggest strength for this team year was its pitching staff, finishing with a 3.96 team ERA, good for 36th in the country. Many difference makers from last season will be returning this year for Baylor, giving an exciting challenge right off the bat for this Maryland lineup. At the plate, this team was led by four starters (Jered McKenzie, Andy Thomas, Jack Pineda, Tre Richardson) who played in all 51 games and hit over .300. All four except for Thomas will return to the Baylor lineup, producing a dangerous lineup for Maryland’s pitchers to deal with.
Baylor is projected to finish the 2021 season at fifth in the Big 12 according to big12sports.com. This would put them in the middle of the pack but just behind some very solid tournament teams from year ago like Texas, Oklahoma State and TCU. With a formidable pitching staff and three of their top four bats returning to the lineup, this Baylor team certainly has the ability to play above its current projection. In terms of recruiting, Baylor has the 51st-ranked recruiting class in the country this season, just ahead of Maryland and good for seventh in the Big 12.
Hitters to Watch
As mentioned before, Baylor returns three elite bats to its lineup this season, sophomore Jered McKenzie looking to be the most dangerous of them. In his freshman season he led the Bears in batting average (.383), OPS (1.079), runs (62) and hits (82). He received countless award and recognition for his performance last season and he enters this year on the Golden Spikes Award watch list. The middle infield duo of Jack Pineda and Tre Richardson also present sizable threats to this Maryland pitching staff. Both hit above .300 while putting up at least 60 hits and 30 RBI for the Bears last season.
Pitchers to Watch
Senior Tyler Thomas is coming off a season in which he made 11 starts posting a 2.49 ERA and held opposing hitters to a .202 batting average, both stats good for third-best in the Big 12. While junior Blake Helton didn’t have the flashy numbers Thomas did last season, he was still able to put up a solid year on the mound. In 13 starts he pitched 52 1/3 innings, striking out 40 and recording a 3.44 ERA.
Probable Starting Pitcher Matchup
Friday, 7:30 p.m. ET
Jr. RHP Nick Dean (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. Sr. Tyler Thomas (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
This will be a big start for Nick Dean as he moves up to the Friday night starter position after last year’s number one Sean Burke was drafted by the Chicago White Sox. He impressed last season when he was able to be on the mound, but a bout with mono at the start of the season and an injury at the end limited his availability. Dean will look to improve upon his 2.89 ERA and 1.09 WHIP that led all Maryland starters last season.
During a media session on Tuesday Coach Vaughn explained what it means to the team to have Dean healthy and ready to go to start this season.
“He’s been phenomenal this preseason,” said Vaughn. “Whether he goes eight scoreless or gives up six in the second he’s just going to keep doing his thing. That’s what makes him so good.”
On the other side, Baylor will be sending senior Tyler Thomas to the mound on Friday night. Thomas had a fantastic season in 2021 where he was top three in the Big 12 in both ERA (2.49) and opposing batting average (.202). He will provide an instant challenge on opening day for Maryland’s lineup.
Saturday, 4:00 p.m. ET
Jr. LHP Ryan Ramsey (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. Jr. Blake Helton (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
Ryan Ramsey will make his first regular season start as a Terp in game two of the series on Saturday. Ramsey was terrific last season coming out of the bullpen for Maryland, posting a 1.67 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, a K/BB ratio of 43/12 and an opponent batting average .176 in 37 2/3 innings pitched. He now joins this formidable Maryland weekend rotation as the middle man following Nick Dean. Ramsey will look to build upon his one start in 2021 in where he pitched eight innings in the NCAA regionals versus Charlotte, giving up just one run and three hits.
Ramsey explained that with an expectation of more innings, he has been working on implementing new pitches to his arsenal.
“[I’ve been] working with a lot of off speed stuff,” he said. “Last year in relief I just had a fastball and curve ball for most of the season. [I’ve been] working mechanically with a change up and slider.”
Baylor’s Saturday starter will be junior Blake Helton who is coming off a solid 2021 season. In 13 games started he had a 3.44 ERA, striking out 40 batters in 52 1/3 innings pitched. Blake provides a solid number 2 starter option for Baylor behind Thomas as the team opens its season.
Sunday, 2 p.m. ET
So. RHP Jason Savacool (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. Sr. Jake Jackson (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
Jason Savacool will take the mound on Sunday afternoon to begin his second season as a starter for Maryland. It was a bit of a shaky season for Savacool last year as he gave up just nine runs in his first four starts, but then skyrocketing his ERA with a few tough outings to wrap up the season. Still though, he did lead the team in wins and has an immensely large upside talentwise. He will get his first chance of the season to showcase that talent on Sunday.
For Baylor, it will be fifth year senior Jake Jackson making the start on Sunday. Jackson came to Waco prior to this season as a graduate transfer from Nevada. He had a lot of success in the 2021 season, leading the team in both wins (5) and innings pitched (74 1/3), making 13 starts for the Wolfpack. While he did have a 5.45 ERA, his 44/15 strikeout to walk is very impressive.
If there is one word to describe the Maryland bullpen heading into the 2022 season, it would be young. Of the 13 relief arms on this team, eight will be playing their first year of college baseball.
Especially early on, this will be a season of finding out where every piece fits into the puzzle that is the Terps bullpen, but it will also be a great opportunity to see some exciting young talent that will hopefully be key contributors in College Park for the next few seasons. With that said, here is a look at the 2022 Maryland bullpen.
Senior RHP Sean Heine
Heine was a stalwart of the Maryland bullpen last season, making a team 16 relief appearances in 2021. He was used primarily in a long reliever role, only going less than an inning four times. During these appearances he posted a 6.29 ERA, picking up 15 strikeouts and allowing 11 walks in 24.1 innings pitched.
As the only senior on this pitching staff, Heine aims to bring a level of senior leadership to this Terps squad that is looking to take its game to the next level. As he described at media day, Heine wants to ensure that this team does not make the same mistakes that the 2021 squad did.
Redshirt Junior RHP Will Glock
Glock enters this season possibly as the biggest question mark in the bullpen for coach Rob Vaughn. He has not pitched since his Freshman year in 2019 due to recovery from Tommy John surgery. He put up very impressive numbers in that season, posting a 2.38 ERA, striking out 18 and walking 11 in 11 1/3 innings pitched, but such a long gap in playing time leaves a lot of question marks heading into this season.
Redshirt Sophomore RHP David Falco
After redshirting the COVID-shortened 2020 season, Falco pitched in 14 games for the Terps out of the bullpen in 2021. In 18 innings of work he had 5.50 ERA, getting 20 strikeouts, allowing nine walks and picking up his first collegiate save along the way.
Despite having only played in one season of college baseball, Falco enters this season as one of the longest tenured arms on this team. With so many new faces entering the Maryland bullpen this year, it will be imperative for players like Falco to set a standard of success pitching late in games, especially at the beginning of the season.
Sophomore RHP Nigel Belgrave
Belgrave did not play his Freshman season last year due to an injury, but he has a lot of talent and can be a key contributor to this Maryland talent. In 2020 he was the 11th-ranked RHP in Maine and the 18th-ranked player in the state overall.
Sophomore RHP Gavin Stellpflug
Stellpflug was very limited out of the bullpen in his first season at College Park, not making his first appearance until March 13 of the 2021 season against Rutgers. He made four appearances where he gave up five runs off four hits and five walks in 2 2/3 innings of work.
Over the summer Stellpflug made nine appearances for the Amsterdam Mohawks of the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League. There he posted a 4.50 ERA, striking out 17 and issuing 5 free passes. Stellpflug will look to build off his improvements this summer as heads into his second season at Maryland.
Sophomore LHP Logan Ott
Ott served as a duel-threat player for Maryland last season, putting up numbers on the mound and at the plate. He made one start and two relief appearances in 2021 where he gave up eight runs, striking out six and walking three in 9 1/3 innings of work.
Maryland has a lot of talent coming from its young arms heading into this season. Here a few of them that have a chance to contribute early out of the bullpen.
Coming in as the seventh-ranked recruit in Maryland, LHP Andrew Johnson has one of the most successful high school track records of this incoming Freshman class. In his senior season at Glenelg he allowed only nine hits and tallied 67 strikeouts in just 27 1/3 innings pitched on his way to being named Howard County player of the year.
LHP Travis Garnett’s physical stature standing at 6 foot 6 already makes him one of the most intriguing new faces on this Maryland team, but his ability on the mound confirms why he is touted as the fourth best recruit in the Big Ten by Perfect Game. At the 2020 Perfect Game national showcase his fastball topped out at 93 miles per hour. Garnett will look to improve even further in his time with the Terps.
In March 2021 RHP Matt Cunningham would not have even qualified for this bullpen preview as he was a shortstop recruit committed to Mount St. Mary’s. His senior season more than proved his worth as pitcher though, tossing three complete games for Linganore High School including a perfect game where he struck out 14 on just 71 pitches.
RHP Ryan Van Buren is coming off a senior season in which he posted a 3.55 ERA with 29 strikeouts where he held opponents to a .229 batting average. The Abington native was ranked as the number 12 right-hander in Pennsylvania and the 22nd-ranked player overall in the state.
A class of 2020 graduate, RHP Ethan Ledig did not possess a state or national ranking coming out of high school and had his senior season cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He can be utilized as a two-way player, both pitching and playing shortstop at Leonardtown High School.
Another 2020 graduate, RHP Lloyd Richards III had limited work in his COVID-shortened senior season, giving up two earned runs in the five innings of his only start.
Michael Walsh was ranked as the ninth best LHP and 65th overall in Virginia after his senior season at Riverside High School. Walsh led his team to a regional finals appearance and was named first team all region in 2021.
Recipient of an all-Anne Arundel county selection by the Capital Gazzette and an all-MIAA conference nod in his 2021 senior season at Archbishop Spalding, Noah Mrotek was ranked as the fourth best RHP recruit in Maryland and 12th overall in the state.