Terps climb all the way back to stay perfect on Opening Weekend

The Terrapins won their first two games of the weekend by generous margins, outscoring opponents 19-4, but on Sunday they rallied back late in the ninth to secure a 4-2 victory over the College of Charleston in the biggest comeback of the year.

Maryland tallied just three hits through the first eight innings, all of which came from the first three frames. In the ninth alone the Terrapins matched that hit total as center fielder Chris Alleyne started it off with a single, followed by freshman Tucker Flint who shot a double down the line.

Flint, who appeared as Maryland’s designated hitter on Sunday, has started all three games to start the season and leads the team with a .667 on-base-percentage at the end of the weekend.

A sacrifice fly from right fielder Randy Bednar plated Alleyne, bringing in his team-high fifth RBI of the season.

Following Bednar was first baseman Michael Pineiro, who replaced sophomore Maxwell Costes as a pinch runner. In his first at-bat of the season, Pineiro dropped a suicide squeeze that scored Flint to tie the game in an electrifying way.

The Terrapins wasted no time in extra innings, scoring the go-ahead and insurance runs quickly in the 10th. Third baseman Tommy Gardiner, who earned two hits on the afternoon, scored from second on a wild pitch to give the Terrapins their first lead. Pinch runner Austin Chavis followed with a wild pitch run of his own to put the team up 4-2.

With the win, Maryland stayed perfect on the weekend, going 3-0 for the first time since the 2015 season. In that season, the Terrapins made a Super Regional, the last time the team appeared in the tournament.

The unsung hero of the game for the Terrapins was starting pitcher Sean Burke. After being redshirted in 2019 due to injury, the righty was dominant in his first career start.

In five innings, the righty fanned eight batters, four of which came in the first two frames. Burke was the third Maryland starting pitcher to debut in as many games. He went five scoreless, and left in the sixth with two runners on, one of which scored on a fielder’s choice for the game’s first run.

Three arms came out of the bullpen for Maryland, the most that coach Rob Vaughn has had to use all season. Mark DiLuia tossed 1 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing just one hit. Trevor LaBonte came in for the close in the 10th and earned a 1-2-3 inning to give the Terrapins the win.

 

 

 

Maryland’s offense dominates in second straight win

For the second consecutive day, a slow start in the batter’s box was wiped away in one inning for the Terrapins. A 10-batter inning in the third proved to be the turning point in Maryland’s second straight win to start the year, defeating Iona 8-2.

Center fielder Chris Alleyne led the inning off with his third double of the year that shot down the line and dribbled to the left field wall. The Terrapins dealt with a few free bases to load the bases for a majority of the inning.

Right fielder Randy Bednar tied the game for Maryland with a sacrifice fly into left, bringing in his first RBI of 2020. The junior is hitting a solid .333 through the first two games of the season.

Following Bednar was first baseman Maxwell Costes who stroked his second single of the day, the other coming in the first inning that brought in freshman Tucker Flint for the team’s first run.

Flint, who made his debut as the designated hitter, moved to left field and up to the two-hole for the Terrapins on Saturday after reaching base four times on Friday. The freshman was hit by Iona pitchers in his first two plate appearances, and later doubled to left field. He reached base a total of four times on the day, keeping his OBP to .800 on the season.

An oddity of sorts that is starting to become a theme for the Terrapins is the statistic of 11 hit-by-pitches in just the first two games.

Adding to the list of freshmen making their debuts for Maryland this weekend was designated hitter Bobby Zmarzlak. The No. 1 ranked prospect in the Big Ten, according to Perfect Game, earned a hard-fought walk on a full count to bring in his first RBI as a Terrapin in the long third inning.

Junior Tommy Gardiner also earned an RBI with a bullet up the middle to plate a run in the inning. The third baseman has been productive out of the nine-hole for the Terrapins, holding a .500 average through the first two days.

Maryland tallied nine hits on the afternoon in its second consecutive win, while the Gaels also had nine. Iona, who had just 14 wins a season ago, dropped its first game against the College of Charleston on Friday night and continued to struggle against the Terrapins.

On the other side of the ball, more newcomers made their debuts in a Maryland uniform. Freshman Nick Dean took the mound for the Terrapins and in 4 2/3 innings he fanned six hitters and forfeited just two earned runs.

In relief for Maryland was freshman Ryan Ramsey. The lefty tossed 2 1/3 innings from the bullpen, not allowing his first hit until the eighth inning. Ramsey finished with four strikeouts and just the one hit on a scoreless outing.

Sophomore Sean Heine made his first appearance of the season to close things out on the mound. In two innings of work, Heine fanned three and allowed two hits.

After four players made their debuts in the game on Friday night, three more Terrapins suited up for Saturday’s game for the first time.

Freshmen shine in Maryland’s season opener

After five runners were stranded on base through the first five innings, the Terrapins found a way to use some two-out magic in the sixth to regain a lead they would not again forfeit. In Maryland’s first game of the 2020 season, it was the four Terrapins making their debuts who carried the team to a 11-2 win over Charleston Southern.

The rally began with none other than freshman Tucker Flint, who in his Maryland debut found his way on four out of five times he came up to the plate, including three hits and an RBI. The Terrapins’ designated hitter shot a single into center and was followed by shortstop Ben Cowles, who earned a walk with two outs.

Another newcomer to the Maryland roster, junior transfer Austin Chavis, poked a ball to third that ended up thrown over first baseman Ryan Stoudemire’s head and brought in Flint to tie the game at two.

Maryland third baseman Tommy Gardiner looped a single into the infield grass that couldn’t be picked up in time, bringing in Cowles and giving the Terrapins the lead.

Gardiner, who lacked playing time in his sophomore season due to injury, found his way into the Maryland starting lineup for the season opener.

Freshman left fielder Troy Schreffler used his arm in the beginning of the game to throw out a Buccaneer at home, and then in the ninth joined the offensive onslaught with a two-RBI triple.

The Terrapins finished with 10 hits on the night, compared to Charleston Southern’s four.

Southpaw Sean Fisher started on the mound for Maryland on Friday night, making it his first career start in his junior season. Ace Hunter Parsons left the team after last spring and was drafted by the New York Mets, leaving the weekend opener slot wide open for the taking.

In 5 1/3 innings, Fisher tossed 92 pitches and earned five strikeouts. Two runs crossed the plate with the lefty on the mound, neither of them earned as they both came from Maryland errors in the second inning. Fisher finished the game with his first win of the year.

In relief for Maryland was freshman Sam Bello. In his collegiate debut, the right-hander stranded two Buccaneers on base with a strikeout to end the inning and hold on to the lead in the sixth. He followed his first inning with six more strikeouts in three additional innings of work, including striking out the side in the eighth.

The Terrapins literally started right away as leadoff hitter Chris Alleyne dumped a ball into left field that ended up as a double in what was the first pitch of the season. Two batters later, right fielder Randy Bednar dribbled a ball to the left side of the infield that brought in Alleyne for the game’s first run.

In the back half of the contest, the Terrapins really broke things open in the seventh as three straight players earned free passage to first via hit-by-pitches.

Catcher Justin Vought brought in a run after being pegged on the foot, and was followed by an RBI single from Flint’s third hit of the night. Gardiner drew a walk later in the inning, bringing in his second RBI on the night.

Alleyne finished things off in the inning with his second double of the night that brought in Vought and Flint, increasing the Terrapin lead to six runs.

The dominant start by Fisher followed by the closing by Bello saved Maryland’s bullpen for the remaining two games of the season, both of which will be started by freshmen.

Preseason Countdown No. 1: Opening Weekend Preview

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Previewing the Terrapins

The 2020 season is finally here and the Terrapins are ready to get things underway this weekend in South Carolina.

After finishing last year with an even record of 29-29, Maryland is looking to get back to its winning ways and reach the NCAA Regionals for the first time since 2018. The team closed out the regular season with four consecutive wins, going on to play three games in the conference tournament, winning one against Illinois.

The new-look Terrapins have 13 freshmen entering the clubhouse, along with two transfers. Maryland’s Class of ’23 ranks as the highest in team history, setting up shop at No. 7 according to D1Baseball.com.

Alongside the young players are five returning starters from last season to round out the Terrapins’ defense. The outfield will again consist of Chris Alleyne in center and newly No. 3 Randy Bednar in right. Sophomore Ben Cowles is making the move to shortstop to replace A.J. Lee, and will be joined by first baseman Maxwell Costes and catcher Justin Vought, one of the team’s 2020 captains.

“We have a very young team this year,” Costes said. “Having a presence like Randy [Bednar] or [Justin] Vought or [Sean] Fisher really brings something kind of invaluable.”

Coach Vaughn talked about rounding out the team’s defense, and how some of the new guys can jump in and contribute right away. The depth on the team is unlike what Vaughn had last season, with a lineup that can “stretch to 12 or 13 deep.” The weekend’s lineups will likely be based on pitching matchups and will include multiple pinch-hitters.

“It’s gonna come down to how we play, that’s the only thing we can control,” Vaughn said. “Everyone’s gonna be super amped up…it’s all about getting some of those nerves kicked off and go play a good brand of baseball.”

On the mound for Maryland will also feature some new faces. After the loss of ace Hunter Parsons, the team’s Friday starter in his senior campaign, Vaughn named 2019 bullpen arm Sean Fisher to toss the Terrapins’ first game of the year.

“We have a lot of youth on the pitching staff, a lot of inexperience,” Vaughn said. “We wanted to put the ball in the hands of our toughest dude.”

“I was pretty excited to [get the start],” Fisher said. “I feel like I put in a lot to earn that, but I’m just really looking forward to going out there and competing with my guys.”

The rest of the weekend will involve a bullpen-heavy performance as Vaughn looks to work guys in to start the season with a deep roster. Freshman Nick Dean will get the start on Saturday, followed by redshirt freshman Sean Burke on Sunday.

The Weekend Slate

Though the Terps are familiar with facing three separate teams during opening weekend, it’s often in the form of a tournament. This season, though not explicitly a tournament, Maryland starts with a Friday game against the Charleston Southern Buccaneers, before facing Iona on Saturday and the College of Charleston on Sunday.


Friday – Charleston Southern Buccaneers

Last season

With a record of 23-36 in 2019, the Buccaneers continued to slide in the wrong direction. The team last finished with a record above .500 in 2014, and have compiled a 7-24 record against Power Five conference schools in that span.

This season

Charleston Southern has just two of its top five hitters returning for the 2020 season, including the loss of sophomore outfielder Max Ryerson who posted .322 average with 43 RBI in his freshman campaign. Ryerson transferred in the off-season. The team ranked seventh in the Big South Preseason Poll to start the season.

Hitters to watch

Aside from Ryerson, the Buccaneers also have their power-bat back in the lineup for this season. Senior first baseman Ryan Stoudemire hit 14 long balls last season for a team high. He also led the Buccaneers in doubles, slugging and was second in average behind Ryerson.

Pitchers to watch

One of Charleston Southern’s most impressive arms is sophomore R.J. Petit. The righty ended his stellar freshman season with All-American honors from Collegiate Baseball and was named First Team All-Big South. Petit was named as the Preseason Big South Pitcher of the Year prior to the 2020 season.

The most experienced arm out of the bullpen for the Buccaneers is senior Seth Owens. In 31 appearances, he posted a 4.06 ERA and 41 strikeouts.

Probably Starting Pitching Matchup

Friday, 6 p.m. ET

Sr. LHP Jaret Bennett vs. Jr. LHP Sean Fisher

image.pngimage  vs. imageFisher090518_06

One of two weekend starters returning for the Buccaneers, Bennett finished last season with the second-most innings pitched on the team (71 1/3), including a complete game shutout over USC Upstate. With a 5.30 ERA over 14 starts, including 44 strikeouts last year, the southpaw is looking to continue his success in his senior campaign.

For the Terps, Fisher maintained a bullpen role last season, finishing the year with a 6.90 ERA in 25 relief appearances over 30 innings. Over the summer on Cape Cod, Fisher took on more of a starters role, a spot Vaughn decided to try the southpaw in to start Maryland’s 2020 campaign.


Saturday – Iona Gaels

Last season

The team finished with 14 wins in 2019, a low since 2016. The Gaels haven’t earned a winning record in the 21st century, with four of their last 19 seasons ending with single-digit win totals.

This season

The Gaels are projected to finish 10th in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference this season after last year’s disappointing end. The team has an abundance of returning arms that can hopefully help in the long-run of the season.

Hitters to watch

Junior catcher Sam Punzi was the team’s best hitter from a season ago, leading the Gaels in average, home runs and RBI, and will be returning for his third season with the team.  Sophomore infielder Jake Field led the Gaels in at-bats in his first year, and will look to improve on his .214 average from a season ago.

Pitchers to watch 

Most of the big arms are returning for the Gaels this season, including senior righty Stephen Hansen, who tossed with a 3.23 ERA last year. Other heavy throwers coming back are senior southpaw Chris Dodrill and sophomore right-hander Hunter Sibley. Out of the bullpen is righty Antonio Velardi, who had a sub-three ERA with six saves in 2019.

Probably Starting Pitching Matchup

Saturday, 11:30 a.m. ET

Sr. LHP Mario Ferraioli vs. Fr. RHP Nick Dean

imageimage.png  vs. image Dean_2020

Ferraioli missed his junior season with the Gaels due to injury; as a sophomore in 2018, however, the southpaw made five starts over 15 total appearances, earning MAAC Pitcher of the Week once and finishing with a team-best 1.29 ERAA over 42 innings.

One of the Terps’ young arms, Dean missed his senior season of high school recovering from injury, but led the team to a district championship his junior season with 60 strikeouts and a 1.16 ERA over 48 1/3 innings.


Sunday – Charleston Cougars

Last season

The Cougars went 4-1 against ranked opponents in 2019 and finished 15 games over .500. Charleston’s year earned the team a spot in the Colonial Athletic Association Conference tournament, where the Cougars dropped both games.

This season

After losing a core chunk of their roster last spring, the Cougars will have trouble finding their third consecutive 35+ win season. Baseball America still projects them to finish in third place in the CAA standings.

Hitters to watch

Three players hit for a plus-.300 average last year, none of which are returning for the start of the 2020 season. Senior outfielder Chris Graham finished his junior campaign with a .291 average and 15 RBI in 47 games played, the most for returning players on Charleston’s roster.

Pitchers to watch 

Charleston lost its go-to closer, Nathan Ocker, and strong righty Griffin McLarty after last season, who both threw a good amount of innings for the Cougars last season. Key returners include senior Tradd James, who had a 2.77 ERA in 2019, and junior lefty Zach Williams.

Probably Starting Pitching Matchup

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

Fr. RHP C.J. Czerwinski vs. R-Fr. RHP Sean Burke

image.pngimage   vs.   imageBurke_2020

Like the Terps, the Cougars have injected some youth into their starting rotation heading into the first weekend of the season. Czerwinski comes to Charleston out of Pennsylvania, where he was named his county’s Player and Pitcher of the Year as a senior, after he went 3-3 with 77 strikeouts and a 0.79 ERA in 53 innings.

Burke, who was recovering from injury during the Terps’ 2019 season, has what Vaughn calls “electric stuff” on the mound. As a senior in high school the righty went 5-0 with a 0.44 ERA. The hope is that Burke will bring the same power to the mound for Maryland as he did two years ago.

Preseason Countdown No. 5: Infield Preview

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The Terrapins’ first line of defense will have some major changes this season, as head coach Rob Vaughn is tasked with filling holes left behind from the departure of shortstop A.J. Lee and third baseman Taylor Wright. Vaughn has been tweaking various formations all offseason in order to make the most seamless transition into 2020.

We’ve given you previews of potential starting pitchers and bullpen arms, next up is a preview of the infielders on the Terps’ roster.


Junior catcher Justin Vought Vought090518_01

In his first year as the team’s everyday catcher, Vought started 53 games behind the plate. He put up an average of .222 with 10 home runs and 30 RBI. The Pennsylvania native slashed two hits in the team’s first game of the Big Ten Tournament against Illinois, one of which flew over the outfield wall for a two-run homer.

The then-sophomore was named as a team captain prior to the 2019 season and will continue to provide the Terps with leadership this spring.


Redshirt-junior catcher Tavan Shahidi Shahidi090518_05

Shahidi transferred to Maryland following the 2018 season, where he played for Iowa Lakes Community College.

There, he finished with a line of .336/.445/.611 with 10 home runs and 11 doubles. The catcher redshirted last season due to an injury and the necessary surgery.


Freshman catcher James Heffley Heffley_2020

The Maryland native is part of a stacked freshman class entering College Park this season. As a senior at Albert Einstein High School, Heffley ended with an average over .500 and was named First Team All-Division for the third consecutive year. In his first appearance at Maryland, he put down a sacrifice squeeze bunt to bring in a run during the Fall World Series.


Redshirt-sophomore first baseman Michael Pineiro Piniero090518_03

Pineiro was coach Vaughn’s Swiss army knife in his first season playing for the Terrapins. In 44 appearances and 38 starts, the redshirt-sophomore stretched from left field to right field, designated hitter and first base. He finished with a .252 batting average, earning him a spot on the All-Big Ten Third Team.

Pineiro exploded over the summer, batting .333 in 36 games with the West Virginia Miners of the Prospect League.


Freshman first baseman Michael Bouma Bouma_2020

Bouma is one of Maryland’s highest prospects this season as he finished high school as the No. 1 first baseman in Maryland. He ended with a career average of .433 and 11 home runs at Sherwood High School.

During the Fall World Series, Bouma got a good workload with five at-bats, one of which he earned a single. He played both first and third base during Maryland’s fall scrimmage against Army.


Junior second baseman Tommy Gardiner Gardiner090518_03

Gardiner’s playing time took a hit in his sophomore campaign as he got into the starting lineup 20 times in 2019, with 11 fewer appearances than his freshman season, partially due to a shoulder injury that required surgery at the end of the season.

During his time on the field, the New Jersey native notched a six-game hitting streak and could see his time in the lineup spike with the loss of senior A.J. Lee after the 2019 season, leaving a middle infield spot wide open for the taking.


Sophomore second baseman Josh Maguire Maguire082818_03

Maguire broke into the lineup in the latter part of his freshman campaign, finishing the season with nine straight starts as a designated hitter. In 29 total appearances, Maguire had five doubles, two triples and three homers. After solidifying his role as an offensive threat to end his first season on Vaughn’s roster, the Delaware native could be a key component to the Terps’ roster this season.


Sophomore shortstop Ben Cowles Cowles090518_05

Perhaps one of the most important pieces to Maryland’s lineup this season will be second-year infielder Ben Cowles. A compliment to senior shortstop A.J. Lee last year as the team’s everyday second baseman, Cowles will now likely fill the hole that Lee left as the infield’s new leader. In 50 starts last year, Cowles found hit in five different parts of the lineup, earning 35 hits and 15 RBI in those appearances.

“He’s got a relentless work ethic,” outfielder Randy Bednar said at media day. “If there’s one guy who resembles Maryland baseball, it’s Ben Cowles.”


Junior shortstop Austin Chavis Chavis_2020

Chavis spent two years at Potomac State before transferring to Maryland this season. In his second year at the West Virginia JuCo, Chavis earned a batting average over .330 with 18 doubles, which ranks ninth in Potomac State history. Prior to college the infielder played at Calvert Hall, where he was named a preseason Under Armor All-American.


Sophomore third baseman Maxwell Costes Costes090518_03

The most talked-about returning Terp this season, Costes enters his sophomore campaign after a dominant freshman season, during which he was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week three times as well as the Big Ten Player of the Week once. Costes also earned a spot on the All-Big Ten First Team and was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year.

This season, Costes has already found his name on another ballot as he was named one of Collegiate Baseball’s Preseason third team Diamond Sports All-Americans. Maryland’s power-hitter led Big Ten freshman in home runs last season, after he knocked 15 balls out of the park. Costes also dominated in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League, where he led the Amsterdam Mohawks to a league championship and was later awarded the PGCBL Player of the Year, along with a spot on the team’s All-Decade Team.


Junior infielder Brenton Davis Davis_2020

Davis joins Maryland as the team’s second transfer this offseason. Out of Southeast Community College in his home state of Nebraska, Davis earned an average of .353 in his first of two seasons with the team. During his time at Southeast, Davis split time between third base, shortstop and second base, making him a viable option all over the diamond for the Terrapins.


Freshman infielder Matt Orlando Orlando_2020

Orlando, the fifth-ranked player out of New Jersey, is another one of Vaughn’s keys to add more depth to a busy infield. The freshman was a three-time All-South Jersey honoree, along with First-Team All-State his sophomore year and Third-Team All-State in his final senior season.

His first contribution in a Maryland uniform came in the Fall World Series when he hit a base clearing three-run double.


Freshman infielder Aaron Perez Perez_2020

The Bronx, New York, native played finished his senior season at All Hallows with an average of .280. He came out of high school as the No. 3 ranked shortstop in New York and landed on the Perfect Game All-Tournament Team three times.

 

 

Preseason Countdown No. 9: Pro Terp Update

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Ahead of the 2020 season kicking off, 17 former Terps are preparing for their season on a professional diamond. Here’s a look at where these players will be on Opening Day in a few weeks.

2B Brandon Lowe, Tampa Bay Rays (MLB)

In his first full season in the Majors, Lowe ended as one of the best middle infielders in the league. The former Terp logged an average of .270 with 17 home runs and 51 RBI over 82 games. He was named to the American League All-Star team, but never reached the field as he went down with an injury in early July that kept him on the bench until September.

Lowe reached the postseason with the Rays, batting .250 over the team’s six games, in which he started in five. In game three of the Divisional Series against the Houston Astros, the rookie recorded two hits, one being a long ball to left. After the season ended, Lowe was named as a finalist for the AL Rookie of the Year. He finished third in voting, with Houston’s Yordan Alvarez winning unanimously.

LHP Brett Cecil, St. Louis Cardinals (MLB)

Cecil is entering the final season of his four-year, $30.5 million deal with the Cardinals after playing for just one full season over that span. The southpaw began 2019 down 40 lbs., which led to an injury and carpal tunnel surgery in April that quickly ended his 11th season in the majors.

LHP Adam Kolarek, Los Angeles Dodgers (MLB)

In his second year in the big leagues, Kolarek was traded to Los Angeles at the trade deadline in July from Tampa Bay. Working out of the bullpen, the lefty threw in three of the team’s five playoff games, striking out Nationals’ star Juan Soto twice.

Kolarek has mainly been used as a situational pitcher out of the ‘pen, but with the league’s new three batter minimum rule, his usage in games will be different in 2020.

OF LaMonte Wade Jr., Minnesota Twins (MLB)

An interesting thing about Wade is that his fate for the 2020 season still remains unknown. With the addition of veteran Josh Donaldson to the roster, the Twins have just one spot left. In his first season in Minnesota, Wade hit .196 with two long balls.

RHP Mike Shawaryn, Boston Red Sox (MLB)

The righty got a taste of the majors last season, posting a 9.74 ERA in 14 appearances. Shawaryn ended the year back and forth from Triple-A to the MLB, but will start 2020 in Boston as he was recently named to the team’s 40-man roster.

RHP Jake Stinnett, Tennessee Smokies (Chicago Cubs, AA)

Stinnett is entering his third season in Double-A with the Smokies. Last year the righty ended with a rough record of 1-6 and an earned-run-average over five. His first season with the team ended in a similar way, making this season important in his major league development.

SS Kevin Smith, New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Toronto Blue Jays, AA)

As the new everyday shortstop for the Fisher Cats, Smith is looking to build off his heaviest workload of a season yet. New Hampshire’s top prospect had an average of just .209 in 2019 and struck out 151 times in 116 games in his first full season in Double-A.

RHP Brian Shaffer, Montgomery Biscuits (Tampa Bay Rays, AA)

In his third season as a minor league pitcher, Shaffer tossed 102 innings with a sub-2.40 ERA. As a bullpen-first arm for the Biscuits, the righty threw 62 innings in relief last season where he will likely remain for his 2020 campaign.

3B Andrew Bechtold, Fort Myers Mighty Mussels (Minnesota Twins, High-A)

After being called up from Low-A in June of 2019, Bechtold produced solid work for the Mighty Mussels in 59 games. He ended with an average of .274 and a .349 OBP. The former Terp’s defense has also kept his name in the mix for his hard work on the hot corner.

2B Nick Dunn, Palm Beach Cardinals (St. Louis Cardinals, High-A)

Dunn played his entire season in Palm Beach last season with a team-high .247 average. In the season, he totaled 19 doubles and 38 RBIs.

Ahead of the 2020 season, Dunn was named the No. 45 prospect in the Cardinals’ system.

OF Marty Costes, Fayetteville Woodpeckers (Houston Astros, High-A)

Costes was promoted to High-A in the beginning of the 2019 season, where he played 29 games. The outfielder played in the Carolina League championship with the Woodpeckers, though they lost in the end. He finished the year with five long balls and 32 RBIs.

RHP Kevin Biondic, Greenville Drive (Boston Red Sox, Low-A)

Biondic’s highlight of the season came when he threw a complete game in one of his 14 starts. The righty began the season 4-0 with a 2.91 ERA, and though he took a hit later on, he still finish with a sub-4.70 average in 100 innings pitched.

INF A.J. Lee, Quad-Cities River Bandits (Houston Astros, Low-A)

In his first year out of a Maryland uniform, Lee quickly moved up the ranks in the Astros system. He was promoted from Short-Season A with the Tri-City ValleyCats on August 15th where he finished his rookie season. He was reassigned to the ValleyCats on September 5.

RHP Hunter Parsons, Brooklyn Cyclones (New York Mets, Short-Season A)

After a dominating senior season in College Park, Parsons was drafted by the Mets in the 19th round of the 2019 MLB Draft. In 11 appearances with the Cyclones, Parsons issued 21 strikeouts and ended with an ERA of 2.89.

1B Alfredo Rodriguez, Somerset Patriots (Independent-Atlantic League)

Rodriguez made the Atlantic League All-Star Game roster for the second consecutive season, ending the season with a .267 average and 26 doubles, a career high.

INF Blake Schmit, St. Paul Saints (Independent-American Association)

Schmit got himself a ring in 2019 as he was a part of the Saints’ first American Association championship since 2004. St. Paul is the infielders third team in four years since entering the league.

RHP John Murphy, Westside Woolly Mammoths (Independent-USPBL)

Murphy signed with the Mammoths after graduating from Maryland in the spring of 2019. In his first season, he ended with a 4.91 ERA and a 1-2 record.

Preseason Countdown No. 18: Best Comeback of 2019

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Trailing Illinois 2-0 on April 5th, the Terps had just one hit to their name entering the game’s final frame. But a four-run ninth inning put Maryland over the top to give the team its biggest comeback of the 2019 season and propel the Terps to their first series win in almost a month.

Leading off the inning was senior shortstop A.J. Lee, who quickly found his way on base with a single. Right fielder Randy Bednar followed with a knock of his own to put two men on with no outs.

Small ball became the key for success for Maryland as coach Vaughn called for a bunt with heavy hitter Taylor Wright stepping to the plate. The third baseman placed one off the mound, scoring Lee.

The runner was soon replaced, as first baseman Maxwell Costes was pegged by Fighting Illini pitcher Garrott Acton. The hit-by-pitch was Costes’ 11th of the season, a conference high. (He finished the season with the most hit-by-pitches in the conference, 19).

Left fielder Caleb Walls placed down another bunt for Maryland, driving in the tying run as Bednar crossed the plate.

The Terps took the lead late in the ninth, as their offensive outburst continued in an atypical fashion. A wild pitch by Acton scored Michael Pineiro, who pinch-ran for Costes, and Walls on a throwing error during the same play, increasing Maryland’s lead to 4-2.

With just three hits in the game, two of which came in the final inning, the Terps won with the least amount of knocks since 2018.

On the other side of the ball, ace Hunter Parsons had a strong outing in the weekend opener. The righty went eight innings, allowing six hits and two runs. Closer John Murphy came in with the Terps leading in the ninth to earn his sixth save of the season with two strikeouts in the half.

The win proved to be a turning point in Maryland’s season as well. The team went into Champagne, Illinois, with 47 conceded runs in its last three games, all of which had resulted in losses.

After taking the series from the Fighting Illini on the road, the Terps moved to eighth in the conference and proceeded to win two of their next three weekend series against Big Ten opponents.