Terps Overpower Elon at the Plate for the Win

An offensive explosion complimented by smart base running lifted Maryland over the Elon Phoenix on Tuesday. After falling victim to a perfect game on Sunday against East Carolina, the Terps landed at least one man on base in all nine innings to secure a 11-4 win.

Maryland went hitless in its matchup on Sunday against ECU, but ended the theme early on Tuesday, securing five hits through the first two innings, totaling 15 hits on the day. Catcher Justin Vought, who went 0-9 over the weekend, got a hit in his first at-bat and two more later in the game.

Senior AJ Lee earned three hits, with his second one coming at a great time. After a comeback by Elon where the Phoenix took the lead away from the Terps, the shortstop delivered a two RBI double to break things open, giving Maryland a 7-4 lead in the seventh. Then, in the eighth, Lee belted his first home run of the season for his fourth RBI of the day.

Caleb Walls, with four hits on the day, extended the early lead for Maryland with a two RBI inside-the-park home run in the second, making it 3-0. Later, in the seventh, Walls delivered another big hit where he brought in Maryland’s eighth run of the afternoon. He followed Lee in the eighth inning with a home run of his own, his second of the day, giving him four RBIs in the game.

On the other side of the ball, Mark DiLuia made his first start of the year, where he fanned three batters in 2.1 innings of work, conceding one earned run. A bullpen heavy day for the Terps featured freshmen Daniel O’Connor and Will Glock. Together, they went 4.2 innings as Glock struck out three and did not give up a hit.

Elliot Zoellner also contributed to the Terps’ cause on the mound, striking out three in one inning to set up Billy Phillips in the ninth. The southpaw came in, struck out two and secured Maryland’s first win in a week heading into Wednesday’s matchup against the Phoenix.

Series Preview: Elon Phoenix

The Maryland Terrapins (10-8) are coming off a weekend series against No.17 East Carolina, where they lost all three games to the Pirates. After the sweep at home, the Terps are on the road to take on Elon in a midweek two-game series.

Maryland is 8-6 against Elon in the series history, with the most recent victory coming a season ago when the Terps took the game 11-3. The Terps are looking to do more damage at the plate against the Phoenix in the series after posting only one run in 27 innings over the weekend.

Although the weekend series was not ideal for Maryland at the plate, the pitching staff continued to succeed against a tough lineup. After conceding nine runs in the first game, the Terps gave up five runs in the following two games combined. Junior Zach Thompson threw eight innings in the second game, letting up two runs, followed by six scoreless frames.

The final game of the weekend was quite the pitchers duel. Trevor LaBonte started for the Terps, going 5.1 scoreless innings, striking out four on five hits. On the other side of the ball, however, is where the cheers were. Sophomore Jake Kuchmaner tossed a perfect game for the Pirates, the first of his young career.

The young bullpen worked through tough situations for the Terps, as well. Freshman Andrew Vail fanned two in an inning of work on Saturday, while four relievers came out of the bullpen on Sunday to take over for LaBonte.

Elon Phoenix (11-8, 0-0 CAA)

Last Season

The Phoenix finished the 2018 campaign with their most wins since 2011. A 36-23 record was stopped short with an early exit in their conference tournament after falling to top-seeded Northeastern.

This Season

Elon is off to a good start this season, picking up some big out of conference wins to boost its early season resume. In a two game series against No.20 Wake Forest, the Phoenix split the series with the Demon Deacons. In their last series, the Phoenix won two of three at Western Carolina.

Hitters to Watch

Elon has three hitters with an average above the .300 mark on the year. Leading the team is junior infielder Joe Satterfield, who in 19 games is batting .403 with a .569 slugging percentage. Garrett Stonehouse and Cam Devanney round out the top of Elon’s order that has damaged opposing pitchers this season.

Relievers to Watch

Three arms out of the bullpen for the Phoenix have sub-2.00 ERAs, including Naushon Galbraith (1.00) and Ty Adcock (1.69), with eight and 11 strikeouts, respectively.

Probable Starting Pitching Matchup 

Tuesday, 4:00 p.m. ET

So. RHP Mark DiLuia (0-0, 3.68 ERA) vs. Fr. RHP Kyle Greenler (0-0, 1.98 ERA)

Mark DiLuia   1Maryland_M_Bar_Primary_Athletic_Logo  vs.Elon_Phoenix_wordmark.svg.pngKyle Greenler Headshot

Tuesday is DiLuia’s first start of the season after coming out of the bullpen seven times. A season ago, he started 12 games in 14 appearances with a 5.62 ERA and 47 strikeouts. His longest outing of his 2019 campaign came in 3.1 innings of work against Delaware where he fanned two and let up one hit.

Greenler has started one game in nine appearances this year. As one of Elon’s strongest arms in the bullpen, Greenler is one of three pitchers with a sub-two ERA in at least nine innings of work.

Probable Starting Pitching Matchup 

Wednesday, 4:00 p.m. ET

Jr. LHP Tuck Tucker (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. TBD

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The southpaw has yet to let up a run in 2.1 innings of work this season. Tucker will also be getting his first start of the year like DiLuia. Opposing hitters are batting .250 with two hits against the junior.

Louisiana Walks it Off for the Second Time in One Day

The theme of a walk-off fashion win stayed consistent in the second game of Saturday’s double header, as Louisiana won by a mere 2-1.

With Maryland leading the whole game, Louisiana came back to score on a safety squeeze and a throwing error to take game two of Saturday’s double header.

Before the ninth, however, the Terps dominated the game on the mound and at the plate over the Ragin’ Cajuns.

Trevor LaBonte controlled the game for the Terps, giving the third quality start by a Maryland pitcher in the three-game series. In his six innings of work, LaBonte held the Ragin’ Cajuns scoreless, only allowing one hit and striking out six.

With most of the bullpen being used up in the 14 inning ordeal earlier in the day, many of Maryland’s arm were used up for the final three innings of the night game.

Daniel O’Connor came in to relieve LaBonte in the seventh and delivered a scoreless inning to keep the Terps on top. Another freshman, Andrew Vail, came in for Maryland in the backend of the game. With the bases loaded, Vail issued a huge strikeout and a groundout to keep the Ragin’ Cajuns from scoring in the eighth.

With no runners on until the top of the fourth, Maryland was being shut down by the Louisiana starter for the second straight game. Then, the Terps got three straight guys on to shake things up against Austin Perrin, but failed to score.

In the next inning, Maryland got back to work without a hitch in their step. Sebastian Holte-Mancera, starting at catcher in the second game, led the inning off with a single. Tommy Gardiner, who had three hits in the game, followed with a double to make it second and third with no outs.

Freshman Kody Milton, starting at first base, laid down a safety squeeze to bring in Holte-Mancera, breaking the 0-0 tie with some small ball play.

With two heart-breaking losses in the same day, the Terps lose the series to the Ragin’ Cajuns two games to one. They fall to 6-4 on the year.

Terps Drop Heartbreaker in 14 Innings

In a back-and-forth battle that lasted until the 14th inning, Louisiana pulled away with a win, defeating Maryland 4-3. Neither team budged for what seemed like an eternity, but in the end the Ragin’ Cajuns were able to play small ball to bring in the winning run.

Down by a run in the ninth, the Ragin Cajuns worked to get bases loaded against Maryland closer John Murphy. A wild pitch scored Bourgeois to tie it up at three, but the Terps’ reliever was able to get out of a jam to force extra innings.

However, extra inning dominance by the Ragin’ Cajuns was the opposite of the trend in the rest of the game.

Ragin’ Cajuns starter Dalton Horton pitched a perfect game into the sixth inning, sitting down 16 consecutive hitters to start his outing. Everything changed when second baseman Tommy Gardiner stepped up to the plate.

Gardiner, who was a late addition to the lineup after AJ Lee was scratched due to a leg injury, snuck one through the hole into the outfield, reaching base as Maryland’s first base runner.

Center fielder Chris Alleyne, batting in the nine-hole, followed Gardiner with a blast off the wall resulting in an RBI triple. The third outfielder, Caleb Walls, then used small ball to tie it up, putting down a safety squeeze that scored Alleyne.

With the momentum on their side, the Terps hit a pair of doubles in the next inning by Taylor Wright and Ben Cowles put Maryland in the lead, 3-2. The freshman Cowles delivered a clutch two out hit that finally knocked Horton out of the game after 6.2 innings.

Zach Thompson took the mound for the Terps, and after a shaky second inning, dominated Louisiana. In 6.2 innings of work, the righty fanned five hitters, while conceding five hits and two runs.

Mark DiLuia came in for Thompson picked up right where there starter led off. The sophomore stranded a runner at third in the seventh and then picked up all three outs in the eighth, not giving up a hit in the process.

Seven different pitchers came out of the bullpen for Maryland, hurting its chances to back up the starters in the next game on Saturday night.

Maryland Takes Game One Against Louisiana for Sixth Straight Win

In what seemed like a pitcher’s duel after the first half of the game, Maryland’s offense abruptly ended the trend in the fifth inning, resulting in a 4-2 win for the Terps.

Louisiana ace Gunner Leger, an All-American, held the Terps to two hits through four innings, racking up six strikeouts in the process. A single into left field by Chris Alleyne started a hit parade for Maryland in the top of the fifth, however. Maryland’s center fielder reached base in all four of his at-bats in the game.

Right fielder Randy Bednar then shot a ground-rule double to dead center to drive in Maryland’s first run of the night. In a long at-bat, the sophomore fouled off numerous pitches in order to get one he liked, and he delivered in a big way. Bednar now has a hit in all eight games played this season, the only Terp with that accolade.

“He absolutely hit a missile to center.” head coach Rob Vaughn said. “That really got us breathing.”

Taylor Wright and Justin Vought followed with an RBI a piece to increase Maryland’s lead to 3-1. This offensive explosion ended Leger’s night early after a dominant start.

The Terps added another insurance run in the next inning on Louisiana’s third error of the night. Boos from the crowd roared in after the throw got past the first baseman Lahare.

On the other side of the ball, Maryland ace Hunter Parsons continued to control the ball against the Ragin’ Cajuns. In his last start against Maine, the righty went eight scoreless innings, and showed no signs of slowing down in Louisiana. In seven innings of work, Parsons struck out six and let up five hits and a run. The senior won the pitching battle on Friday night, outlasting his counterpart by a large margin.

“We grow everyday.” Parsons said. “If you only grow on game days then there’s gonna be parts that you’re missing, but this teams goes out to practice and we go to compete everyday.”

Nick Turnbull, Maryland’s go to reliever this season, came in to stop the bleeding on a potential comeback in the eighth. With the bases loaded, the junior forced a pop-up to shallow center to end the inning.

John Murphy came in for the ninth and fanned three batters to earn his fourth save of the year. This matches his total from last season in only his fifth appearance of his 2019 campaign.

“The strength of our bullpen is the army of guys,” Vaughn said.

The long outing by Parsons saves the bullpen arms for the Terps as they compete in a double-header against Louisiana on Saturday. The diverse staff proves that Maryland can win no matter who takes the mound. In the last win, nine arms beat VCU in what was a bullpen heavy night.

“It’s huge getting Hunter deep into the game.” Vaughn said. “I told Glock and I told Vail they got to be ready because I’m going to them in the exact same situation tomorrow.”

With the victory, the Terps are now winners of six straight. In a quick turnaround, the Terps face the Ragin’ Cajuns twice on Saturday, the first of which begins at 2 p.m.

Series Preview: Louisiana Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns

Maryland-away-Louisiana

The Terps (5-2) are rolling to start the season, coming out victorious in each of their last five games. After sweeping Maine in a home series last weekend, Maryland visited VCU for a midweek matchup and beat the Rams for a second time this year.

Freshman phenom Maxwell Costes has introduced himself into the Maryland lineup with force. Taking home Big Ten Freshman and Player of the Week after his performance in the Maine series, the Terps’ designated hitter delivered the biggest hit in the team’s win against VCU.

With the game tied in the seventh inning, Costes stepped up to the plate with runners on. Earlier in the game, Maryland had failed to drive players in, stranding seven to that point. The freshman put bat on ball and drove in third baseman Taylor Wright for a late-inning lead.

Sophomore outfielder Randy Bednar secured another multi-hit game against VCU. He is the only Terp to get a hit in all seven games this season, with an average of .370 and seven RBIs. In the previous series against Maine, Bednar hit two out of the park, which is a team high.

“My approach at the plate is to keep things as simple as possible,” Bednar said. “Great hitters don’t think at all up at the plate, they just react and they just see the baseball. So that’s just what I try to do.”

Senior shortstop AJ Lee added a much-needed insurance run in the ninth, when he poked a ball through the hole, driving in the fourth run of the game for the Terps. Closer John Murphy came in to finish the job, after a bullpen-heavy day where nine different pitchers took the mound, and earned his third save of the year. Maryland took the game 4-3.

Maryland’s next opponent brings it down south, where the Terps face the Ragin’ Cajuns of Louisiana Lafayette in a three-game series. The two teams have never met before, so this  Belt Conference opponent is new opponent to the Terps.

“We haven’t really been in a hostile environment yet,” head coach Rob Vaughn said.  “We’re gonna see one on Friday night.”

Louisiana Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns (1-6, 0-0 Sun Belt)

Last Season

Louisiana Lafayette finished with a 34-25 record in 2018, which was its sixth consecutive season with a winning record. The Ragin’ Cajuns are no stranger to the NCAA postseason tournament, playing in the Super Regional in the 2014 and 2015 seasons. In their conference tournament last season, they lost in the second round, failing to advance to an NCAA Regional.

This Season

The Ragin’ Cajuns have come out to a bit of a rocky start this season. In its opening series against Texas, Louisiana Lafayette dropped two out of three games, then followed up with a midweek loss to Louisiana Tech in walk-off fashion. The last series played by the Cajuns was last weekend, where they got swept in a road battle against Sam Houston State. That makes it four straight losses for the team, a polar opposite compared to Maryland’s five straight wins. 

Hitters to Watch

Louisiana Lafayette has heavily relied on the top of their order for most of the production this season. Second baseman Hunter Kasuls has dominated opposing pitchers in his time at the plate. With a team high .387 average on the year, the senior middle-infielder is doing damage from the two-hole. In the last series against Sam Houston State, Kasuls earned five hits in 13 at-bats.

The Ragin’ Cajuns power in the lineup comes from utility player Handsome Monica. The redshirt senior has been productive in the middle of the order, hiting two out of the park so far and also driven in six runs — both team highs. Monica is batting .300 at the dish this season, second-best behind Kasuls.

Relievers to Watch

The Cajuns have used a variety of arms out of the bullpen this season, with 13 different arms coming in the middle of games. Brock Batty has been one of the more effective relievers for the team this year. In 4.1 innings pitched, the second-year southpaw owns a 2.08 ERA. His best outing of the year came against Texas, where he threw three hitless innings and struck out four.

The go-to closer for Louisiana Lafayette is junior Austin Bradford. The righty has the only save on the team, coming from the win against Texas. In 1.2 innings of work, Bradford has yet to concede a run to opposing hitters.

Probable Starting Pitching Matchup 

Friday, 7:30 p.m. ET

Sr. RHP Hunter Parsons (1-0, 1.38 ERA) vs. R.Sr. LHP Gunner Leger (0-0, 0.00 ERA)

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After an uncharacteristic start on Opening Day, Parsons showed his usual signs of dominance in his outing against Maine. He threw eight scoreless innings with five strikeouts, and only gave up three hits in what was his first win of the season. The Terp ace leads all starters with a 1.38 ERA, a stat he cut in half after his last appearance.

Leger has been the ace on Louisiana Lafayette’s staff since he joined the team. In his junior campaign, he took home the Sun Belt Conference Pitcher of the Year. However, he did not pitch last year due to Tommy John surgery followed by leg surgery. In his first start against Texas on opening day, the southpaw tossed five scoreless innings. He was scratched from the lineup against Sam Houston State to rest his arm for Friday’s matchup against Maryland.

Probable Starting Pitching Matchup 

Saturday, 3:00 p.m. ET

Jr. RHP Zach Thompson (1-1, 6.10 ERA) vs. Jr. LHP Dalton Horton (1-0, 0.82 ERA)

    Thompson082818_02  1Maryland_M_Bar_Primary_Athletic_Logo  vs.250px-Ragin_Cajuns_logo.svg.pngHorton_Dalton.jpg

Thompson was another Maryland pitcher who benefited from the Maine series last weekend. After getting roughed up in his Division I debut against Coastal Carolina, the righty came back and tossed 6.2 innings with nine strikeouts. He went without walking anyone and let up two runs in the win.

Horton is another starter on the Cajun’s staff with an ERA under 1.00. In his first start, the Texas-Christian transfer picked up the only win of the season against Texas, where he tossed five innings and allowed only one run. His last start against Sam Houston State, the lefty threw six scoreless inning and only gave up two hits.

Probable Starting Pitching Matchup 

Sunday, 2:00 p.m. ET

Fr. RHP Trevor LaBonte (0-0, 2.84 ERA) vs. TBD

Labonte082818_021Maryland_M_Bar_Primary_Athletic_Logo  vs.250px-Ragin_Cajuns_logo.svg.png

LaBonte made his first-career start in the third game of the Maine series and shut the lineup down. In five innings, he allowed three hits and one run. The Black Bears came back late in the game to tie things up, thus throwing the freshman’s win out the window. On the year, LaBonte is holding to a .190 average in two appearances.

 

 

 

Costes and Lee Lead Terps to Fifth Straight Win

The newly named Big Ten Freshman and Player of the Week Maxwell Costes delivered a late-inning RBI single to give the Terps a lead that they never let go of.

In what was a slow moving game after an explosive start by Maryland, Costes broke the curse for the Terps in the seventh after they left seven consecutive runners on base to secure their fifth straight victory, beating VCU by a score of 4-3.

“He just gives us good at-bats.” head coach Rob Vaughn said. “That was a huge two out hit he had. Maxwell’s tough, man. He’s tough.”

Senior captain AJ Lee added to the late-game scoring with an RBI single of his own. With runners at the corners and two outs, the shortstop poked one through the hole to drive in Wright to give the Terps a two-run cushion in the ninth.

“He left one over the plate, [I] put a good swing on it and found a hole,” Lee said.

Sophomore Randy Bednar continued to mash the ball with a two-hit game, beginning in the first inning. After leadoff batter Caleb Walls singled, Bednar shot one to the warning track and jogged into second base with an RBI double. This marked the sixth time in seven games that Maryland scored in the opening frame.

After losing the lead, Taylor Wright delivered a sacrifice fly to bring in Chris Alleyne in the fifth.

Starting pitcher Drew Wilden made his season debut against VCU, yet only pitched for two innings in what was a bullpen heavy day. In his time on the bump, the southpaw recorded two strikeouts and conceded one hit and run. After missing last season due to injury, Wilden eased his way back into the starting rotation for Maryland, and with two innings under his belt, there is now more to come later in the year.

In his last batter faced, Wilden looked like he lost his hitter with a 3-0 count, but stormed back fast, getting the strike out to strand a runner on base.

“Drew’s gonna be a really good one.” Vaughn said. “I saw that guy a lot in high school, he’s a competitive kid. He threw his three pitches for strikes, and lefties that can do that are tough.”

Relievers came up big for Maryland in the game today, where eight different arms came out of the bullpen. In 1.2 innings of work, Mark DiLuia fanned three batters while only allowing one hit. Nick Turnbull pitched the same duration, not giving up a hit while on the mound.

“We got arms, we’re deep.” John Murphy said. “I think every single guy on our staff is a dude and when we can consistently send out guy after guy after guy it makes them uncomfortable over in that dugout.”

Murphy came in for Maryland in the ninth, and secured his third save of the year. After getting himself into a jam, the senior closer worked out of it with the game-winning run looming on first base.

“A win’s a win, it doesn’t have to be pretty.” Murphy said. “We got our fifth W in a row and that’s really all that matters.”

For the Rams, Paul Witt was the batter that Maryland pitchers could not contain. With both of VCU’s runs batted in, Witt kept his team in the game late but was unable to go the extra distance to secure a win.

In their first mid-week game of the season, the Terps started a winning pattern unlike that of last year. With a 5-8 record a season ago in games during the week, Maryland struggled when it faced opponents in one game opportunities. The win against VCU is the first of its kind this year.

Maryland is now 2-0 against VCU this season, with one more game remaining in College Park later in the season. The two teams faced off at the Brittain Resorts Invitational earlier in the month, where the Terps took the win 5-3.

The Terps continue their road trip this weekend as they take Louisiana Lafayette in a three-game series. The Ragin’ Cajuns, out of the Sunbelt Conference, sit at a record of 1-6 on the year.