Pro Terps Update: 2019 MLB Postseason edition

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October baseball is here, and two former Terrapins shined in their postseason debuts. Tampa Bay Rays’ Brandon Lowe and Los Angeles Dodgers’ Adam Kolarek represented Maryland in the first round of the Major League Baseball playoffs.

Both Lowe and Kolarek were knocked out of their respective divisional series in the first round, each of which in a winner-take-all Game 5. Here’s how these former Terrapins fared on the national stage.

2B Brandon Lowe, Tampa Bay Rays

Lowe entered the postseason without a division title. The Rays earned the second Wild Card spot and traveled to Oakland for a one-game round matchup against the A’s. The rookie made the start at second base for Tampa Bay and totaled three at-bats in the win.

The Rays then traveled to Houston to face off against the top-ranked Astros for the five-game divisional set. Lowe started the first four games of the series, finishing with a postseason batting average of .250. 

In Game 3, the first game back home after Tampa Bay dropped the first two in Houston, Lowe tallied two hits–one of which flew over the left-field wall and made him the first Terrapin to homer in an MLB postseason since 1942. 

The former Terrapin did not see time in the final game of the series, which ultimately stopped the Rays’ season short. Lowe ended his first year in the MLB with a .270 average and 17 home runs. He currently sits in third place for the American League Rookie of the Year, according to CBS Sports. 

LHP Adam Kolarek, Los Angeles Dodgers

The southpaw joined the Dodgers’ stacked roster in July after being traded from the Tampa Bay Rays. Kolarek earned a spot in the bullpen and pitched his way to a National League West Division Title. 

Los Angeles entered the 2019 MLB playoffs as the No. 1 team in the National League and, after they on the Wild Card, faced the Washington Nationals for a five-game set. The second-year pitcher appeared in three of the five postseason games, totaling one inning pitched. 

The Dodgers used Kolarek as a specialty left-hander out of the bullpen against the Nationals’ Juan Soto, facing the youngster three times, all of which resulted in outs. Kolarek never went over 10 pitches in any of his outings, and struck out Soto twice. 

Kolarek finished his second year in the Majors with a 3.27 earned-run-average and 45 strikeouts. Since joining the Dodgers in July, the former Terrapin had an ERA of 0.77 to close out the season. 

Pro Terps Update: 7/10/19

At the halfway point in the 2019 season, three former Terps are on MLB rosters, while numerous others have been in the big leagues at some point during the spring.

Here’s an mid-season update at how those pro Terps have played on the diamond thus far:

LHP Brett Cecil, St. Louis Cardinals (MLB)

In his 11th MLB season, Cecil has not touched the mound yet as he is dealing with carpal tunnel syndrome, which landed him on the 60-day injured list . The one time All-Star began throwing from short distances in late June and aims begin in rehab assignment in the latter half of the summer.

LHP Adam Kolarek, Tampa Bay Rays (MLB)

After making the opening day roster, Kolarek has remained a key part of the Rays’ bullpen for most of the spring. He threw 34.1 innings for Tampa in the 2018 season, surpassing that total this season heading into the midseason break.

In 45 appearances, Kolarek has tossed 35 innings with a 3.86 ERA and a 3-2 record. His last seven outings from the bullpen have been successful for the lefty as he sustained an ERA of 1.17.

2B Brandon Lowe, Tampa Bay Rays (MLB)

Lowe had the best first half of any former Terps this year and earned himself a spot on the American League All-Star team. After being called up in 2018, the infielder has become a staple in the Rays’ lineup, posting a .276 average with a team best 16 homers and 49 RBIs.

After fouling a ball off his right leg, Lowe was placed on the 10-day injured list on July 4 and did not play in the Midsummer Classic, though he was in attendance. New York Yankees’ Gleyber Torres replaced Lowe on the roster.

RHP Mike Shawaryn, Pawtucket Red Sox (Boston Red Sox, AAA)

Shawaryn is back in Triple-A ball after being called up to the majors for just over a month earlier in the season. In his debut on June 7, the righty came out of the bullpen in the eighth inning and recorded four strikeouts in two innings for Boston. In his 12.2 innings in MLB, he punched out 20 total batters.

After being sent back down after the London series on July 1, Shawaryn has solidified his role as a starter for the Sox. In 12 games this season, the former Terp has a 4.10 ERA and 48 strikeouts.

OF LaMonte Wade, Rochester Red Wings (Minnesota Twins, AAA)

Wade spent a short three days in the majors with Minnesota in their series against the White Sox in Chicago. In his debut on June 28, the speedy outfielder reached base once on a hit-by-pitch and was caught stealing in the inning.

After being called up again by the Twins, Wade suffered a right thumb dislocation, placing him on the 10-day injured list on July 6. In Rochester, he earned a .246 average with a .392 OBP so far this season.

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

After starting the season on the injured list, Stinnett has taken the mound quite often for the Smokies. In 18 appearances, the right hander has a 3.73 ERA with 35 fanned batters.

SS/3B Kevin Smith, New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Toronto Blue Jays, AA)

Smith has climbed through the minors fairly quickly and started 2019 with the Fisher Cats after playing in Low-A and High-A last season.

So far Smith has eight homers and a .183 batting average, but is currently on the seven-day injured list.

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

After starting the season in Charlotte with the Rays’ High-A affiliate, Shaffer earned the call up to Double-A Montgomery to play for the Biscuits. The righty has a 2-2 record with a 2.45 ERA with his new club.

LHP Alex Robinson, Fort Myers Miracle (Minnesota Twins, High-A)

In a frustrating 2019, Robinson has remained on the seven-day injured list since April 1. The southpaw appeared in 25 games in 2018, posting a 4.98 ERA with more time out due to injury.

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

Dunn has spent his entire 2019 season with Palm Beach after playing for two ball clubs a season ago. The everyday second baseman is batting .224 with 19 RBIs for the Cardinals. Dunn also has 12 doubles on the year.

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

Costes started the spring with Quad Cities in Low-A, but after 28 games with 20 RBIs and a .291 average, the former Terp was called up to Houston’s High-A affiliate in Fayetteville.

Since being called up, Costes is hitting .261 with an OBP just shy of .390. The outfielder is currently not playing due to an injury that landed him on the seven-day injured list.

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

Bechtold is another Terp who climbed up the minor league rankings in the first half of 2019. Beginning the spring with Low-A, and after 66 games with a .367 OBP, the former Terp was called up to Fort Myers on June 18.

So far with the Miracle, Bechtold is hitting .235 with five RBIs. In his last 10 games he has a .286 average and eight hits.

RHP Jamal Wade, West Virginia Power (Seattle Mariners, Low-A)

In an injury-plagued season, Wade only appeared twice for the Power in early April. In 4.2 innings, he earned 10 strikeouts. Wade is now on the injured list after having Tommy John surgery in late May.

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

Biondic started just under half of his appearances on the mound so far this season. In 11 outings, the righty has a 4-0 record and a 2.91 ERA. The right-hander’s five starts of the season all came in a row and cemented him as one of the Drive’s rotation men.

LHP Jake Drossner, Helena Brewers (Milwaukee Brewers, Low-A)

Drossner was placed on the 60-day injured list before the season, and has not pitched since September 2016.

INF A.J. Lee, Tri-City ValleyCats (Houston Astros, Short-Season A)

After finishing his senior season at Maryland this spring, Lee was drafted to the Houston Astros in the 34th round of the MLB draft. Since then, the former Terp has put on a show for the Tri-City ValleyCats: in 18 games, Lee is hitting .288 with an OBP over .400.


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

In his third season with the Patriots, Rodriguez is coming off a hot year that earned him Mid-Season and Post-Season All-Star honors, the All-Star Game MVP award and the Patriots’ team MVP award.

This year, the former Terp is batting .264 with a .336 OBP and has earned a second consecutive All-Star appearance.

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

Schmit is off to a hot start this season with the Saints, posting a .288 average through 37 games. After three season with Sioux Falls Canaries, the infielder is in his first season with St. Paul, looking for his first All-Star selection since 2016.

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

Murphy finished his senior season with the Terps this spring, and after going undrafted in the MLB draft, he signed a deal with the Woolly Mammoths of the United Shore Professional Baseball League.


Pro Terps Update: LaMonte Wade Jr. Makes MLB Debut

Former Terp LaMonte Wade Jr. stepped onto a Major League field for the first time Friday night as he made his debut with the Minnesota Twins. After being called up on Thursday from Triple-A Rochester, Wade made the starting lineup in the team’s game against the Chicago White Sox.

In the nine hole and starting in right field, Wade earned two plate appearances, one of which he reached base on a hit-by-pitch. He was caught stealing second base in the inning. Wade was pinch hit for in the seventh by Nelson Cruz, who walked in his only plate appearance in the Twins’ loss.

Wade got the call to the majors after a series of unfortunate events for the ball club, where four outfielders suffered injuries in the last month. Left fielder Eddie Rosario sprained his ankle in the game Wednesday night, prompting Wade’s transition to the Minnesota Twins.

Wade’s journey to the major leagues were fast. After being drafted by Minnesota in the ninth round of the 2015 MLB Draft, the outfielder quickly moved up the ranks to Double-A, where he spent his entire 2017 season. The following season, Wade was sent to Triple-A Rochester.

In Triple-A ball, Wade posted a .238/.366./.351, complimented with nine home runs and 11 stolen bases. The outfielder’s defensive skills also proved to be a valuable asset to the Red Wings team.

With the numerous injuries plaguing the Twins’ outfield, Wade should see plenty of time on the field and in the lineup. The playoff-contending organization will finish out the weekend series on the south side of Chicago with Wade on the roster.

Minnesota Takes the Series in Crucial Game Three

Maryland’s bats went ice cold in a loss to Minnesota in the rubber match of a crucial three game series in late-May Big Ten play. On the day, the Terps lineup went 4-29 from the plate in the 2-1 loss.

Coming into Sunday’s game, Maryland sat at eighth place in conference standings. After the loss, the Terps drop to 10th and have a big hill to climb if they want to reach the postseason.

In what was a pitcher’s duel for most of the contest, Maryland junior Tyler Blohm made his fourth start of the season and threw a scoreless three before surrendering two runs, one earned, in the fourth, his last inning on the mound. In 72 pitches, the southpaw fanned four batters and walked two in his first outing since May 1.

The Terps’ usual Sunday starter, freshman Trevor LaBonte, came out of the bullpen in a big way and kept his team in the game, with 4.2 innings of scoreless work.

With Blohm on a short pitch-count coming off an injury, LaBonte expected to be called upon and did not disappoint in his tenure on the bump. After letting up a hit to his second batter faced in the fourth, the righty sat down 13 straight into the ninth inning.

Minnesota’s starter, Joshua Culliver, tossed 5.2 innings in dominating fashion, conceding only two hits and no runs. The Terrapins could not figure out the Gopher starter and failed to get a hit until the fourth inning.

The Terps almost made a comeback in the final inning of the game when Randy Bednar led off with a home run to center field, his ninth of the season. Third baseman Taylor Wright  followed Bednar with a double into the gap, putting the tying run on second with no outs.

With two on and none out, left fielder Michael Pineiro struck out, followed by catcher Justin Vought’s strike out of his own. Freshman Josh Maguire grounded to short to end spoil the comeback and end the game.

On a day where virtually nothing went their way at the plate, the Terps now look to next weekend’s Big Ten finale against Iowa to push them to the postseason. With the top eight teams in the conference making the tournament, Maryland needs multiple wins at home against a top team in the conference for a shot to play another day.


Maryland drops a 16 run bomb on the Tribe

After what seemed like another blowout loss to William & Mary early in the game, the Terps fired back with an enormous offensive performance to post their highest run total of the season, securing a 16-10 victory.

The rally started in the third inning with back-to-back solo home runs from third baseman Taylor Wright and first baseman Maxwell Costes that carried Maryland back from a 6-1 deficit. The Terps then turned to small ball for the remainder of the comeback, something that the Tribe could not contain.

“You got to take what the game gives you,” said head coach Rob Vaughn. “Our offense needs to build around setting innings up. By being able to use the short game, it opens up holes for you, for guys to take good swings.”

Designated hitter Josh Maguire poked a single through the hole into left field to bring in catcher Justin Vought. In the nine hole, center fielder Chris Alleyne then drew a walk with the bases loaded to bring in yet another run for the Terrapins.

AJ Lee continued his domination at the plate with an RBI of his own. The shortstop’s sac fly tied things up as right fielder Randy Bednar followed him up with a single to give the Terps a 7-6 lead. Bednar also delivered another RBI knock in the fifth to break the game open for Maryland with a 9-6 lead, his team-high third hit of the day.

“Hitting in the two spot, you get a lot of quality at-bats,” said Bednar. “We got people on base and into scoring position with some way to execute.”

With the first three innings lasting an astounding 96 minutes, the ballgame was anything but a pitcher’s dual. A total of 26 hits in the contest proved that it was the power of the bats that controlled the game.

“Coach Vaughn always says ‘anyway to get on board,'” said Bednar. “That’s what we do. When we’re not hitting the long ball, we always say pass it on to the next guy.”

To follow up their six run third inning, the Terps brought in seven more in the fifth to make it their highest scoring game of the year with 16 runs.

In the longest inning of the day, 11 Terps stepped up to the plate. Michael Pineiro, who entered the game for Alleyne in the top of the inning, singled to right to bring in the first of seven runs for Maryland.

The inning was highlighted by a grand slam belted over the batter’s eye in center field by Justin Vought, his fifth of the year.

“That one felt good,” said Vought. “Fastball up, that’s what I’m trying to do with that pitch. Like I said, that one felt good for sure.”

Maguire also went deep for the Terps to bring the score up to its final 16 runs. The fourth home run for the Maryland made it the most in a game all season.

“16 runs is great, four homers is great,” said Vaughn. “But the way they attacked the game, they attacked it with a lot of passion, a lot of energy. When you attack the game like that, more times than not, good things will happen.”

A day that heavily relied on the bullpen for Maryland featured a strong outing from sophomore Mark DiLuia. The righty went 4.2 strong innings, striking out four and conceding only two earned runs and four hits.

“Mark DiLuia is the reason we won today,” said Vaughn. “The key to that game is that we’re in the third inning and we need zeros.”

Sean Fisher came in to start the seventh for DiLuia and continued to dominate the Tribe offense. In two innings, the southpaw let up only one hit and a run in 31 pitches.

The Tribe started the afternoon hot, earning seven hits through the first two innings, yet failed to bring in runners for the remainder of the game. A total of 10 runners were left on base for William & Mary in the contest.

With the Terps’ 16 runs in the game, they scored more runs than their last four games combined. After dropping the game 8-1 a week ago to the Tribe, Maryland completed its revenge in a big way, now earning a 6-1 record in mid-week games this season.

In a quick turnaround, the Terps are back on the field Wednesday to take on the West Virginia Mountaineers for a 4 p.m. start.

Game Preview: William & Mary Tribe

Maryland vs William mary

Maryland returns home after a week long road trip to take on William & Mary in a midweek matchup on Tuesday. The Terps, who are coming off a series win at Illinois, seek revenge on the Tribe after dropping a game in Virginia last week.

Heading into last week’s game against William and Mary, Maryland was a perfect 5-0 in midweek games on the year, but the Tribe handed the Terps their first loss with a dominating score of 8-1.

A total of seven pitchers threw for Maryland, after starter Tuck Tucker went four innings. Sean Fisher was the most successful out of the many relievers, who tossed 1.2 innings with two strikeouts and conceding only one hit.

In their latest series, the Terps traveled to Illinois to take on the Fighting Illini in a Big Ten weekend series. After dropping its last three weekend series including two sweeps to East Carolina and Creighton, Maryland was desperate for a different result.

In the first game, the Terps rallied for four late runs in the ninth to earn the series opener. With a few singles, bunts and wild pitches, Maryland took advantage to take the lead and not give it back.

The Terps dropped the second game of the series, losing to Illinois 5-1. It seemed as if the Terps were making yet another comeback after getting two runners on in the ninth, but they failed to bring anyone home to even the score. Maryland took the series with a 8-4 win over Illinois in the third game. Randy Bednar blasted a three-run homer to left, his team-leading fifth of the season.

William & Mary Tribe (20-9, 4-4 CAA)

Last Season

The Tribe had the fewest wins in the program’s last 20 years with a grand total of 15, three of which came on the road. Their postseason hopes were eliminated with a 16-game losing streak to end the year. The Terps, however, dropped both games against William & Mary in the 15-win season.

This Season

As opposed to a disappointing 2018 campaign, William & Mary has started this year hot, posting 20 wins in the first two months of play. In the first 12 games of the spring, the Tribe only dropped one game and picked up big wins in non-conference play. With an even 4-4 record in CAA conference, William & Mary sits in fourth place, two games out of first.  

Hitters to Watch

Three hitters in the Tribe’s lineup are hitting above the .300 mark this season. Senior infielder Zach Pearson leads the team with a .327 average, complimented by 23 runs driven in. He is followed by senior catcher Hunter Smith, who with an average of .321 has hit eight home runs and 29 RBIs in as many games played. Freshman Hunter Hart is hitting .300 with 15 RBIs of his own.  

Relievers to Watch

Sophomore Randall Prosperi is the Tribe’s best arm out of the bullpen. In 17.1 innings of work, the righty has a 2.08 ERA with 19 strikeouts, while also picking up three wins in his tenure. The other effective reliever for William & Mary has been redshirt-junior Chris Farrell. In 15.1 innings, the righty has fanned 25 batters while only letting up 10 hits.


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.