Rankings Update: Week of 5/22/17

The Maryland Terrapins (34-19, 15-9 Big Ten) started off the second half of their season very well, but have since struggled mightily. The Terps finished their regular season in High Point, North Carolina, dropping the first two games of the series, but finished with a win.

Maryland, after losing their fourth straight weekend series, remains out of the rankings across the board. They finished tied for fourth in the Big Ten regular season standings.

The Terps will begin postseason play this week as they take on the fifth-seeded Iowa Hawkeyes on Wednesday night. Iowa finished the season with the exact same overall and conference record as Maryland. The Hawkeyes won their last four weekend series though, while the Terps lost their last four. The winner of the game will take on either Nebraska or Purdue.

Big Ten: T-4

D1Baseaball.com: Unranked

Baseball America: Unranked

RPI: 33

 

Rankings Update: Week of 5/8/17

The Maryland Terrapins (31-15, 14-7 Big Ten), who dropped two of three to Illinois this past weekend, have now lost four of their last seven games after winning seven in a row prior to this rough patch.

The Terps, after losing another weekend series, have fallen to second in the Big Ten. They remain ranked in just one major poll at the very last spot, 25.

Maryland, who has not played at home since April 23, will finally return home to the “Bob” this week. The Terps will take on UMBC (18-19, 10-7 America East) on Tuesday. Maryland will face James Madison (21-22, 5-13 Colonial) the next day. They will stay at home to face Northwestern (19-27, 8-10 Big Ten) for a three-game weekend series.

The Retrievers have won seven of their last nine games, and are coming off a series split with Maine. James Madison is coming off a series where they were swept by William & Mary, a team Maryland has beaten twice this year.

Northwestern just finished taking two of three from conference-foe Purdue. The Wildcats have no mid-week games this week, so will have four days rest coming into the series in College Park.

 

Big Ten: 2

D1Baseball.com: Unranked

Baseball America: Unranked

Perfect Game: 25

RPI: 24

Rankings Update: Week of 5/1/17

The Maryland Terrapins (29-13, 13-5 Big Ten) came into this past week winners of seven straight, but dropped two of three games in Bloomington against the Indiana Hoosiers.

Maryland pushed themselves back into the rankings last week after a sweep of Michigan State and even though they went under .500 this past week, they remain ranked. The Terps are also still first in the Big Ten.

The Terps again this week will be playing away from College Park. They will make the short trip over to Aberdeen to face Towson (16-25, 4-11 Colonial) on Wednesday. Maryland will then go all the way out to Champaign to take on Illinois (18-23, 5-10 Big Ten) for a three-game set.

The Tigers started off the year 6-1, but soon after lost 11 of 12. They are coming off a weekend series against William & Mary, whom Maryland defeated twice this year. The Tribe defeated Towson in two of three games to take the series.

Illinois has been a streaky team this season, seven times having a winning or losing streak of at least three games. They are coming off a weekend series in Minnesota where they took the last two games to win the series.

 

Big Ten: 1

D1Baseball.com: Unranked

Baseball America: 23

Perfect Game: 22

RPI: 20

Rankings Update: Week of 4/24/17

Coming off a weekend sweep of Penn State, the Maryland Terrapins (28-11, 12-3 Big Ten) defeated William & Mary on Wednesday for the second time this season, and then came back home for another sweep; this time beating Michigan State.

The Terps have now won seven consecutive game and have catapulted themselves back into the rankings in most major polls. Maryland is also now first in the Big Ten and boasts an impressive 18-1 record at home this season.

Maryland will have to do a lot of traveling this week as they try to continue their recent success. They will travel to Harrisonburg, Virginia to take on James Madison on Tuesday, and then head out Bloomington, Indiana to take on the Indiana Hoosiers for a three-game set.

James Madison (18-21, 3-12 Colonial) also faced William & Mary last week, but fared considerably worse than Maryland. The Dukes got swept, extending their losing streak to seven games coming into the game against Maryland.

Indiana (21-16-2, 8-6-1 Big Ten) is coming off a big weekend where they took two of three in Ann Arbor from a ranked Michigan team. The Hoosiers fell to Butler earlier in the week though, so they came out with an even 2-2 record.

Rankings Breakdown (click links for full rankings):

Big Ten: 1

D1Baseball.com: 22

Baseball America: 21

Perfect Game: 19

RPI: 27

Rankings Update: Week of 4/17/17

After coming back to defeat West Virginia and falling to George Mason, the Maryland Terrapins (24-11, 9-3 Big Ten) swept Penn State at home in an exciting series, to improve to 15-1 on the season in College Park.

The Terps, who fell out of the rankings last week due to a series loss against Nebraska, remain unranked in the three major polls. Maryland is second in the Big Ten, only trailing Minnesota.

Maryland has four games this week, including the second game of the season of the William & Mary (18-19, 4-5 Colonial). In the first matchup, Maryland defeated the Tribe 9-8 at Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium.

After making the trek up to Virginia Wednesday, Maryland will come back home to take on conference-foe Michigan State (20-12, 5-4 Big Ten). The Spartans are coming off a series win against Ohio State.

 

Big Ten: 2

D1Baseball.com: Unranked

Baseball America: Unranked

Perfect Game: Unranked

RPI: 34

Terps sweep Rutgers behind Blohm’s start, Costes and Gum home runs

The Maryland Terrapins continued to dominate the Rutgers Scarlet Knights Sunday in the back-end of a doubleheader, as the Terps won 9-1.

Maryland, with the sweep of Rutgers is now 18-8 (5-1 Big Ten), while the Scarlet Knights fall to 10-17 (0-3 Big Ten).

“It’s specifically hard to sweep a doubleheader in conference play on the road,” Head Coach John Szefc said. “Our guys came out strong, and you got to give a lot of credit to Blohm.”

Maryland scored early and they scored often. Brandon Gum, who went 2-4 with 3 RBI on the day, singled on a hard hit ball to shortstop Kevin Welsh, scoring Zach Jancarski and Marty Costes. Jancarski led off the game with a single and hustled to third on a Costes single, allowing Costes to advance to second.

“When you can get up on someone early and just bury them like that, it kinda just kills their confidence,” Brandon Gum said. “So when you do it early, that’s big looking forward in the back end of the game.”

Marty Costes led off the third inning with a long home run to center field. Not to be outdone, Brandon Gum sent a laser over the left field wall to go back-to-back with Costes. After a walk to Will Watson, Gaby Rosa’s day was finished. Maryland was not done, though as they added two more in the inning. One of those runs was thanks to the first hit of the year from Patrick Hisle, as he doubled to deep left center.

“It’s tough to do when you take your guy [Kevin Smith] out at short, and have to put somebody else in, those are big shoes to fill,” Gum said about Hisle. “I think he did a heck of a job.”

The meat of the order remained hot in the fourth, as Dunn, Costes and Gum all reached to start the inning with the bags juiced. A few batters later saw Madison Nickens sky a sacrifice fly into left. A.J. Lee soon followed with an infield single to extend the Maryland lead to 9-0.Maryland at Rutgers

Tyler Blohm had yet another solid outing, but still struggled with command a little bit. He did not surrender an earned run and struck out five in 5.2 IP, but walked three and was in a lot of long at-bats. The freshman, who lowered his ERA to 2.38, improved his record to 5-2 on the year.

Maryland continued to capitalize on Rutgers defensive miscues as has been the case the whole series. The Scarlet Knights committed two errors on the day, both contributing to runs for the Terps. Marty Costes had an error himself for Maryland, leading to the only run for Rutgers.

“Their [Maryland’s offense] just able to have consistent at-bats,” Szefc said. “Even when they outcome wasn’t good, they were going deep into counts.”

The rest of the pitching staff behind Blohm, which was fresh thanks to a great relief outing from Taylor Stiles in the first game of the doubleheader, performed admirably as well. Jared Price came in first out of the ‘pen and did not allow a run, including stranding the bases loaded in the seventh. Mike Rescigno pitched a scoreless eighth, striking out two. Hunter Parsons shut the door, retiring Rutgers in the ninth.

That pitching staff allowed just one run in each game of the series as Brian Shaffer, Taylor Bloom and Blohm really held the Scarlet Knights in check. Maryland outscored Rutgers 20-3 in the series.

Maryland, who has won 17 of their last 20, will now head back to College Park. They will face Richmond at 4 p.m. Tuesday for one game before heading out to Lincoln to face Nebraska.

Blohm struggles on the mound, Maryland drops first game of season at home

Tyler Blohm lasted just three innings and the Terrapin bats struggled Sunday as Maryland fell to No. 18 Michigan, 6-2, for their first home loss of 2017.

Coming off wins Friday and Saturday, the Terps (15-8, 2-1) were in a position to sweep their first Big Ten series of the year with a victory Sunday. But Blohm (4-2) faltered a week after earning his second-straight Big Ten Freshman of the Week plaudit, surrendering four runs on three hits and two walks over three frames, digging Maryland into an early hole. 

The freshman allowed a run on his own error in the first, but then settled down before things fell apart in the fourth. Blohm gave up a single and a walk to open the inning, but two passed balls by catcher Justin Morris allowed one runner to score, putting the other on third base. A second walk signaled Blohm’s exit, as the left-hander was pulled in favor of Jared Price after throwing just 55 pitches. 

“He was just getting behind hitters,” head coach John Szefc said. “He just kind of lost his feel for the strike zone, and an inning like that [fourth inning] blows up quick.”

Price allowed both inherited runners to cross the plate in the fourth, one on an RBI single and one on a bases-loaded wild pitch. After a walk loaded the bases again, left-hander Tayler Stiles came in to relieve Price.

In the fifth, Stiles gave up a run on a double, a single and a fielder’s choice, and the Wolverines plated their sixth run an inning later off Jamal Wade.

Maryland vs Michigan

Meanwhile, the Maryland offense was kept in check Sunday after scoring 12 runs over the first two games of the series. Michigan left-hander Michael Hendrickson surrendered two runs over five innings before the Wolverines’ bullpen stifled the Terps in the later innings.

Costes continued his strong play at the plate, however, going 2-4, both hits coming off Hendrickson.

“He commanded his off-speed well,” outfielder Marty Costes said. “He just made some mistakes to me.”

The Terps’ right fielder drove in their first run of the game, following a first-inning Nick Dunn double with a single of his own to knot the game at 1-1. He and Will Watson, who batted behind Costes in the lineup in each ballgame, each had two hits on the day, and finished with five and four hits in the series, respectively.

“It’s so comforting because [having Watson behind me in the lineup] takes a lot of pressure off of me,” Costes said. “Going up to the plate, I know I don’t have too much.”

Trailing 6-1 in the sixth, Costes and Watson opened the frame with back-to-back singles, prompting Hendrickson’s departure. The two runners moved to second and third on a wild pitch before Kevin Smith drove Costes home on a sacrifice fly, trimming the deficit to 6-2. With Watson on second and only one out, the Terps had an opportunity to strike again and cut into the Wolverines’ lead, but Madison Nickens flied out and Kevin Biondic struck out. 

Still down four in the ninth, Maryland again had a chance to score when pinch-hitter Nick Cieri singled with one out and AJ Lee followed with a walk to put men on first and second for Maynard. But the catcher flied out, and Zach Jancarski grounded out as the Terps fell at home for the first time in 11 contests. The loss is just their third loss in their last 17 contests.

One bright spot for Maryland was right-hander John Murphy, who threw two shutout frames to close out the game for the Terps. After a rocky freshman year, the sophomore has allowed just two unearned runs over six frames to open his sophomore season.

Maryland will look to get back in the win column Wednesday when they travel to Philadelphia to take on St. Joseph’s at 3 p.m. The Terps defeated the Hawks, 11-5, on March 8 in College Park.