Series Preview: Minnesota Golden Gophers

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Maryland (23-25, 8-10) enters its last road series, a three-game set in Minnesota, hovering in eighth place in the Big Ten standings.

After struggling against the first-place Michigan Wolverines last weekend, the Terps will look to bounce back against the fifth-place Golden Gophers. The last time Maryland faced Minnesota was in 2016, when the Golden Gophers took two of three.

Now, the Terps likely need at least two games over last year’s conference champs in order to have a shot at a Big Ten Tournament appearance. Maryland didn’t play a midweek this week, so it enters the series on four days of rest, compared to Minnesota’s two rest days. 

Sophomore Randy Bednar and senior AJ Lee both enter the weekend on the cusp of .300, batting .294 and .291, respectively. Bednar leads the Terps in doubled (19) and RBIs (44), while Lee has the highest on-base percentage (.429) of Maryland’s squad. 

Third baseman Taylor Wright, another Terrapin multi-base hit powerhouse, also rests just below the .300 mark (.281). Prior to last weekend, Wright led Maryland in doubles. Now, the senior has 18, trailing Bednar by one double. Bednar leads the Big Ten in doubles, with Wright just behind him.

In recent weeks Maryland’s bullpen depth has been tested, but the Terps held their own. Left-hander Andrew Vail and righty Nick Turnbull have both thrown sub-3.00 ERAs, with 2.60 in 17.1 innings pitched and 2.76 in 16.1 innings pitched, respectively. Vail proved particularly vital to the Terps’ bullpen, with 24 strikeouts in his 18 relief appearances.

Closer John Murphy enters the weekend with nine saves, tied with Michigan’s Willie Weiss for the third-most saves in the Big Ten. Murphy’s 45 strikeouts in 27.2 innings pitched are the third-most Ks among the Terps’ pitchers, and the most Ks among Terrapin relievers.

Minnesota Golden Gophers (22-23, 11-7 Big Ten)

Last Season

Minnesota dominated the Big Ten in 2018, finishing the regular season with a 44-15 record and a 18-4 conference record, walking away with the Big Ten regular season and tournament titles. The Golden Gophers made it to the NCAA Super Regionals, where the Oregon State Beavers handed them a pair of losses and ended their postseason run.

This season

Now, the Golden Gophers are struggling to recreate last year’s success. With an 11-7 Big Ten record, Minnesota hovers in fifth place in the conference standings, right behind Iowa (29-17, 11-7). The Golden Gophers enter the weekend matchup riding a three-game sweep of the Ohio State Buckeyes, and a midweek victory over South Dakota State on Tuesday.

Hitters to watch

Catcher Eli Wilson leads Minnesota’s offense, the only Golden Gopher batting above .300. Not only does the junior lead Minnesota in batting average (.314), but he also has a team-high 53 hits. Senior outfielder Ben Mezzenga is on the cusp of breaking .300, batting .281 with a team-high 29 walks.

Though his batting average isn’t remarkable (.244), redshirt-junior Jordan Kozicky leads the Golden Gophers with nine home runs.

Relievers to watch

Southpaw Jeff Fasching leads Minnesota with a 1.38 ERA in 26 innings pitched, followed by fellow lefty Nick Lackney (2.68 ERA in 20.1 innings pitched). For a Terrapin squad that has struggled against lefties this season, the pair will likely get the call at least once over the weekend.

Probable Starting Pitching Matchup 

Friday, 7:30 p.m. ET

Sr. RHP Hunter Parsons ( 8-3, 3.73 ERA) v. So. RHP Max Meyer (4-3, 2.18 ERA)

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After a solid start to the year, Parsons has proven he deserves his spot as the Terps’ ace. The senior has a team-high eight wins in his 12 games started, with the lowest ERA of all Maryland starters. The righty also leads the Terps with 62 strikeouts in 82 innings pitched.

For Minnesota, two-way player Meyer has settled into his role as the Golden Gophers’s Friday starter. With a team-high 79 strikeouts in 70.1 innings pitched, including nine starts and five relief appearances, Meyer enters the weekend a serious threat for the Terrapin offense.

Probable Starting Pitching Matchup 

Saturday, 8:00 p.m. ET

Jr. RHP Zach Thompson (2-5, 5.43 ERA) v. So. RHP Sam Thoresen (4-3, 5.19 ERA)

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Entering the weekend, the Terps have won only two of Thompson’s 12 starts. Though the righty has 52 strikeouts in 69.2 innings pitched, Maryland’s offense has struggled to provide the redshirt junior with adequate run support.

Minnesota’s Saturday starter, Thoresen has the second-most strikeouts (63) among the Golden Gophers’ staff. The right has made 11 starts on the year, pitching 43.1 innings for Minnesota. The Thompson-Thoresen matchup has the potential to turn into a pitcher’s duel, if Maryland’s offense shows up.

Probable Starting Pitching Matchup 

Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET

Fr. RHP Trevor LaBonte (1-3, 7.02 ERA) v. So. RHP Joshua Culliver (2-4, 5.47 ERA)

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LaBonte enters the weekend with the highest ERA of the Terps’ starters, in the fewest innings pitched (50). In freshman’s first season with Maryland, the righty has 40 strikeouts in his 11 starts and one relief appearance.

For Minnesota, the sophomore Culliver has developed into an average Sunday starter, entering the series with 42 strikeouts in 51 innings pitched, including 10 starts and four relief appearances.

 

Maryland struggles, comes out on top in midweek against Villanova

In its next-to-last midweek matchup of the season, Maryland (23-22) struggled to find consistency on Wednesday against Villanova (11-30). After pulling ahead to a four-run lead early, a struggling Terrapin bullpen threatened to throw away Maryland’s lead in the eighth.

But a huge double play got the Terps out of the inning and Maryland pulled off its eighth midweek victory of the season, defeating Villanova 5-2.

Junior Tyler Blohm made his second start in as many weeks on Wednesday, after struggling with a lingering shoulder injury to start the Terps’ 2019 campaign. The southpaw retired the first nine batters he faced before giving up his only walk on the day––a four-pitch freebie to start the fourth.

Blohm bounced back and struck out the next batter with his 49 pitch, reaching his pitch limit and forcing the Terps to make the call to the bullpen. His performance on the mound earned the southpaw the win, his first since 2018.

Though reliever Nick Turnbull gave up an RBI-double to the first batter he faced, the righty quickly grew comfortable on the mound. A junior as well, Turnbull gave up only the one run in his 3.2 innings of work, striking out five Wildcats.

Behind Blohm and Turnbull’s solid arms, Maryland’s aggressive base running early proved worthwhile, the Terps’ four-run second inning all that was required for the midweek victory.

Maryland executed an almost perfect hit-and-run in the second, after Caleb Walls singled to start the inning. As Justin Vought made contact with the first pitch of his at-bat, sending the ball through the left side, Walls rounded second to give the Terps runners on the corners and no outs.

Walls didn’t score however, as the junior was tagged out on a sac bunt attempt. But the Terps loaded the bases on the fielder’s choice and a subsequent walk, and a groundout and back-to-back singles from A.J. Lee and Randy Bednar drove in Maryland’s four runs.

But the Terrapin bullpen almost threw away that four-run inning, after Elliot Zoellner and Daniel O’Connor loaded the bases with no outs in the eighth.

Freshman Andrew Vail and the Terps’ defense ensured Maryland’s victory, however, as infield turned an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play, and the lefty struck out four batters to end the Wednesday matchup.

A solo homer from Vought to lead off the ninth capped the Terps’ offense, a simple response to the Wildcats’ busy bottom of the eighth.

Maryland returns home to face Michigan in a three-game series on Friday.

Game Preview: Villanova Wildcats

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After taking two of three against Penn State over the weekend, Maryland heads back up to Pennsylvania for a midweek matchup with the Villanova Wildcats on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. The matchup marks the first time the teams have met in over 20 years, as the Terps and Wildcats enter with a split series history, each team with two wins.

Maryland, hovering around the .500 mark for the past few weeks, will look for the midweek victory to provide added momentum heading into a tough series against Michigan starting Friday. For the Wildcats, who haven’t finished the regular season with a winning record since 2012, the Wednesday meeting marks a much-needed non-conference win.

The Terps’ offense, which fell quiet toward the start of conference play, has rebounded of late. With seniors A.J. Lee (.313) and Taylor Wright (.303) leading the team in batting average, Maryland poses an offensive threat to Villanova.

Lee enters the matchup riding a 10-game hitting streak and a 19-game on-base streak, while Wright and sophomore Randy Bednar (.286) are tied for the most doubles in the Big Ten, with 18 apiece.

Bednar also leads the Terps in RBIs (42), the second-most in the Big Ten, just behind Indiana’s Matt Lloyd (45).

A handful of Maryland pitchers could take the mound for the midweek start, including left-handers Drew Wilden (8.74 ERA) and Tuck Tucker (6.14 ERA), and righty Mark DiLuia (5.65 ERA). Wilden and Tucker started most of the Terps’ midweeks so far this season, with combined seven starts. Junior right-hander Tyler Blohm (4.15 ERA in 4.2 innings pitched) may also get the call to the mound, after a solid two-inning start last week against VCU.

From the bullpen, southpaws Sean Fisher (4.44 ERA) and Andrew Vail (2.03 ERA) and right-hander Sean Heine (9.45 ERA) are likely to make relief appearances, as is closer John Murphy (3.97), if the righty gets a save opportunity.

Villanova Wildcats (11-29, 3-6 Big East)

Last Season

The Wildcats struggled last year, finishing with a 9-38 record, including going 1-17 in the Big East.

This Season

Villanova’s struggles are far from over, however it has proved its 2019 campaign to be better than that of 2018. With a 11-29 record, the Wildcats enter the midweek on a one-game winning streak, after splitting a two-game series with Delaware last weekend.

Hitters to Watch

Freshman two-way players Nick Lorusso (.310) and senior catcher Doug deMarrais (.302) lead the Wildcats in batting average, the only players hitting above .300. The pair is also in a three-way tie for the second-most home runs (3), and Lorusso leads Villanova in hits (45).

Pitchers to Watch

The Wildcats appear to be in a similar pitching situation to the Terps; in a pair of midweeks last week, Villanova used a total of 10 different pitchers, four of which made appearances in both games. None of the Wildcats’ pitchers hold sub-3.00 ERAs. Most likely to make mound appearances for Villanova are right-handers Cameron Mathes (5.97 ERA) and Jason Applegate (7.84 ERA).

Maryland clinches series win, taking game one of its doubleheader against Penn State

Before the Terps’ doubleheader against the Nittany Lions on Saturday, senior Taylor Wright said he wanted to hit a home run into or over the bleachers in left field at Medlar Field in University Park, Pennsylvania.

When Maryland needed it the most––leading 5-4 in the top of the ninth––Wright sent a blast deep into those very bleachers, giving the Terps a much-needed insurance run en route to the series-clinching 6-4 win over Penn State in game one of the doubleheader.

After defeating Penn State 5-2 in the series opener on Friday, Maryland continued to capitalize on the Nittany Lions’ defensive miscues in game one of the doubleheader––the Terps’ fourth consecutive Saturday doubleheader.

Maryland put a run on the board first Saturday, taking advantage of a Penn State throwing error. State College native Caleb Walls laid a sacrifice bunt down the third base line in the second inning, an attempt to move Maxwell Costes to third after the freshman doubled to start the inning.

But the Nittany Lions’ third baseman Justin Williams tripped while fielding Walls’ bunt, sending his throw into right field rather than to first baseman Ryan Ford. Costes came home on the throwing error giving Maryland the 1-0 lead.

Another Penn State throwing error, a failed pickoff attempt from right-hander Eric Mock, helped the Terps put up a two-out two-run rally in the fifth to take the lead. The rally started with a double from Chris Alleyne, who knocked the ball into the right-field corner. Then, Mock sent the ball soaring over second base into center field, and Alleyne made his way to third.

After AJ Lee worked a hit-by-pitch, giving the Terps runners on the corners,  Randy Bednar sent a double to right-center field, the ball bouncing off the top of the wall. Both baserunners crossed the plate on Bendar’s hit, giving the sophomore the most RBIs amongst the Terps (42).

Terrapin starter Zach Thompson looked himself on the mound through the first six innings, allowing one run on three hits. But the righty started to fall apart in the seventh, after hitting the first two batters he faced. One run came across in the inning for the Nittany Lions after a sacrifice bunt and an RBI-groundout, but Thompson worked out of the jam and Maryland remained ahead 3-2 heading to the eighth.

Penn State’s only hit through the first four innings came on a solo homer from Shea Sbranti in the third. The senior’s shot sailed over the right-field wall, tying the game at one run apiece.

The Nittany Lions’ second hit didn’t come until the fifth inning, when Thompson gave up a single after hitting Penn State’s leadoff. But help from a Maryland 4-6-3 double play got the righty out of the inning, the Terps’ 3-1 lead intact. Thompson went a full seven innings, putting up three runs on three hits and striking out three.

Right-hander Mark DiLuia entered with a runner on first and no outs in the eighth. After a pickoff error from catcher Justin Vought moved the runner to third, Penn State threatened to cut into Maryland’s 5-2 lead.

Though DiLuia made a huge play shortly after relieving Thompson, fielding a ground ball and sprinting to first base for the first out of the inning, the right-hander gave up two runs on two hits, including a solo home run, and Penn State cut Maryland’s lead to 5-4.

Closer John Murphy finished the game for the Terps, earning his ninth save of his senior campaign after battling against the bottom of the Nittany Lions’ lineup and throwing 32 pitches. Murphy’s outing ensured Maryland’s series win heading into game two of the doubleheader.

 

Pro Terps Update: 4/16/19

Three former Terps started the 2019 season in the majors, and it’s likely more will reach the big leagues for the first time in their careers by the end of the year.

Here’s a look at those pro Terps whose seasons have already started:

LHP Brett Cecil, St. Louis Cardinals (MLB)

While Cecil spent part of 2018 as the only Terp in the pros, both Adam Kolarek and Brandon Lowe joined him as major-leaguers by the end of the season. Cecil is still struggling with an injury, however, and is currently on the 60-day injured list.

LHP Adam Kolarek, Tampa Bay Rays (MLB)

After making his major-league debut in 2017, Kolarek put up stints in the majors in 2017 and 2018, before making the opening day roster for Tampa Bay this season. The lefty started last season in Durham with the Bulls, but got the call up to Tampa after only 31 appearances in the Rays’ AAA-affiliate, during which he boasted a 1.61 ERA.

Kolarek has made nine appearances in 2019 after throwing 34.1 innings for Tampa in 2018. This season, Kolarek holds a 0.00 ERA in 5.2 innings pitched, which include four strikeouts.

2B/OF Brandon Lowe, Tampa Bay Rays (MLB)

Since his major-league debut last August, Lowe proved himself worthy of a full-time spot on the Rays’ roster, signing a six-year contract extension in March.

In his 15 games with Tampa this season, Lowe has stayed hot, batting .302 and slugging .585 with four home runs, including a two-homer game on April 12.  After signing his contract extension, the second baseman has showed Tampa he was worth the cash.

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

Wade made the move up to AAA partway through 2018 after hitting close to .300 with the Twins’ Chattanooga Lookouts. Since the move, the outfielder hit .229 in his 74 games with Rochester in 2018, including 11 home runs.

Now, Wade remains in Rochester, batting .219 in his first 10 appearances, though he has a .375 OBP after working eight walks and putting up seven hits.

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

Shawaryn quickly ascended the Red Sox’s minor-league system after being drafted in the fourth round in 2016. Last season, Shawaryn started out with the Portland Sea Dogs in AA before making the move to AAA. In Pawtucket, Shawaryn threw a 3.93 ERA in seven appearances, six of which were starts. He went 36.2 innings, striking out 33 and allowing only 16 runs.

After making the Red Sox’s major-league camp to start spring training, Shawaryn is back in AAA. In his 11.1 innings pitched over two starts he’s struck out 14 and allowed four runs on 10 hits and only two walks.

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

Stinnett is currently on the Smokies’ seven-day injured list, according to thecubreporter.com.

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

Like many former Terps, Smith moved through the Blue Jays’ minor-league system quickly. After spending time with Toronto’s Low-A and High-A teams in 2018, Smith started this season in AA with the Fisher Cats.

So far he’s batting .268 with one home run and 11 hits in 10 games. The season is still young, however, and if Smith’s 18 homers in 83 games in High-A are any marker, Smith may turn things on soon.

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

After struggling with injury early in 2018, Robinson returned to the mound for 25 games with the Miracles, posting a 4.98 ERA before another brief stint on the injured list in late August.

This season, Robinson has been listed on Fort Myers’ seven-day inured list since April 1.

RHP Brian Shaffer, Charlotte Stone Crabs (Tampa Bay Rays, High-A)

Since his sixth-round draft pick by Arizona in 2017, Shaffer has stayed solid in the minors. This season is the right-hander’s first full season with the Stone Crabs, after Arizona traded him to Tampa Bay in August last year.

Shaffer remains steady on the mound, boasting a 2.57 ERA in seven innings pitched over three relief appearances so far this year. The righty recorded four strikeouts in those three outings, while allowing only two runs on seven hits.

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

Dunn spent time in both short-season A and low-A last season after his fifth-round draft pick from the Cardinals. In his 65 games between the two leagues, Dunn batted .253 with three home runs and 14 doubles (all of which came in Low-A).

This year, Dunn started the season in High-A with Palm Beach. In 44 at-bats over 10 games so far, Dunn is hitting .273 with three RBIs and 12 hits, including one double. Additionally, Dunn has only struck out four times so far this season.

OF Marty Costes, Quad Cities River Bandits (Houston Astros, Low-A)

After only four games in short-season A, Costes spent the majority of last season with Houston’s Low-A affiliate. Between the two leagues, the outfielder batted .231 with a .345 OBP.

Now, Costes remains with the River Bandits, hitting .300 in eight games. Among his nine hits so far, Costes has one triple and three RBIs, while he struck out only four times.

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

In his first season with the Power, Wade is continuing his dominance on the mound. The right-hander struck out 10 batters in his 4.2 innings of relief so far, meaning of those 4.2 innings, only four outs have not been Ks.

Wade boasts a 3.86 ERA in those two outings, having allowed only two runs on four hits and four walks.

Maryland freshmen prove they belong, get first at-bats as Terps

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When Maryland baseball traveled for the majority of its early-season games, infielder Josh Maguire stayed in College Park. He and catcher Tavan Shahidi would work in extra offensive reps while the Terps spent their weekends on the road.

Oftentimes, players that aren’t expected to receive time on the field are excluded from team travel plans. And to start his freshman campaign, Maguire was one of those players left behind, with the only ways to closely follow games via online video and radio streams.

But head coach Rob Vaughn has shown he has no qualms about fiddling with the Terps’ lineup and rewarding players who prove themselves in practices and in games. That now includes Maguire, who has started in Maryland’s last six games.

It all started with two pinch-hit opportunities two weekends ago against Indiana, when Maguire’s first-career hit left the yard in only his fourth at-bat of the season.

“I couldn’t draw it up any better,” Maguire said on Terps Pregame. “It’s what you dream of … the feeling was awesome.”

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Photo credit: Paige Leckie / MBN

Now, in 42 at-bats, it’s clear the freshman’s hard work both with and away from his team early in the year has paid off. The freshman is hitting .231 with six hits, three of which are home runs. He leads the Terps with a .577 slugging percentage.

On Wednesday, freshman Zach Doss found himself in a similar situation to Maguire. While Maguire practiced while the Terps were on the road, Doss took reps in the Maryland bullpen, where he treated every catching rep as if it was a real game, according to senior captain John Murphy.

So, when Doss found himself in Maryland’s lineup suddenly, replacing catcher Sebastian Holte-Mancera in the fourth inning Wednesday against West Virginia, the freshman was ready to face a Division I opponent for the first time.

When Doss entered, Maryland was yet to plate a run and trailed West Virginia 5-0. Vaughn didn’t like the tempo at which the Terps played their first three innings, and gave Doss the nod with the hopes the young catcher would reinvigorate the Maryland lineup.

The Terps eventually lost 8-1, but Doss’ energy behind the plate did give Maryland a boost. In the fifth, the Terps finally put a run on the board after right fielder Michael Pineiro and Doss reached base on a hit-by-pitch and a walk.

Doss’ high-energy personality brings the emotion out of people, Murphy explained. It’s not necessarily what Doss says to his teammates, but the way he carries himself.

“I thought he was the bright spot of the game tonight,” Vaughn said. “That guy shows up [every day] and works. He’s a workhorse. he gets after it, he does his thing every day. [He] infused us [with energy] in a spot that we really needed it.”

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Photo credit: Paige Leckie / MBN

Doss didn’t record an official at-bat until the ninth inning, after he walked in the fifth and was hit by a pitch in the seventh. In the bottom of the ninth, Doss struck out swinging.

But even then, Doss reached base — his third time in as many at-bats for the Terps — when the third strike got past the West Virginia catcher and Doss sprinted to first safely. It jump-started a bases-loaded rally that ultimately fell short.

“I tell these guys, it’s a game of opportunities,” Vaughn said. “Maguire got his opportunity a couple weeks ago, and has taken advantage of it. Doss got an opportunity tonight, and showed us that he can handle it, that he’s more than capable to catch at this level and handle his own business.”

Maryland struggles to overcome early run deficit against West Virginia

Freshman Andrew Vail entered in the fifth, with the Terps trailing 6-0 to the Mountaineers, bases loaded and one out. The righty secured two consecutive outs––a strikeout and a fly out––to get Maryland out of the half.

After a come-from-behind 16-10 victory over William & Mary the day before, Maryland (16-16) struggled in its Wednesday matchup against West Virginia (20-12). Free bases from the Terps’ pitchers and a lackluster offense added up in Maryland’s 8-1 loss to West Virginia in College Park.

“I was like, ‘This is the perfect spot for you,'” head coach Rob Vaughn explained he said to Vail on the mound before the lefty took over in the fifth. “Because that’s all he does, is…put fires out in big spots.”

Vail returned in the sixth, putting up the first 1-2-3 inning for the Terps. The freshman was the fourth pitcher on the mound for Maryland, after junior Nick Turnbull went only a third of an inning in his first start as a Terp.

“[Turnbull} kid of lost the zone a little bit a couple weeks ago,” Vaughn said. “Sometimes you can throw a guy in a little bit different role and give him a little bit different perspective of the game and it allows him to go out there and perform.”

That didn’t happen on Wednesday, however, as Turnbull loaded the bases on two walks and a single and struggled to secure the first out. After he walked a third batter, his day on the mound was done. All four batters who reached base against Turnbull crossed the plate in the first, and the Mountaineers took a lead they did not relinquish all game.

“We gave way too many freebies,” Vaughn said. “We had 14 walks and hit-by-pitches, and 11 of those were in the first four innings. I credit the guys for making some pitches to get out of jams, but just too nay pitches, too many jams, too many base runners early.”

The junior’s outing started a series of relief appearances in which seven Terrapin pitchers gave up a total of 12 walks and hit a combined two batters.

Right-hander Daniel O’Connor finished the first, though an error from shortstop AJ Lee, a hit batter and a single combined with Turnbull’s outing to give West Virginia a four-run lead heading into the bottom of the first.

O’Connor went 2.1 innings, allowing one hit and one run while walking four. Once the righty walked three on two outs in the third, however, the Terps went to the bullpen and called on fellow right-hander Sean Heine.

But Heine talked the first batter he faced, driving in a run before securing the third out that eluded O’Connor.

“I know they’re competing their balls off,” Lee said of the Terps pitching staff. “Being up there you feel like you’re on an island sometimes, but I just try to make sure they know they’ve got a defense behind them and let them keep working.”

Vail was the first Terp to put up three-up, three-down inning, and his string of five consecutive outs was the longest string of outs for a single Maryland pitcher on Wednesday. The only other Terp to record a 1-2-3 inning was closer John Murphy, who shut down the Mountaineers in the ninth.

West Virginia added to its lead with a two-run homer deep to left-center in the eighth, but by that point Maryland was unlikely to mount a comeback, after struggling to drive runs home.

“Where we had a lot [of free bases], [West Virginia] limited it ,” Vaughn said. “And when you’ve just got to line up and hit, hit, hit, it can be a little bit difficult.”

With bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the ninth, Maryland seemed to have finally found its much-needed offense. But, a backward K and a ground out to second ended the potential rally, as West Virginia held on to its 8-1 lead.

“We were a little passive there early,” Lee said. “They guy had good stuff, but we definitely took a lot of pitches that we should have moved on, and just missed a couple opportunities.”

The Terps’ first and only run came in the fifth, as Maryland built off Vail’s momentum in the top of the inning. AJ Lee knocked a one-out sac fly to deep center to plate in Michael Pineiro from third––Pineiro had reached to start the half, after taking a pitch to the knee.

Maryland put at least one runner on base in eight of nine innings, but it wasn’t until the fifth that the Terps were able to driven home. The Terrapin offense finished the day with 11 left on base, after four walks, two hit batters and five hits.

“The biggest thing for us is to just flush it,” Lee said. “We’ve been playing good baseball the last couple weeks. So I think [if we] just flush it, flush this, and get back to what we do, I think we’ll be fine.”