Series Preview: UNC Wilmington Seahawks

The Maryland Terrapins have been red hot as of late. The Terps (12-6) are fresh off a weekend sweep of Princeton at home and have won 11 of their last 12 games. This week, they are heading to Wilmington, North Carolina, for a two-game set against the Seahawks (8-9).

UNC Wilmington started the season off 4-9 thanks in part to a schedule that had them playing five games against three different ranked teams. They’ve picked it up lately, however, taking the second game of a doubleheader against Longwood on March 11 before sweeping VCU this past weekend.

The Seahawks are led by their offense, scoring 36 runs during their four game win streak. Outfielder Casey Golden, one of four starters hitting over .300, has led the team. The senior has put together an impressive .316/.418/.719 slash line in 16 games this season to go with a team-high seven homers, including one in each of the Seahawks’ last four games.

Maryland’s recent success has come thanks to strong pitching performances. Brian Shaffer, Taylor Bloom and Tyler Blohm all turned in solid starts over the weekend, with only Bloom (6.2 IP, 2 R, 1 ER) allowing Princeton to cross the plate. The Terps’ bullpen turned in 5.1 scoreless frames over the three-game set.

The Terps’ bats have cooled off after a hot streak earlier in the month, but were still productive over the weekend. Junior designated hitter Will Watson helped pace the offense during the series, collecting 6 hits in 11 at bats, while Madison Nickens and Kevin Smith both homered against the Tigers.

Nickens and fellow outfielder Marty Costes have led Maryland’s offense so far this season. Nickens leads the team with three homers and a .512 slugging percentage, and is tied with Smith for the team lead in RBIs (11). Costes is pacing the Terps with a .324 batting average, while his .448 on-base percentage ranks second on the team.

The last time these two teams faced off, the Seahawks took two out of three games from No. 12-ranked Maryland in Wilmington in March 2015.

Starting Pitching Matchup

TUE 4 p.m. EST

Sr. RHP Mike Rescigno (1-0, 6.43 ERA) vs. Fr. LHP Zarion Sharpe (0-0, 20.25 ERA)

1Maryland_M_Bar_Primary_Athletic_Logo   vs.unc wilmington

Senior Mike Rescigno will get the ball for the Terps, making the first start of his college career. The flame-throwing right-hander has been one of John Szefc’s primary bullpen pieces over the past couple years, making 23 relief appearances last season with three saves, and seven appearances so far this season.

Freshman left-hander Zarion Sharpe will take the mound for UNC Wilmington, making his first career collegiate start. The Greenville, N.C., native has made two appearances for the Seahawks, pitching 1.1 innings and allowing three runs, all earned, on a hit and two walks.

Starting Pitching Matchup

WED 3:30 p.m. EST

Sr. LHP Tayler Stiles (1-1, 6.43 ERA) vs. R-Jr. LHP Clay Lockamon (0-0, 2.70 ERA)

1Maryland_M_Bar_Primary_Athletic_Logo    vs.unc wilmington

Maryland will give the ball to Tayler Stiles Wednesday as the left-hander will make the first start of the 2017 season. The senior has been a key part of both the Terps’ bullpen and starting rotation over the past two years, making 29 appearances and 11 starts across 2015 and 2016. He has pitched seven innings of relief this season, allowing five runs while striking out seven.

UNC Wilmington will counter with a southpaw of their own, redshirt junior Clay Lockamon, who will also be making his first start of the year. He has thrown 3.1 innings across five appearances this year, allowing just one run on four hits. He has just one collegiate start under his belt, last March against NC State, in which he gave up four runs (all earned) over 2.2 innings of work.

Rankings Update: Week of 3/13/17

The Maryland Terrapins (9-5) are rolling. Wins against William & Mary and Saint Josephs followed by a weekend sweep of Bryant University makes it eight straight victories for the Terps.

This 5-0 week wasn’t enough to put Maryland back in the rankings however, as they’ve been completely unranked since the week of 2/27/17.

This week, the Terps will visit Chapel Hill, North Carolina to take on the No. 11 Tar Heels (12-4) before coming home for a three game weekend series against Princeton (2-6).

With the Terrapins remaining unranked, Michigan is once again the only Big Ten team to be ranked nationally, appearing at No. 21 on D1Baseball and No. 24 on Baseball America.

D1Baseball.com: Unranked

Baseball America: Unranked

Perfect Game: Unranked

NCBWA: Unranked

USA Today’s Coaches’ Poll: Unranked

Rankings Update: Week of 3/6/17

The Terrapins (4-5) took care of business at the USA Baseball-Irish Classic. Victories against Notre Dame, No. 6 NC State, and Dayton made for a 3-0 week for a Maryland team that remains unranked after getting off to a poor start this season. A stretch that saw them lose five of their first six games dropped Maryland from D1Baseball, Baseball America, and Perfect Game’s polls.

With five games at home this week against William & Mary (6-4), Saint Joseph’s (0-9), and a three-game weekend series against Bryant (3-7), the Terps will look to stay hot.

Michigan’s appearance at No. 24 in D1 Baseball’s rankings makes the Wolverines the lone Big Ten Team to be ranked nationally.

D1Baseball.com: Unranked

Baseball America: Unranked

Perfect Game: Unranked

NCBWA: Unranked

USA Today’s Coaches’ Poll: Unranked

Rankings Update: Week of 2/27/17

The Terrapins (1-5) continue to slide this week after getting swept by LSU in Baton Rouge. After going into the week unranked in every poll except for Perfect Game (23), the Terps’ struggles against the Tigers have dropped them from all top-25 rankings.

Maryland will look for redemption this week with a Wednesday home opener against James Madison University (6-1) and a weekend in North Carolina for the USA Baseball-Irish Classic. There, they will play Notre Dame (1-6), No. 6 NC State (4-2), and Dayton (2-4).

With Maryland dropping out of the rankings, there is not a single Big Ten team that is nationally ranked.

D1Baseball.com: Unranked

Baseball America: Unranked

Perfect Game: Dropped Out

NCBWA: Unranked

USA Today’s Coaches’ Poll: Received Votes

Preseason Countdown: Jamal Wade, #1

Maryland Baseball Network is counting down to Opening Day! Today marks one day until the start of the 2017 season, so here’s a look at #1, Jamal Wade.

OF/RHP Jamal Wade
OF/RHP Jamal Wade

JAMAL WADE | 1

Year: Junior

Position: Outfield/Pitcher

Bats/Throws: R/R

Height/Weight: 6’0″/205 lbs.

Hometown: Owings Mills, Md.

Previous School: St. Paul’s School

2016 Spring Stats: 19 games (4 starts) .111 (3-for-27), 1 R, .200 OBP, .111 SLG

2016 Summer Stats (Keene Swamp Bats, New England Collegiate Baseball League): .267 (20-for-75), 6 2B, 2 HR, 11 RBIs, 9 R, .345 OBP, .427 SLG; 1-1, 11.1 IP, 1.58 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, 21 K, 8 BB

About Jamal: After a solid freshman year that saw him slug .451 with five home runs in 35 games, Jamal Wade only appeared in 19 games in 2016. While he batted just .111 in the spring, Wade found success on both sides of the ball while playing summer ball for the Keene Swamp Bats of the New England Collegiate Baseball League. The Owings Mills, Md., native batted .267 with two home-runs, six doubles, and 11 RBIs, while also seeing time on the mound, where he was 1-1 with a 1.58 ERA and 21 strikeouts in 11.1 IP. Wade’s two way success goes back to high school; in his senior year he posted an 8-1 record and an 0.52 ERA while hitting .500 with 35 RBIs. He is the brother of current Twins’ minor leaguer and former Terp LaMonte Wade. While the Terps’ bullpen and outfield are both crowded this spring, Wade’s versatility could make him an intriguing option at the plate and on the mound.

 

Preseason Countdown: Rob Vaughn, #2

Maryland Baseball Network is counting down to Opening Day! Today marks two days until the start of the 2017 season, so here’s a look at #2, Rob Vaughn.

Associate Head Coach Rob Vaughn
Associate Head Coach Rob Vaughn

ROB VAUGHN | 2

Position: Associate Head Coach

Hometown: Humble, Texas

Alma Mater: Kansas State (’11)

Experience: 5th season at Maryland

About Vaughn: Rob Vaughn is set to begin his fifth season at Maryland, his first as associate head coach. He first joined the Maryland coaching staff in 2012 after a two-year stint as a volunteer assistant coach at Kansas State University, his alma mater.

After a standout career as a catcher in his four years at Kansas State, Vaughn was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the 30th round of the 2009 MLB Draft. He spent parts of two seasons in the minors, where he played with current major leaguers such as Dodgers’ outfielder, Trayce Thompson, and Mets’ reliever, Addison Reed.

While directing Maryland’s recruiting efforts, Vaughn brought in the highest ranked recruiting class in team history in 2015. Under his tutelage, many recent recruits have made an immediate impact at the plate, including Nick Dunn and Marty Costes, who were both awarded Big Ten All-Freshman honors in 2016. In his six years as a coach, Vaughn has coached 24 players who have either been drafted or signed by a professional team, including 2015 draftees Brandon Lowe and LaMonte Wade.

Vaughn’s refers to his hitting philosophy as “The Pack.” In the Pack, each hitter has his own role, whether it be to run, drive in runs, be a “master of execution,” or a combination of the three. The three Pillars of the Pack, as Vaughn calls these attributes, are vital in the Pack’s effort to function as a single unit.

Terps’ signee Tommy Gardiner ready to bring strong work ethic and passion to College Park

Lenape High School leadoff hitter Tommy Gardiner stood in the batter’s box facing a 1-2 count. On the next pitch, he unloaded, launching the curveball over the left-center field fence to give the Lenape Indians a 1-0 lead over Camden Catholic. The Indians would go on to win 4-1 on Senior Night.

“It felt good to get my teammates fired up.” Gardiner said. “It was an important game to jump start a big seven-game win streak.”

Gardiner signed his National Letter of Intent to play baseball at the University of Maryland on November 9.

“I chose Maryland for the great coaching staff and the good education,” Gardiner said. “I want to win a national championship and I feel we can win one here.”

The 5’8, 140 lb. second-baseman will have some familiar faces on the roster as he is already well acquainted with fellow commits Drew Wilden, Chris Alleyne and Richie Schiekofer—all four are from the South Jersey/Philadelphia area.

Gardiner, a native of Mount Laurel, N.J., started playing baseball around the age of five. Originally a catcher, he made the move to the middle infield seven years later. In eighth grade, Gardiner attended an All Out Baseball (AOB) showcase, participating with some of the best high school players in the area.

“[Gardiner] has a special ability to barrel the ball up on the bat,” AOB Coach Guy Lynam said. “His wrists are strong and he knows how to use his body well and transfer 100 percent of his weight into the baseball.”

Lynam raves about his defensive skills as well, saying he has the utmost confidence in him to make plays.

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Photo Courtesy of Tommy Gardiner.

“I’ve seen [Gardiner] play just under 1000 games.” Lynam said. “Literally, I’ve never seen the kid make an error.”

As much as Gardiner is talented, it’s his work ethic that really impresses Lynam.

“I’ve seen Tommy play since he was nine years old,” he said, “When [Gardiner] started playing on our teams he was probably lower in the lineup. An eight or nine hitter because of size.”

But Gardiner’s size, or lack thereof, gave him a chip on his shoulder which helped fuel an unstoppable determination. Gardiner’s hard work and dedication made him into “one of the best pure hitters in [ABO’s] program,” according to Lynam.

While he is excited to get started at the University of Maryland, Gardiner’s focus is currently on his high school baseball team.

“Every year we’ve made it pretty far [in the playoffs]; we’ve never won a state championship.” Gardiner said. “We’d like to do that this year.”