Maryland Beats VCU In Convincing Fashion 10-5

On a day highlighted by their offense, Maryland was able to grab a convincing win at home over the VCU Rams. Ten runs on 17 hits helped the Terps put their home struggles to rest at least for now.

The Rams struck quickly with a leadoff home run on Tyler Blohm’s second pitch of the day. Brett Norwood got a fastball and didn’t miss; driving the ball to deep right-center field and over the wall next to the batters eye.

The Terps were able to strike back, however, on a single by freshman first baseman Maxwell Costes scoring Randy Bednar. This gave Blohm a clean slate in the second inning as he set then set down the Rams seven, eight, and nine hitters en route to a 1-2-3 inning. Blohm also struck out the last two batters of that inning looking. Daniel O’Connor came in to relieve Blohm to start the third inning.

Maryland began the second inning with back to back singles from Justin Vought and Michal Piniero before second baseman Ben Cowles reached on an attempted sacrifice bunt to load the bases. Junior Ben Irvine followed with a groundout to first base driving in the Terps second run and giving them the lead.

The great bottom of the second continued when Randy Bednar knocked in both Cowles and Michael Pineiro on a two-RBI single. Taylor Wright followed Bednar and promptly drove him in on an RBI double giving the Terps a convincing 5-1 lead after two innings

O’Connor allowed three earned runs and was able to retire just one batter before he was relieved by sophomore Sean Fisher in the third inning. The Rams refused to give up, getting runners on base and continuing to fight back in the game.

In the bottom of the fourth AJ Lee extended the Maryland lead to 6-4 with a two-out solo shot to left field. This gave him his third homer of the year and put him in a tie with teammate Josh Maguire for fifth on the team.

The Terps continued to put baserunners on in the inning, loading the bases for Josh Maguire and the freshman came through. A single up the middle scored both Randy Bednar and Taylor Wright and extended the Terps lead to 8-4. Ben Cowles followed up the next inning with a solo shot of his own; a towering shot to left center field extending the lead to 9-4.

This gave Sean Fisher a cushion to work with heading into his second full inning of work. Fisher shut down the Rams through the fifth before handing the ball off to freshman Drew Wilden.

Wilden would shut down the Rams in the sixth and got two quick outs in the seventh before allowing a double and a single to Paul Witt and Liam Hibbits respectively cutting the Terps lead to four. Andrew Vail, a freshman, came in to relieve Wilden, inheriting two baserunners but escaping the inning.

The Terps added one more run of their own in the bottom of the seventh inning after Ben Cowles hit the top of the batters eye, narrowly missing a home run. He was then driven in on what was ruled a single for AJ Lee. Lee hit the ball on the ground to the VCU second baseman who was playing in to cut the runner down at home; he was not able to get either out after bobbling the ball.

The Terps will look to add to this win over a good VCU team in their upcoming three-game set this weekend at Penn State. Maryland will also look to continue their success on the road, currently, at 11-8 on the road, the Terps will have a good chance to add to this against a less than spectacular Penn State squad. The Nittany Lions currently sit at 17-18 overall.

 

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Game Preview: VCU Rams

Maryland at VCU

Maryland finishes its four-game homestand with a matchup against the VCU Rams on Tuesday afternoon. The Terps are coming off a rough weekend series against Ohio State, in which they lost two of three.

The Terps and Rams have already faced off twice this season and met twice last season, as well. Last season, the two teams split their two matchups while this season Maryland has won both matchups, 5-3 and 4-3, respectively.

Last season, Maryland took the first meeting, winning 2-0 in a low-scoring pitchers’ duel. However, VCU bounced back in mid-April routing the Terps by a score of 14-3.

VCU comes into this game 5-5 in their last 10 games, struggling to put together winning streaks after a great start to the season. Like Maryland, VCU lost two out of their three games over the weekend to Richmond. However, two of those losses were by one run and its game on Sunday was lost in an 11-inning marathon.

The Terps continue to struggle at home after the weekend’s two losses, dropping their record at Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium to a less than spectacular 7-12. Maryland is currently 11-8 on the road this season and this has kept their overall record close to .500 at 19-21.

The bats produced a combined 24 runs in the weekend series against Ohio State and this type of sustained offensive pressure will be key if Maryland wants to continue to win games moving forward. The Terps also allowed 23 runs, however, and the pitching staff will look to complement an offense that has been good as of late.

After the weekend, the Terps continue to get closer to having a hitter over the .300 mark as shortstop AJ Lee is now the team leader in batting average at .294. Hunter Parsons leads the team on the mound, leading the team with 70 innings pitched and is fourth on the team with a 3.60 ERA.

VCU Rams (28-12, 11-4 A10)

Last Season

Last season, VCU mustered a 34-23 record, enough for a sixth place finish and a berth in the Atlantic 10 conference tournament. VCU was good all season but were outstanding in March going on a 14-game winning streak between March 7 and March 30. The Rams were then knocked out of the Atlantic 10 tournament by No. 3 seed Fordham 3-2 to end their season.

This Season

The Rams have been solid for most of this season with an overall 28-12 record. They had an eight-game winning streak between March 2 and March 13. The Rams currently lead the Atlantic 10 conference by one game over the Dayton Flyers.

Hitters to Watch

The Rams are currently led by sophomore Liam Hibbits, who leads the team with an outstanding .399 batting average. Hibbits also has three home runs, which are third on the team and has 38 RBIs as well. Senior Zac Ching leads the team in home runs with six while junior Paul Witt leads the team with 40 RBIs.

Pitchers to Watch

The pitching attack for the Rams is led by junior Connor Gillispie who currently leads the team with 56.1 innings pitched in 14 starts. He has walked just 14 and has struck out 77 batters over those appearances with a 1.92 ERA. The Rams have mainly relied on Connor Dum out of the bullpen. In 14 appearances Dum has walked 10 and struck out 51 batters; he currently holds a solid 2.90 ERA.

Maryland Falls To 18-18 In Blowout Loss To James Madison

It was an ugly day on both sides of the ball for Maryland as they were beaten 14-1 by the James Madison Dukes at Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium.

It was a quick start for James Madison’s offense as they quickly got to Terps starter Sean Heine in the first inning for five runs. After a hit batsman and a double, freshman Kyle Novak drove in both runners giving the Dukes a 2-0 lead before Maryland even recorded an out.

From there the inning escalated further. Novak scored the Duke’s third run in the inning on a single from fellow freshman David Willis and JMU would add two more runs after that finishing the inning with five runs on five hits. A commanding lead to begin the game.

Heine would allow one more run in the second before throwing a scoreless third. He was then pulled in the third inning for sophomore Billy Phillips. James Madison continued to threaten though, loading the bases in the inning, but Phillips was able to escape in part due to a key strikeout with one out.

In the sixth inning, the Dukes scored three runs on Phillips pushing their lead to 9-0. Two of those runs came on a monster home run that cleared the scoreboard in left-center field by James Madison’s first baseman Brady Harju. Harju is now second on his team with five home runs on the season, trailing only Trevon Dabney who has six.

Dukes’ right fielder David Willis later hit a home run of his own in the top of the seventh inning, increasing the James Madison lead to 10-0. The homer came off of Maryland sophomore Mike Vasturia who threw a knuckleball that did not fool Willis whatsoever.

Meanwhile, Maryland had no answer for Dukes starter Michael Bechtold who would shut them down through four innings. Bechtold allowed no runs on just two hits with one walk and two strikeouts along the way. He was replaced by sophomore Grayson Jones to begin the fifth inning.

This was a day that it seemed nothing was going right for them and it would continue into the late innings as James Madison would score five more runs in the seventh inning taking the lead to an overwhelming 14-0.

Maryland was able to muster just three hits all day and allowed 14 runs on 13 hits themselves. Their lone run came on an RBI single from second baseman Ben Cowles in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Maryland now drops to a disappointing 6-10 at home and 18-18 overall as they will look to shake this loss off heading into their upcoming road matchup with George Mason. 

The Terps will embrace this road trip as they are far better on the road this season (11-7) than they are at home. The Terps will also look to get back over the .500 mark with a win tomorrow.

 

 

 

 

Game Preview: James Madison Dukes

Maryland vs JMUMaryland hosts the James Madison Dukes on Tuesday, as the Terps look to stay consistent after taking two out of three from the Northwestern Wildcats over the weekend.

The two teams faced off twice last season and Maryland took both of those matchups, 2-1 and 6-1. The two sides will face off twice again this season, with the second game scheduled for May 14.

James Madison comes into this game on a two-game win streak after beating the William & Mary Tribe twice over the weekend. However, before this win streak, the Dukes had lost eight in a row and have only won two out of their last 10.

Maryland will look to improve upon their less than spectacular 6-9 record at Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium on Tuesday, as they continue to play better on the road than at home. The Terps are currently 11-7 on the road this season.

The Terps bats will also look to stay hot heading into this week after scoring a combined 32 runs over the weekend series against Northwestern. The Terps have also scored four or more runs in seven of their last 10 games and will look to continue this against the Dukes.

After the weekend, freshman Maxwell Costes leads the team in batting average, currently hitting at .287. The Terps have struggled to get someone above the .300 plateau for most of the season but do have multiple hitters close. Hunter Parsons continues to lead the starting pitchers with a 2.95 ERA, and over 64 innings, he’s struck out 49 and walked just 16.

James Madison Dukes (20-17, 4-8 CAA)

Last Season

James Madison had a modest 26-26 record last season and was not able to qualify for the CAA tournament. The Dukes won 13 games both on the road and at home last season amassing their 26 wins. The Dukes were right around .500 all season until they lost seven in a row between April 25 and May 11.

This Season

This season the Dukes have been trending upward as they are currently three games above .500 at 20-17. They have also been far more successful at home, going 15-9 at Eagle Field. However, the Dukes are disappointingly 5-8 on the road and this has pulled them down to seventh in their conference standings, the same place they finished last year. The Dukes will look to get even higher above the .500 mark in this upcoming matchup against the Terps.

Hitters to Watch

The Dukes have two players hitting above .300, including freshman Nick Zona who is hitting .337 heading into the week. The other is Tevon Dabney hitting at .321. Dabney is also a freshman infielder similar to Zona. Not far behind Zona and Dabney are juniors Brady Harju and Matt Dipasupil who are currently hitting at a .290 clip. Dabney currently leads the team in home runs with six and Harju leads the team with 25 RBI.

Pitchers to Watch

Another junior, Kevin Kelly, has led the attack in terms of starting pitching for the Dukes as he leads the team with 53.2 innings pitched. Sophomore Nick Stewart however, leads the starters in ERA, posting a 2.80 in 45 innings pitched. Kelly is second with a 3.86 ERA. The relief attack for the Dukes is led by Nick Robertson, who currently has a 1.08 ERA and six saves in 16 innings.

Game Preview: William & Mary Tribe

Maryland travels to Virginia to take on William & Mary on Wednesday, as the Terps look to right the ship after a rough weekend series against Indiana in which they dropped two of three games.

Maryland will also seek revenge on the Tribe after dropping two games to them in 2018, including in a similar early-April matchup last season. The Tribe beat the Terps on Feb. 21, 10-4, and April 3, 4-3.

The Tribe have won four games in a row after a sweep of the UNC-Wilmington Seahawks and will look to continue this upward trend against the Terrapins. Maryland has lost two games in a row and eight of their last 11 en route to a 13-13 record.

Currently, the Terps have fared better on road at 7-4, in comparison to the 5-8 mark at Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium. This bodes well heading to Virginia to take on William & Mary.

The Terps pitching will also look to improve after allowing 39 runs on 32 hits in the last two games combined while the offense, which has been somewhat streaky this season, looks to add to what they’re doing after scoring five runs or more in three of their last seven games.

Taylor Wright remains the Terps leading hitter at .299 after the weekend series. He, and others such as Chris Alleyne (.282), will look to get Maryland some hitters over the .300 mark. Alleyne and sophomore Randy Bednar still lead the team with four home runs each.

William & Mary Tribe (19-7, 4-2 CAA)

Last Season

The Tribe is coming off of a very disappointing 2018 season, going 15-39 overall with just a 12-17 record at home. After starting last season 15-23, William & Mary went on to lose 16 games in a row dropping their record to a whopping 15-39. In that stretch, The Tribe was swept by Northeastern, Hofstra, N.C. State, Delaware, Virginia Tech, and Elon in that respective order and were eliminated from contention for the CAA tournament. William and Mary did, however, beat the Terrapins twice.

This Season

William & Mary have turned itself around, at least for the first half of the 2019 season. With a 19-7 record, the Tribe is 4-2 in conference and 10-6 at home, having played no ranked opponents so far. William & Mary is currently second in the CAA standings behind only Elon, which is 4-1 in conference and 15-12 overall.

Hitters to Watch

The Tribe have three players hitting above .300 to start the season. They’ve been led by senior catcher Hunter Smith, who is hitting a whopping .337 with seven home runs and 26 RBI in 26 games, and has been a force to be reckoned with so far this season. Senior Zach Pearson and freshman Hunter Hart are also above the .300 mark, hitting .333 and .316, respectively.

Pitchers to Watch

Sophomore Randall Prosperi leads the Tribe with 13 relief appearances and has been effective in those appearances. Prosperi is 3-0 with a 2.77 ERA, has walked just four and has struck out 16 batters along the way. Chris Farrell is second on the team with 11 relief appearances; the junior boasts a 2.51 ERA and a 2-1 record. In those appearances, Farrell has struck out 22 and walked just 10.

 

Maryland Dominates in 12-4 win over Elon

Freshman Kody Milton, one of the Terps’ freshman infielders, stepped onto the mound in the eighth inning on Wednesday.  This time, Milton wasn’t there to support his pitcher––he was the pitcher. Maryland’s 12-4 lead allowed the Terps to turn to Milton with the hope of saving some bullpen arms. He did just that and shut down the Phoenix with two strikeouts and a fly out.

Maryland’s offense dominated on Wednesday, defeating Elon 12-4 in North Carolina to sweep the two-game series.

The offense made an immediate impact in the first inning, loading the bases for A.J. Lee with two outs. Lee walked in a run, and consecutive two-run singles from juniors Sebastian Holte-Mancera and Caleb Walls gave Maryland an immediate 5-0 lead. With that, the Terps chased Phoenix starting pitcher Daniel Albrittain from the game after just two-thirds of an inning. Right-hander Adam Spurlin entered in relief.

Following the first, Taylor Wright led off the second inning with a single. After a ground out from freshman Maxwell Costes moved him to second, Wright reached third on a passed ball and eventually scored on another ground out from catcher Justin Vought, giving the Terps a 6-0 lead.

The offense continued to roll in the third inning as sophomore Randy Bednar drove in two more runs with a double. Then, after Bednar stole third, Wright singled him home and the Terps extended their lead to 9-0.

Meanwhile, Maryland starter Tuck Tucker put up a dominant start, keeping pace with the Terps’ offense. Through four innings, Tucker allowed no runs, no hits, and walked just one, giving his offense the opportunity to break the game open.

Elon eventually got on the board with a solo home run from first baseman Joe Satterfield to start the fifth, breaking up Tucker’s no-hit bid. However, Tucker settled back down, retiring the next three batters to get out of the inning. Freshman Sean Heine relieved Tucker to start the sixth.

Maryland’s offensive outburst continued in the sixth inning, as Tommy Gardiner put up a two-run single. Holte-Mancera, who moved to third on Gardiner’s single, then scored on a passed ball to make it 12-1. The Terps challenged the Phoenix pitching staff all day, as even in innings when they did not score they put together solid at-bats and placed runners on base.

Elon scored once in the sixth inning off of Heine and twice in the bottom of the seventh inning against reliever Sean Fisher, making it 12-4, but the Phoenix rally was too little too late as the Terps cruised to victory in the late innings.

Maryland improved its record to 12-8, while Elon drops to 11-10. The Terps look to continue this offensive surge and win streak in their upcoming series against Creighton (8-5).