Costes, Burke lead Terps to first series sweep

Maryland scored in double digits on Sunday for the third time in its past four games, taking down the Bryant Bulldogs 13-3 for a series sweep in College Park. 

Unlike the past two days, Bryant got on the board first in the series finale. Maryland allowed the first three Bryant batters to reach base to start the inning, after an error, a single, and a double. With the double the Bulldogs plated their first run of the game, taking the least 1-0.

But Terrapin starter Sean Burke proceeded to strikeout the next three batters to work out of the jam, minimizing the damage. 

Maryland struck back in the bottom of the first on a Maxwell Costes home run to left field, after which Costes chucked the bat toward the home dugout, Tim Anderson-style. A Bobby Zmarzlak walk and Tucker Flint’s ninth hit-by-pitch of the year kept the rally going. (Flint was hit by two more pitches before the day was over).

Catcher Tavan Shahidi then smoked a single to right field to score Zmarzlak and give the Terps the one-run advantage.

“I feel like we have a complete lineup here,” Costes said. “If I don’t [get a hit], somebody else will.”

Bryant tied the game in the top of the second on a sky-high RBI triple just out of the reach of Terps left fielder Flint, but the Bulldogs’ lead didn’t last long. 

Maryland’s offense continued the back-and-forth scoring in the bottom of the inning, putting up a two-spot after capitalizing on Bryant errors and free bases, heading into the third up 4-2, helped by a successful double-steal from Randy Bednar and Costes. 

“When you are playing with the lead you can up your tempo a little bit and try to force guys to make mistakes,” head coach Rob Vaughn said, regarding the double-steal attempt. 

A long ball to right-center field in the top of the third gave Bryant its third run of the day, but Maryland’s defense kept the Bulldogs from tacking on any more, while the Terps’ offense continued to dominate.

Shortstop Ben Cowles continued his hot streak with an RBI-double through the left-center field gap, putting Maryland ahead 5-3 heading to the fourth. The junior finished the day two-for-five with a double and three RBI.

On the mound Burke fully settled down in the fourth inning, with help from catcher Shahidi; after Burke walked the leadoff batter, Shahidi eliminated the baserunner with a successful throw down to second–then Burke struck out the next two batters to face the minimum. 

Burke allowed runners in the fifth and sixth innings but both times the Maryland infield picked him up, turning two nifty double plays to keep his pitch count low enough to finish out the sixth inning with a strikeout. It was his 11th strikeout of the game, the most by any Maryland pitcher this year.

“In the past and this preseason when I struggled a little bit I was trying to do too much,” Burke said. “So now I have a real simple pinch-plan and make adjustments along the way if I need to.”

The Terps added three insurance runs in the fifth inning, plus four runs in the seventh and a run in the eighth; the late-inning scoring was highlighted by another double-steal and a Bryant error to plate Bednar from third base in the seventh.

Sam Bello came in the game for Maryland in the top of the seventh, relieving Burke, who finished with 11 strikeouts over six innings, allowing only two earned runs on five hits and two walks. Bello, who made his first appearance since February 21, pitched a clean seventh and struck out two batters. 

“Burke is a baller, man… whenever he steps on the mound, the whole vibe of the team becomes different,” said Costes on the presence his freshman-year roommate brings to the diamond.

Austin Chavis had an impactful day for the Terps, going three-for-four with a double and two runs. Costes was two-for-two with a homer, double, two walks and three RBI.

Maryland will be back in action on Wednesday in College Park to take on James Madison at 4 p.m.

Dean dominates on the mound with offensive surge over Bryant

Despite allowing at least one runner in each inning of work, Maryland starting pitcher Nick Dean built off his solid start against Coastal Carolina with a gem Saturday against Bryant. The freshman went six scoreless innings, blanking the Bulldogs for only three hits and six strikeouts in the Terps’ 8-3 win. 

Dean’s dominant performance on the mound earned him the W, the first of his career. On the offensive side of the ball, Maryland helped the freshman cruise, starting things early for the second straight day.

Bryant starting pitcher Tyler Schoff continued the Bulldogs’ trend of allowing free bases, walking two batters in the first inning to help the Terps grab an early lead.

Randy Bednar dribbled an infield single to shortstop, just beating the throw from Tommy DiTullio. Maxwell Costes walked and Bobby Zmarzlak split the left center field gap for his eighth RBI in two days, scoring Bednar and giving the Terps a 1-0 lead.

Left fielder Troy Schreffler walked to load the bases for third baseman Matt Orlando, who slapped a liner to right, scoring Costes. The Terps got another infield hit to shortstop from shortstop Benjamin Cowles to give them a three run cushion in the first.

Maryland got one more across in the bottom of the fourth after Bednar singled through the six-hole and stole second base, followed by a safety squeeze bunt by Schreffler to plate the team’s fourth run. 

Bednar continued to dominate for Maryland in the fifth with a two-run double. The junior has now earned a hit in each of his last five games, three more coming on Saturday.

In relief, freshman Ryan Ramsey came in for Dean in the seventh inning and proceeded to allow three straight singles to DiTullio, Derek Smith, and Gustin to load the bases.

Ramsey was then pulled for Elliot Zoellner, who forfeited just two runs in the inning. 

In the bottom of the inning, catcher Brenton Davis blasted a 1-1 offering from MacDonald over the right field wall for his first hit and home run as a Terp.

Zoellner closed it out for Maryland, inducing a bases loaded double play from Viscariello to secure the series win for the Terps.

Maryland will look for the sweep tomorrow with first pitch scheduled for 1 p.m.

Zmarzlak, Alleyne power Maryland to blowout win over Bryant

One swing changed the game for the Terps on Friday.

Bryant starter Tyler Mattison had ended the bottom of the third inning with three straight strikeouts to strand runners on second and third base for Maryland. The bottom of the fourth was about to end in similar fashion with the bases loaded, after Tavan Shahidi and Tucker Flint had each struck out.

But the freshman Bobby Zmarzlak stepped to the plate and made up for the past failures, blasting a Mattison pitch to center field for a grand slam. It was his second home run of the game and sixth RBI, en route to the Terps’ 14-3 win over the Bulldogs in College Park to start the three-game series.

Maryland got the scoring started in the bottom of the first. Chris Alleyne led off the game with a laser double into left center field and Randy Bednar drove him in with a base knock to left field. A throwing error by the third baseman allowed Bednar to advance to third as the ball rolled towards the Bryant dugout. Costes then blooped one to center field to give the Terps a 2-0 lead.

Later in the bottom of the first after Shahidi walked and Flint flew out to left, Zmarzlak deposited a Mattison pitch over the right-field wall for his first homer on the day to make it 4-0.

“We see that stuff every day from [Zmarzlak],” head coach Rob Vaughn said. “When he hit the first one I said, ‘That’s one-of-30.’ When he hit the second one I said, ‘That’s two-of-30.'”

Behind the Terps’ overwhelming run support, Maryland starter Sean Fisher did enough for the win on Friday, going six innings, scattering five hits on three earned runs. He also struck out eight with two walks.

Bryant put together a scoring inning in the top of the third, after a Derek Smith base knock to left, Jake Gustin hit a booming double down the right field line to score Smith. Gustin stole third base on the next play and was driven home on a Shane Kelly sac fly to right field to make it 4-2.

Alleyne kicked off the bottom of the fourth inning with a bunt single, which was one of his six hits on the day. With his six-for-six performance, Alleyne tied the school record. Then came Zmarzlak’s grand slam,  after the Terps loaded the bases, breaking the game open 8-2. 

“I knew I had to get something done, put the ball in play and just do whatever I can to help the team get a run,” said Zmarzlak on the added pressure going into his grand-slam at-bat.

The Bryant pitching staff surrendered 11 of walks on the day, adding to the Bulldogs’ woes. Mattison had five walks over four innings and reliever Jack Halbruner had three in 2/3 innings pitched.

Bryant got their last run of the game on a missile home run off the bat of Kelly in the top of the fifth inning. Kelly was two-for-three with two RBI to lead the Bulldogs’ lackluster offense.

The Terps held a 12-3 lead heading into the bottom of the eighth, but the scorching offense added more. Cowles popped one over the center field wall for his third home run of the season, then two batters later Alleyne drove one over the right field wall for his record-tying sixth hit of the game, putting Maryland up 14-3.

“I just trusted my approach I had the whole year, see the ball up and hit it hard somewhere. I can’t control the ball once it leaves your barrel,” said Alleyne on his big day at the plate.

At the end of the day Bednar was two-for-five with a double and two runs, Costes was two-for-two with three walks and Zmarzlak finished the day with an impressive seven RBI.  

Series Preview: Bryant

 The Terps got back on track Wednesday with a win over the Delaware Blue Hens and are set to face the Bryant Bulldogs this weekend at “The Bob.” Last weekend Maryland was swept by Coastal Carolina, in what was an eye-opening couple of days for the Terps. 

“They just out-executed us all weekend in every phase of the game,” said Chris Alleyne on the series against the Chanticleers.

The Bulldogs also had a tough test last weekend, getting swept by Virginia Tech and posting a -22 run differential over the three-game span. Needless to say, the Tech offense was on fire just like Coastal’s offense was last weekend. 

Right now, Maryland sits at 7-4, with a 4-1 record in College Park even with a few injuries to start the season.

“I got my shot and a lot of other guys are too right now because we are so injury plagued but everybody is taking it day by day, working hard,” said freshman Matt Orlando, who stepped up in place of third baseman Tommy Gardiner, who is out with a shoulder injury. Catcher Justin Vought is another notable starter on the shelf.

Despite the injuries, the Terps put up 13 runs on Wednesday against Delaware and, besides the Coastal series, have shown they have a high-powered offense this season. They are averaging 6.7 runs a game being led by Maxwell Costes and Randy Bednar.

Costes has carried his dominance over from last year’s Big Ten Freshman of the Year performance. He currently has three home runs and is getting on base at a .588 clip, enough for second and third in the Big Ten, respectively. He was 2-for-4 with two RBI against Delaware on Wednesday. 

Bednar has also raked for the Terps this season. The junior currently leads the team in RBI with 12 and has an OPS of 1.057. He went 3-for-5 with two doubles on Wednesday. 

Maryland also continued to show plate discipline in its latest midweek, drawing seven walks for a season total of 63. Freshman Tucker Flint leads the on-base charge for the Terps, with a team-high 10 walks and seven hit-by-pitches.

For an up-and-coming rotation, the Terps’ pitching has been relatively solid this season. Without their three games in which they allowed 10+ runs, Maryland’s arms have only allowed more than three runs from an opponent once–against Delaware Wednesday. 

One reason for Maryland’s strength on the mound is redshirt freshman Sean Burke, who leads the Terps’ starters in most categories.

“I thought Sean Burke was tremendous again, that’s three straight starts for him that were really, really good,” said Head Coach Rob Vaughn.

Even with minimal innings, Elliot Zoellner has looked solid out of the bullpen. In 5 2/3 innings he has proven consistent, with a 0.00 ERA, and has held hitters to a .059 average. 

Bryant Bulldogs (2-8, 0-0 Northeastern)

Last Season

Bryant finished last season with a 40-20 record and went 19-5 in conference play during the regular season, finishing first in the NEC. The Bulldogs couldn’t make an NCAA big, however, losing to Central Connecticut in the NEC Tournament championship game.

This Season

The Bulldogs have struggled so far this season, starting off 2-8 Their two wins came against Georgia State two weekends ago in Atlanta. Despite their record, Bryant has been competing in tight ball games, losing only four by five runs or more. 

Hitters to Watch

As Bryant work to overcome its early slump, with a team-wide .169 average, there are two Bulldogs who are putting up solid numbers at the plate. Senior James Ciliento, whose .314 average and seven home runs are a team-high. The outfielder has also swiped eight bags so far. The Bulldogs’ other slugger is junior Shane Kelly,  who is batting .297 with a .357 on-base-percentage. He also has one home run with 11 hits.

Relievers to Watch

So far, Bryant’s most reliable arm out of the bullpen has been Matthew Stansky. The right-hander has six innings pitched in four appearances with a 3.00 ERA; he is also the only Bryant pitcher with a save so far this season. After Stansky, the next pitcher in line out of the ‘pen  would be Jack Ipsen, who has 4 1/3 innings pitched with a 4.15 ERA.

Probable Starting Pitcher Matchup

Friday, 4 p.m. ET

Jr. RHP Tyler Mattison (0-2, 6.00 ERA) v. Jr. LHP Sean Fisher (2-1, 6.14 ERA)

imageimage vs. imageFisher090518_06

In Mattison’s last start, against Virginia Tech, the righty allowed six earned runs and nine hits over only four innings pitched against the powerful Hokies lineup. Prior to last weekend, surrendered only two earned runs in each of his previous two starts. Arguably one of Mattison’s biggest strengths is his ability to prevent base-on-balls, having allowed only five walks in 15 innings pitched.

Like Mattison, Fisher’s ERA is bit inflated because of his start last weekend. Again st Coastal Carolina Fisher went only three innings, allowing nine earned runs and 10 hits. Fisher looked sharp against Rhode Island and Charleston Southern earlier this season, though, allowing only three runners to cross the plate his the 11 2/3 innings pitched over those two starts.

Saturday, 2 p.m. ET

 Jr. RHP Tyler Schoff (0-3, 7.90 ERA) v. Fr. RHP Nick Dean (0-1, 5.65 ERA)

imageimage.png vs. imageDean_2020

 

Another junior right-hander, Schoff enters the weekend with an inflated 7.90 ERA over 13 2/3 innings pitched. Though he has suffered a loss in each of his starts this season, Schoff has also struck out 10 batters and given up only one home run on the year. 

The only true freshman in Maryland’s starting rotation, Dean has proven himself worthy, after a promising start against Coastal Carolina last weekend. Deal went five innings against the Chanticleers, allowing only two runs on six hits with six strikeouts. Dean has tossed around five innings in each of his three starts so far, and whiffed at least five batters in each start. 

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

Jr. RHP Will Treuel (0-2, 6.75 ERA) vs. R-Fr. RHP Sean Burke (1-0, 1.62 ERA)

 imageimage.png vs. imageBurke_2020

Treuel’s strongest appearance this year came out of the bullpen against Georgia State, when he threw 3 1/3 innings and allowed only one run, striking out an impressive six batters. In his two starts, coming against Dayton and Virginia Tech, Treuel struggled some, allowing  a combined nine earned runs in 10 innings total and letting up a homer in each.

For Maryland, Burke has showed his prowess on the mound, proving the Terps’ most consistent starter so far in this young season. Against Coastal Carolina Burke allowed only three hits and two earned runs over six innings, his longest start of the season. Though dominant on the mound, Burke has struggled some with walks, so it will be important for him to limit free bases this weekend against the Bulldogs.

Terps drop series finale against PSU

Maryland clinched the series win earlier today in the first game of Saturday’s double header but were not able to complete the sweep in a 10-7 loss to the Nittany Lions in Game 2.

Both offenses put on a hitting clinic in the evening game as the Terps tallied 11 hits and Penn State had 13. The difference in the game came by the walk. Terps pitchers allowed six bases on balls while the Nittany Lions staff only allowed two.

The Terps jumped ahead in the top of the first inning after two straight hits off PSU starter Bailey Dees from AJ Lee and Randy Bednar. Taylor Wright bunted them over to move the runners over to second and third base. Penn State then nabbed Lee at home from a fielder’s choice off the bat of Max Costes. Caleb Walls then lined a single to right field to score Bednar and give Maryland a 1-0 lead.

Penn State tied it up in the bottom of the 1st inning and took the lead in the third which was a huge inning for the Nittany Lions. They scored 5 runs on 5 hits. All of the runs driven in were off Penn State singles from Ryan Ford, Ryan Sloniger, Mac Hippenhammer, and Conlin Hughes.

Terps starter Trevor LaBonte was pulled after the second Penn State run came across but was responsible for the three runners left on base when Drew Wilden came into the game, which he all let score. This ended LaBonte’s day with 2 innings pitched, 5 earned runs, 3 hits, and 3 walks.

In the 4th inning, Justin Vought led off the inning with a hit by pitch, Michael Pineiro singled, and Ben Cowles reached on a throwing error from pitcher Mason Mellott to load the bases.

Chris Alleyne was then hit by a pitch to score a run. The next batter, Lee, grounded a ball to the shortstop who flipped to second base for one out, but second baseman Kremer through it past the first baseman which allowed Lee to be safe at first. Pineiro and Cowles scored on the play to make it 6-4 Nittany Lions.

Penn State tacked on another run in the bottom of the 4th off of a double play from Kremer which scored Jordan Bowersox to make it 7-4.

The Terps pesky offense scratched across two more runs in the 5th off a Pineiro 2 RBI single which was set up by a sacrifice bunt by Vought that moved Wall and Costes to second and third base, respectively. That pulled the score to 7-6.

But Maryland pitching just could not hold these Nittany Lion bats quiet after Sean Fisher came in for Mark DiLuia in the bottom of the 5th inning. Derek Orndorff drove a Fisher delivering to right center field for a 2 RBI double to make it 9-6.

Maryland’s final run came in the sixth off of a Wright single that drove in Lee.

Hippenhammer led the way offensively for the Nittany Lions, going 3 for 5 with a triple and two runs scored. Kyle Virbitsky came into pitch for Penn State in the 7th, going 3 strong innings, allowing 0 runs despite 3 hits and 2 walks.

For the Terps, Pineiro was 3 for 5 with 2 RBI in the loss, which moved Maryland to 22-22 on the season.

Maryland’s next game will be Wednesday, May 1 at Villanova. First pitch will be at 3:30 p.m.

Terps drop third straight midweek game in 9-5 loss to George Mason

The Terp’s offense could not get the bats going early on Wednesday against George Mason starting pitcher freshman Patrick Halligan in a 9-5 loss to the Patriots. Maryland is now 18-19 on the season.

Halligan came into the best start of his season with a 7.76 ERA and a .331 opponent’s batting average but managed to carve up the Maryland offense that scored 32 runs over the weekend against Northeastern. Halligan went 6 2/3 innings with three strikeouts, two hits, two walks, and two earned runs in what was the longest outing of his career. Halligan is now 3-3 on the season and lowered his ERA to 6.81.

George Mason jumped on Terps starter Drew Wilden in the first inning from a bases loaded, two-RBI single from Aaron Yurko that scored Tim Quinn and Bailey Klein. Then in the third, Klein blasted an opposite field home run to add to his productive day and give George Mason a 3-0 lead.

Mark DiLuia came into pitch in the fourth inning to relieve Wilden and quickly let up a double from Yurko, single from Greg Popatak, and RBI single from Daniel Brooks to put the Patriots up 4-0. A walk and hit-by-pitch from Logan Driscoll made the score 5-0.

The Patriots added on two more runs in the sixth inning off Sean Fisher via RBI from Alejandro Aponte and Klein to make it 7-0.

The Terps finally got on the board in the top of the seventh inning. After a Zach Doss walk, a Caleb Walls single and a George Mason pitching change to Mason Posey, Michael Pineiro drove them in on a two-RBI single to right field. AJ Lee followed it up with an RBI single for himself, scoring Ben Cowles, who reached on a walk earlier in the inning, to make it 7-3.

Maryland closer John Murphy came into the game in the bottom of the eighth inning to try to hold the deficit but failed to do so, letting up two runs on a hit an error, a HBP, and two walks.

Maryland threatened and even put some runs on the board in the top of the ninth after a Cowles HBP, a Lee double, a Randy Bednar sac fly to centerfield and Taylor Wright singled to make it 9-5.

For George Mason, Bailey Klein was 2-for-3 with with a home run and three runs scored while Aaron Yurko was 2-for-3 with three RBI.

Michael Pineiro led the Terps offensively, going 2-for-4 with two RBI on the day. Lee and Wright also had two hits for Maryland.

The Maryland pitching staff let up eight walks and nine hits on the day. Of the nine runs scored by George Mason, four were unearned. The Maryland defense also committed two errors.

The Terps next matchup will be a weekend series starting this Friday against Ohio State in College Park. First pitch on Friday will be at 6:30 p.m.

Game Preview: George Mason Patriots

Maryland vs George Mason

Maryland baseball (18-18) lost 14-1 on Tuesday against James Madison but will look to put that showing in the past when the Terps take on George Mason on the road Wednesday in another midweek game.

George Mason took down Maryland 8-5 in the last matchup, which was in 2017 since last year’s game was cancelled and not rescheduled. The two sides will not play each other again for the rest of this season. The Patriots are 2-14 in their last 16 games. Their last series win came against Manhattan College in early March.

Maryland will look to improve on its 4-1 record in road midweek games this year. Overall, the Terps have performed better on the road than at home with an 11-7 record away from College Park.

Before Tuesday, the Terps bats had been hot as of late. Despite only the one run against James Madison, they’ve still plated 50 runs in their last 6 games. The now three-time Big Ten Freshman of the Week Maxwell Costes is slashing .280/.411/.500 on the season. He leads all eligible Maryland hitters in batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage.

Randy Bednar is also having a successful season at the dish, leading the Terps with 39 hits, seven home runs, and 33 RBI. Freshman Andrew Vail is having himself a solid season out of the bullpen, leading all Maryland pitchers with an 1.86 ERA in 12 appearances.

George Mason Patriots (13-21, 1-8 A10)

Last Season

George Mason was 29-27 last season, making it to the Atlantic 10 Tournament championship but lost to No. 1 seed Saint Louis. They posted a 16-8 record in conference play which earned them the No. 2 seed in the A10 Tournament.

This Season

George Mason comes into Wednesday’s game with a 13-21 record but have defended its home turf well with a 9-6 record in Fairfax. On the road, the Patriots are an abysmal 1-15. They are last in the conference standings with a 1-8 record.

Hitters to Watch

Junior Logan Driscoll leads the Patriots in every major offensive category with a .339 batting average and eight home runs. He is also getting on base at an outrageous clip with a .475 OBP. Sophomore Cam Reckling has also stood out at the plate for the Patriots, batting .282 with 37 hits.

Pitchers to Watch

James Beasley, a reliever, leads the Patriots with a 3.31 ERA and an 0.93 WHIP in 10 appearances. None of the Patriot starting pitchers are posting quality numbers this year with ace Brian Marconi leading the rotation with a 5.03 ERA in 48.1 innings pitched.