Terps tackle Blue Hens behind strong start from Shaffer

The first ten batters Brian Shaffer faced were sent promptly back to the dugout.

The freshman right-hander pitched five scoreless innings to get his third win of the season, allowing just three hits, walking none, and striking out five en route to a 5-3 win Tuesday.

“He changed up his grip [on his curveball] so he’s getting better feel for it and throwing it for strikes more often,” catcher Kevin Martir said. “His fastball is moving, it’s not flat, so it’s giving hitters a different look.”

Martir went 0-1 on the day, walking three times, two of them intentional. The second intentional walk gave Jose Cuas an opportunity, and the third baseman delivered, driving in the game’s first run with an RBI single off of Blue Hens starter Kevin Milley. Milley finished the day with six innings pitched, giving up four runs while striking out three and walking seven.

The Terps scored added another as Kevin Smith his his fifth home run of the season, and two more in the sixth inning after LaMonte Wade singled to drive in his brother, Jamal, who led off the inning with a triple, and Willie Rios, who walked. In the eighth inning, Cuas added to his team-leading RBI total (40) with a solo shot to left field, his seventh of the season.

Jose Cuas went 2-4 with a home run and two RBIs Tuesday. (Photo: Alexander Jonesi)
Jose Cuas went 2-4 with a home run and two RBIs Tuesday. (Photo: Alexander Jonesi)

Down 4-0 in the seventh, the Blue Hens battled back, scoring all three of their runs. Greg Olenski, a former Terrapin, led off the inning with a single, and moved to second a Gary Jones groundball induced a throwing error from Terps second baseman Brandon Lowe. Olenski and Jones executed a double steal to move to third and second, respectively. Brock Niggebruge came through with an RBI single, plating Olenski, and Jones eventually scored on a wild pitch from Zach Morris. Niggebruge, the shortstop, scored on a Joe Giacchino single.

But, that was all the Blue Hens would get, as closer Kevin Mooney came on in the eighth inning to record a six-out save. Mooney struck out three of the six he faced to earn his fifth save of the season.

With the win, the Terps improved to 31-13 on the season, and Delaware falls to 18-16.

The Terps travel to Newark, DE, tomorrow to finish the midweek home-and-home with the Blue Hens, as Taylor Bloom will make his second start of the season.

Galligan impresses in first career start, Terps sweep double header

by: Matt Present

When Tayler Stiles took a line drive to the face on the second pitch of the game last Saturday, it was Rob Galligan to settle the Terps down. After calling all of his fielders together, he proceeded to work six strong innings, allowing just one earned run, and striking out six. The mental toughness and stability he demonstrated, earned him his first career start a week later, and Galligan made the most of it.

The redshirt junior, who at one point retired 10 consecutive batters, struck out 10, without walking a batter, in 7 innings, helping Maryland (29-13, 10-4) to a 7-3 victory. The only runs Galligan gave up came on a Kyle Johnson big fly in the bottom of the first which, at the time, tied the game at 2. The Terps got on the board in the top of the frame on a single by Kevin Martir to score LaMonte Wade and Kevin Smith.

The Terps reclaimed the lead in the third, when Jose Cuas belted a triple to the wall in right-center to bring Brandon Lowe and Anthony Papio home. Cuas then broke for home on an infielder grounder, and scored, when the throw home from third baseman Brandon Krieg hit him in the back.

Maryland got one more in the top of the eighth when Smith doubled home Zach Jancarski, who was pinch running for Willie Rios. Purdue responded in the bottom in the inning as Kyle Wood drove a single up the middle to plate Johnson. In the ninth the Terps quickly loaded the bases, and were able to generate one more insurance run when Tim Lewis grounded back to the mound, but reliever Kyle Van Hoeck mishandled the ball attempting to get Martir at the plate.

Kevin Mooney came on to work a perfect ninth, striking out two. On the day, Shawayrn and Galligan combined to strike out 20, while not walking a single batter. Perhaps the the Terps have finally found that elusive one-two punch in their weekend rotation.

Maryland will look to go for the sweep on Sunday at noon, as the Terps will send Jake Drossner to the hill to face Gavin Downs. Drossner is coming off his best start of the season, when he tossed eight innings of scoreless ball against Cal State Fullerton last Sunday.

Shawaryn Cruises to School Wins Record; Terps take game 1 from Purdue

by Matt Present

On a sunny afternoon in West Lafayette, Indiana, Mike Shawaryn toed the slab. His team had already given him a 2-0 lead. He would need no more. The National Pitcher of the Week picked apart the Boilermakers lineup, striking out 10 while becoming the winningest pitcher in Maryland history. Shawaryn has now thrown 20 consecutive scoreless innings.

Mike Shawaryn struck out 10 more on Friday to Purdue.
Mike Shawaryn struck out 10 more on Friday at Purdue to give him 92 on the season to go along with his 10-0 record.

The first two runs came via a Kevin Martir home run to score Kevin Smith. In the third, Smith would knock one out of the park himself, his fourth home run on the year. The Maryland offense would add single run innings in the fourth and seventh, but the big inning came in the fifth. The visitors scored four and batting around in the inning, highlighted by a Jose Cuas single with the bases loaded to drive in Martir and Brandon Lowe.

But the day belonged to Shawaryn. The sophomore righty struck out seven of the nine Boilermaker starters, including a hat-trick on Purdue’s leading hitter Kyle Wood. Shawaryn recorded a strikeout in five of his seven innings pitched, and struck out the side in the bottom of the first to set the tone for the remainder of the day.

After Jack Piekos allowed three earned runs in relief in the eighth, Brian Shaffer worked a 1-2-3 ninth to finish off the 12-3 win. With the victory, the Terps improve to 28-13 overall and 9-4 in the Big Ten. They will take on Purdue again at about 8pm. Friday night as Rob Galligan bids for the doubleheader sweep.

To learn more about the Boilermaker matchup, click here.

To read what the former record-holder had to say about Shawaryn, read John Vittas’ feature.

Terps swept in midweek series by VCU, losing streak climbs to 3

The Terrapins dropped their third consecutive game Wednesday night, losing 3-1 to VCU. Freshman Taylor Bloom made his first career start as a Terp and took the loss, giving up two runs (one earned) over four innings, striking out two and walking one. For the Rams, Ben Stine made his second start of the season and got the win, pitching five innings of shutout ball and striking out two.

The Terps have struggled offensively in the three losses, a stark contrast to the beginning of the season, when the main weakness was starting pitching. The Terps have score one run of fewer in four of the last six games, and two runs or fewer in five of the last six (they won 2-1 over Cal. St. Fullerton behind Mike Shawaryn’s career performance).

Maryland was shut out by the Titans on Sunday and scored just once in each of the games against the Rams. In the first three-game losing streak of the seasons, the Terrapin bats cooled to hit just .171 with just one extra-base hit, a double by Jose Cuas on Tuesday.

Maryland had a chance in the bottom of the first to do some damage, but couldn’t connect with the key hit. LaMonte Wade, leading off for the first time this season, drew a walk and subsequently stole second base for his seventh steal of the season. The centerfielder is now 7-7 on stolen base attempts. After Kevin Smith flied out to left field, Brandon Lowe, making his first start in the three-hole, followed with a single, pushing Wade to third. Lowe stole a base of his own, putting two on in scoring position for Kevin Martir, who came into the game as the Terps leading hitter. However, Stine got out of his jam with consecutive strikeouts of Martir and Jose Cuas.

The Rams scored in the top of the second, after Shane Dressler hit a one-out double. A fielder’s choice brought the him to third base, and he scored on an infield hit from Daane Barezo. Barezo hit a ground ball up the middle that ricocheted off of Bloom’s glove. Patrick Hisle, making his first start of the season, snagged the deflected ball with bare-headed, but his throw to first was not in time.

The Rams scored their second run as a result of a Hisle error in the fourth inning—he bobbled a ground ball, allowing freshman Ryan Coale to reach safely. Coale would eventually score on a wild pitch from Bloom. VCU pushed across an insurance run in the eighth, as Tuesday night’s hero, Logan Farrar, singled up the middle once more to plate Barezo.

The Terps threatened in the bottom of the eighth, as both Wade and Lowe thrived in their new spots of the order. Wade drew another walk and moved to second on a fielder’s choice, then scored on Lowe’s second single of the night.

With the loss, the Terps fall to 27-13 on the year.

Maryland plays next this weekend, when the team travels to West Lafayette, IN, to face off with Purdue. The Boilermakers are at the bottom of the standings with a 1-11 conference record.

Terps lose second straight extra inning game

by John Vittas

Logan Farrar singled up the middle with the bases loaded to give VCU a 2-1 win over Maryland in ten innings Tuesday night in Richmond.

The Rams (23-17) strung together four singles in the tenth against Terps reliever Zach Morris (3-2) to win the game in walk-off style.

It’s Maryland’s second consecutive extra innings loss, having fallen to Cal State Fullerton in ten innings on Sunday. Maryland had not played an extra inning game before that.

Maryland played at a Double-A ballpark in Richmond Tuesday.

Freshman Brian Shaffer turned in an excellent outing on the mound, allowing only one run on five hits over a career high six plus innings. He only walked one. Morris relieved Shaffer in the seventh with no outs and runners at the corners and allowed a run to score on a double play, which tied the game at one.

The Terps scored their lone run in the second inning on an RBI single by junior LaMonte Wade. Wade was the only Terp with multiple hits, going 2-4 on the day.

Maryland pitching staff has only allowed nine runs over the last four games (2.25/g).

The Terps (27-12) will turn to freshman righty Taylor Bloom tomorrow night as they wrap up their two game set at VCU at home in College Park. It will be Bloom’s first collegiate start. The Maryland Baseball Network will be live at 5:45pm to broadcast the action.

Drossner dazzles Fullerton, but 10th inning home run sinks Terps

by John Vittas

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Taylor Bryant’s tenth inning home run broke a scoreless tie and propelled Cal State Fullerton to their first win of the weekend as they salvaged the series finale at Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium in College Park, Maryland.

Bryant’s home run to left was the first earned run that Terps reliever Alex Robinson had allowed all season. Robinson’s ERA still stands at 0.50. It was also Bryant’s first college home run.

Jake Drossner made the best start of his career Sunday, dominating the Titans over a career-high eight shutout innings. Drossner allowed only four total baserunners (3 hits, 1 walk) while striking out six.

Drossner set a new career-high with eight innings pitched Sunday. (Photo: Alexander Jonesi)
Drossner set a new career-high with eight innings pitched Sunday.
(Photo: Alexander Jonesi)

“I went in there knowing that if I can command my fastball, they’re not going to be able to his us,” Drossner said. “I think that halfway through the season, I kind of realized that I had good stuff and that my team believed in me. If I can go out there and command the zone with my fastball and get ahead of the hitters, it was game over. I really believe that.”

The performance dropped Drossner’s season ERA from 5.40 to 3.65. It was his first weekend start since the Terps’ season opening tournament in Myrtle Beach. He had walked 16 batters over his first 16 and two-thirds innings, but only walked one on Sunday.

“He just commanded the strike zone really well,” Maryland head coach John Szefc said. “He gave us a good start when we needed it.”

On the other side, Cal State Fullerton’s starting pitcher John Gavin did not allow a run either. Sunday marked the first time Maryland had been shut out all season. Gavin lasted seven innings and like Drossner, allowed three hits and one walk.

“He just kept us off-balance really well,” Maryland shortstop Kevin Smith said. “When he was down in the count, he was able to get the curveball and changeup over. He was attacking us and only giving us one pitch an at bat to hit. He pitched well.”

Smith had two of Maryland’s five hits on the day, finishing the series 6-for-12.

“I’m just trying to be more aggressive and hit that first pitch strike,” Smith added. “I’m getting better pitches to hit. I’ve been hitting it hard.”

Kevin Smith went 6-for-12 this weekend against the Titans. (Photo: Alexander Jonesi)
Kevin Smith went 6-for-12 this weekend against the Titans.
(Photo: Alexander Jonesi)

Smith came to the plate in the tenth inning with a runner on base and hit a comebacker that Titans closer Tyler Peitzmeier was able to stab and throw to first to end the game.

“I hit it hard right at him,” said Smith. “I had a few other ones that could have been outs so you give and you take.”

Maryland also had a chance to win the game in the ninth. After Jose Cuas singled and advanced to second, Peitzmeier got Kengo Kawahara to strike out swinging to send the game to extras.

Maryland’s Sunday loss was a bit easier to swallow considering the Terps took the first two games of the series, completing a 3-1 week with all four games coming against potential NCAA Tournament teams.

“To be able to go out there and win two out of three against a team that gets to Omaha a lot, it’s good for us to know that we can compete,” Drossner said. “It shows that we can compete with the best.”

Maryland (27-11) will return to action on Tuesday when they take on VCU (22-16). The Maryland Baseball Network will hit the air at 6:15 from Richmond, Virginia.

Listen to John Szefc’s press conference

Listen to Kevin Smith’s press conference

Terps Topple Titans Under Less Than Ideal Circumstances

By Jimmy Perrino

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Galligan
Maryland rode Rob Galligan’s left arm to victory.

Maryland (27-10) topped Cal State Fullerton (19-18) 9-5 on a subdued day in College Park. On the second pitch of the game, Maryland’s Tayler Stiles was hit on the left side of the face with a comeback line drive off the bat of Dustin Vaught. After over ten minutes in which he was conscious but could do no more than sit up, he was stretchered off the field. Baseball had to continue and Rob Galligan, who earned his first win of the season, took over the pitching duties for Maryland. Vaught eventually came around to score in the first inning on a sac-fly by Jake Jefferies. Galligan, however, held down the fort as well as anyone could have hoped, throwing six strong and only allowing one run while notching six strikeouts.

Maryland’s bats immediately picked up the mood in the stadium, plating three runs in the bottom of the first. Lowe lead off the frame with a double deep down the left field line. A fastball hit the next batter, Kevin Smith, and Kevin Martir followed that with a single to right, plating Lowe. Smith was brought in when Cal State third baseman, Vaught could not handle a ground ball. The third Terps run came across as the Titans chose to execute a 6-4-3 double play on a Jamal Wade ground ball, instead of throwing home. Rob Galligan felt this response was paramount to the team’s win today.”That was the most important thing because if they put up a zero there in the first inning that would have been tough.” said the winning pitcher.

Brandon Lowe and Kevin Martir were the team’s offensive leaders on the day, as they have been so often this season. Lowe, who was two for five, drove in two runs and scored two of his own. Martir did him one better, going three for five, with an identical two RBIs and a run scored himself.

Brandon Lowe hit his conference-leading ninth home run of the season on Sunday.  (Photo: Alexander Jonesi)
Brandon Lowe (pictured) and Kevin Martir lead the team offense on Saturday.
(Photo: Alexander Jonesi)

Both Galligan and the Titan’s starter, Justin Garza (3-3) settled down after the hectic first inning. After each allowed one run in the third, nobody cross the plate until the bottom of the sixth inning. A walk, a single and an error loaded the bases for Brandon Lowe and he delivered a two out single to short center field, which brought home Justin Morris and Kengo Kawahara.

Anthony Papio added to the Maryland lead in the bottom of the seventh when he sent a no doubter out of the park in the right field gap. John Szefc credited Papio with taking a leadership role after Stiles went down. “Anthony kind of talked to those guys. He’s a really strong guy, a strong personality.” Zach Jancarski added an eighth run in the eighth inning on a single, following a Morris double. The final insurance run came two batters later on a Kevin Smith double, which scored Brandon Lowe who came all the way around from first base.

Ryan Selmer had a perfect outing, getting six Titans in a row to keep them scoreless in the seventh and eighth innings. Willie Rios finished the day for Maryland but had a tough go. He allowed three runs on four hits before ending the game.

The series will conclude tomorrow at 1pm with freshman LHP Josh Gavin (5-1, 4.53) on the hill for Cal State. The Terps, who are going for the sweep, have not announced their starter for Sunday’s game as of yet.

Terps beat Cal State Fullerton 2-1; Shawaryn tosses career-high 13 Ks in 8 shutout innings

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By Dan Servodidio

IMG_6095

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The pep band played, the cheerleaders handed out “Maryland Pride” wristbands and the season-high 1,370 fans at Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium witnessed Mike Shawaryn pitch a gem en route to a 2-1 Maryland (26-10) victory over Cal State Fullerton (19-17) on Friday night.

Shawaryn (9-0) pitched the best game of his young career to date, striking out a career-high 13 batters in eight shutout innings. The sophomore righthander allowed just four baserunners (all hits) over 108 pitches as he lowered his ERA to 1.67 for the season.

“That’s as good an arm as you’ll see in college baseball,” head coach John Szefc said after the win. “Guys like him, that have that kind of talent, also have a tendency to elevate their games.”

“Everything was really kind of working for me,” said Shawaryn, who’s previous career-best in strikeouts (12) came against Appalachian State in February. “I was just pounding the zone and they were swinging and missing.”

After setting the school’s single-season record for wins last season as a freshman, Shawaryn now has another under his belt. Tonight’s win gives Shawaryn 20 in his career at Maryland, tying the school record set by John Rayne in 1992.

Shawaryn dominated deep into his outing, retiring the last eight batters he faced – five of which he struck out. With a handful of major league scouts in attendance, he threw in the 90-93 mph range and even hit 94 on the gun as late as the seventh inning.

“You can see that guy pitch in Yankee Stadium one day, I’m telling you,” Szefc said of his ace. “I bet my life on it. I’ve [coached] a few big leaguers, but he’s as good as any guy I’ve been around.”

Shawaryn faced his two biggest threats in the fifth and sixth inning. The leadoff batter in both frames hit a double and eventually got to third through respective sacrifice bunts. However, Maryland’s star stayed calm and struck out two batters to end both innings’ threat.

“It really drains a lot out of you when you have a man on second or third and no outs and you can’t score,” said Shawaryn. “My job tonight was to post zeroes and I went out and did it.”

The Terps got their two lone runs in the second inning without even registering a hit. A hit batsman, a throwing error and two subsequent RBI groundouts by designated hitter Jamal Wade and centerfielder Kengo Kawaraha gave Szefc’s squad the early 2-0 lead.

It proved to be enough as Shawaryn held the CS Fullerton offense scoreless. After he threw about 130 pitches in his last outing against Iowa – combined with the triple-digits he tossed tonight – Shawaryn wasn’t given a chance to get a shutout as Szefc and pitching coach Jim Belanger decided to pull him.

“We’re lucky that we have two really good guys at the end of the game,” Szefc said. “When you have really good players, stuff tends to go your way.”

Alex Robinson came in with two on and none out to earn the save in the ninth after Kevin Mooney walked the first two batters of the inning before getting pulled. Only one of the runners ended up scoring to preserve Shawaryn’s gem.

“I was a little nervous,” admitted Shawaryn, who said he wanted he to pitch the ninth. “Sometimes it’s not pretty, but at the end of the day I know they’ll get the job done.”

“I would’ve let Shawaryn pitch the ninth,” the left-handed Robinson said. “I love Mike, he’s unbelievable.”

The Terps face Cal State Fullerton tomorrow at 2 p.m. in the second game of the series. MBN will have the call for you with our pregame show going live at 1:45, which you can listen to here.

For more on Mike Shawaryn, check out Dan Servodidio’s feature on Maryland’s ace here

Down to their final strike, Terps score 3 to stun Liberty

by John Vittas

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No. 22 Maryland (25-10) scored three runs in the ninth inning to take their first lead of the game and beat Liberty (23-14) on their home field 6-4.

After the first two batters were quickly retired in ninth, it appeared the Terps were heading home losers. But junior catcher Kevin Martir kept the Maryland hopes alive when he lined a double to center that was almost caught to end the game. The Flames then botched a Jose Cuas grounder to keep the door open for Maryland.

Down to their final strike for the second time, Anthony Papio came through. Papio singled sharply to left field to score Martir and tie the game at four. Maryland had trailed 4-0.

LISTEN TO THE FULL COMEBACK

“I got down to two strikes and I was just trying to do everything I could to put a ball in play and it happened to scoot through the infield,” Papio said. “I was just trying to see the ball deep and I got a changeup that I drove through the six hole.”

“Cuas and Papio were down to their last strike in the ninth,” head coach John Szefc said. “Both guys hung in there and put the ball in play. We just toughed it out.”

Down to his final strike, Anthony Papio delivered the game-tying hit Wednesday.
Down to his final strike, Anthony Papio delivered the game-tying hit Wednesday. (Photo: Alexander Jonesi)

After Tim Lewis was hit by a pitch, freshman outfielder Kengo Kawahara worked out a walk to give Maryland their first lead of the day. Kawahara drew four walks and drove home two runs while making his first career start in left field.

Justin Morris also drew a run-scoring free pass, as the Terps went on to win 6-4.

“It’s all of us not trying to do too much and staying within ourselves,” Kawahara said. “When we’re down in high pressure situations, we stay within the zone and see what happens.”

“I was just happy for our guys. This is a tough day,” Szefc said. “Our guys just never gave in. Our bullpen was tremendous.”

The Maryland bullpen was again spectacular and kept the Terrapins in the game after starter Bobby Ruse allowed four runs in two and two-thirds innings. The combination of Ryan Selmer, Jake Drossner, Alex Robinson, Zach Morris and Kevin Mooney combined to give the Terps six and one-third shutout innings.

Mooney struck out the side in the ninth to extend his school record to 26 saves. Morris earned the win to improve to 3-1.

“They threw their best guys at us. We beat their best guys,” said Szefc. “It’s a good win for our team to feel good going into this weekend against Fullerton.”

“It was great, it was definitely a team win,” Kawahara added. “In that last inning, it was everybody setting eachother up, passing it from one guy to another and everything fell into place.”

“We’ve been good coming from behind all year, and that was another good one for us,” Papio said. “I think that’s going to give us a little bit of momentum going into this weekend against a good Fullerton team.”

Maryland will return home to take on historical powerhouse Cal State Fullerton (19-16) this weekend. First pitch of the series opener is scheduled for 7pm on Friday and can be heard live on the Maryland Baseball Network.

John Szefc after the win:

The heroes, Anthony Papio and Kengo Kawahara:

Terps drop series finale, lose 2-1 to Iowa Hawkeyes

The Terrapins lost their second Big Ten series of the year Sunday, falling to 2-1 to the Iowa Hawkeyes.

Joel Booker led off the 2nd inning for the Hawkeyes with a walk, and moved to third base after an error—an errant pickoff attempt—from Terps starter Kevin Mooney. The righthander walked three of the next four batters to force in the game’s first run.

Shortly thereafter, Junior Rob Galligan came on in relief, getting outs on a runner’s interference call and a strikeout to escape the bases loaded jam. The lefthander took the loss on the day, finishing with 5.2 innings pitched, allowing three hits, one run and striking out 5.

Brandon Lowe continued his hot hitting, sending one out of the park to lead off the 5th inning and tie the game at one. The solo shot was the sophomore’s ninth of the season, extending his conference lead. The ball snuck over the wall in right field for the Terps only run of the game.

“I might be a little biased, but I think he’s the best hitter in the country,” Galligan said about Lowe. “He’s unbelievable—he doesn’t swing at balls. He’s one of the most disciplined hitters I’ve seen.”

Calvin Matthews got a no-decision for the Hawkeyes, pitching five innings and striking out one. The only run he allowed was Lowe’s home run. Ryan Erickson was awarded the win and Luke Vandermaten the save, his second of the year. The two relievers combined for four shutout innings and six strikeouts.

The Terps had their opportunities on the day, but couldn’t connect with runners on base. The team stranded 11 for the game, including five through the first two innings.

The second Terps error led to the Hawkeyes second run. In the 7th, shortstop Kevin Smith scooped up a groundball but threw wide of first base, allowing Hawkeyes third baseman Nick Day to reach safely. Day moved to third on a single from senior Eric Toole and subsequently scored on a double play.

“We made two errors, they scored two runs,” coach John Szefc said. “They made none. That was the difference in the game.”

With the loss, the Terps fall to 24-10 on the season, 8-4 in Big Ten play, good for fourth place in the conference. They trail Iowa, Illinois and Ohio State with 22 games left to play.

On Tuesday, the Terps will travel to Lynchburg, V.A. to take on Liberty at 4:00 p.m.