25 Days of Baseball: Day 11

Okay Terp fans, today is the final day of the player profile portion of the countdown. Tomorrow we will take a look at the top play of 2015 and then move into positional previews, and coaches interviews. We will however sprinkle in more player profiles throughout the regular season. In the meantime, we saved the best for last, enjoy!

Ryan Selmer burst onto the scene as a freshman last season, quickly becoming a dominant force in the middle of the Terps bullpen. He showed the ability to not only get out of jams, but go multiple innings when necessary, bridging the gap between the Maryland starter, and Alex Robinson and Kevin Mooney in the back end of the pen. In 31 appearances last season Selmer worked 53 2/3 innings, posting a 3-1 record and a 2.18 ERA.

Selmer is expected to maintain his middle innings role this season, although he could see a start every now and then, like he did a season ago when he started four games, including game two of the Charlottesville Super Regional.

Players on the team were kind enough to fill out a questionnaire, so here’s what Ryan had to say about baseball and beyond…

Graphic courtesy of Kate Correia
Graphic courtesy of Kate Correia

Favorite baseball memory: Winning the UCLA regional is definitely my best memory. Another great memory was growing up and being able to have my dad coach all of my little league teams and also him being the pitching coach of my high school team.  I wouldn’t be where I am today without God blessing me with a great dad. And mom!

Another good memory was hitting a grand slam in high school off of a 70 mph pitch. It was my first home run, and probably my last. Growing up and never having an announcer for your little league games, but then once in a blue moon when we did get one, they never could pronounce my name right. It’s “Sel-MER”, not “Sel-MAR”, or any other variations they came up with. It’s not even that hard to say!

What he chose Maryland: I’ve always wanted to attend Maryland. I’ve always lived right next to the school and have always wanted to play a sport for UMD. I followed Maryland basketball, football, and baseball while growing up. When I heard that they were interested in me playing for them it was like a dream come true, not only for me, but for my dad. My dad grew up around the College Park area and has always been a huge fan of UMD. He wanted to attend the school but was never able to. So for him to have a son be able to go is really exciting for him.

Favorite Maryland baseball memory: Definitely winning the UCLA regional is my favorite memory. You can’t really beat a moment like that. Probably my second most memorable moment was my first inning as a Terp. I think one of the most fun things was that not many people believed in our team. There were a lot of people saying that we couldn’t be a good team, and people tweeting about how overrated we were. I think one of the most memorable things was that we proved them wrong throughout the last two seasons, and we will again this year.

Goals for this season: Work as hard as I can to be the guy that the coaches will go to in a tight situation. I want to be consistent for my team, and be the best that I can be and help my team make it to Omaha and win a championship .

Favorite teammate: I can’t really pick out a favorite teammate, seeing that they are all my brothers. I will say that I’m good pals with Taylor Bloom and Tayler Stiles because we grew up playing baseball together in little league and high school. Bloom and I attended Riverdale together.

Walk-out song: I’m really leaning toward Eye of the Tiger by Survivor (Rocky 3 version), great song

Hobbies: You can ask some of my teammates about my magic tricks. They are pretty cool. Or you can come ask me, I’ll show you one. I go to church in Bowie, Md. I grew up going to that church, and many of my lifelong friends go there.  I also enjoy learning random things that other people don’t know. I’m trying to visit all of the MLB stadiums before I die. So far I am at 16.

Favorite place to eat around campus: If you ask my teammates, they will all say Chipotle. I walk into the locker room all the time with Chipotle. Definitely get a burrito bowl, with extra, extra, extra white rice, double chicken, mild and medium salsa, extra cheese, and a bag of chips. I get that pretty much all the time. I don’t even remember how many times I’ve been standing outside the Chipotle door at 10:59 A.M. waiting for them to open the door at 11 A.M. Or how many times I was the last customer. It’s just so good! The best is when you get a buy one get one free coupon. A lady gave me one once, and she told me I could bring a friend. Instead of bringing a friend, I just got two bowls. It was yummy! I also like Kiyoko, Panda Express, Blaze Pizza, and Chick-fil-A (milkshakes are great).

Favorite TV shows: I don’t care how old I get, I could watch Spongebob Squarepants all day long. It’s great for all ages. My favorite show is probably 24 (Jack Bauer is the man). I also like Walker Texas Ranger with Chuck Norris. Great show. Currently I’m watching Criminal Minds and I am really enjoying it. The Office is also hilarious.

Favorite movie: I would like to put down Star Wars… I’m the biggest Star Wars fan on the team and probably on the face of the planet. Best movies ever!

Dream job besides playing baseball: I’ve always wanted to be a pilot. In a few years I am going to go get my private pilots license. I don’t know if that will ever become my job, but if it did then that would be awesome! I’ve always loved to fly and it’s been something that I’ve been wanting to do my whole life. I’ve also always wanted to be a baseball coach, and stay around the game I love. Also, something in law enforcement would be cool. FBI or something like that.

25 Days of Baseball: Day 12

Jamal Wade started his career at Maryland with a bang. Well three bangs to be exact. Wade’s first three hits as a Terp were all home runs. He finished the season with five home runs, one more than his brother LaMonte, to go along with three doubles and a triple in 35 appearances as a freshman.

Jamal’s big bat will be a valuable asset for the Terps again this season as he gives them the threat  of adding a run to the board every time he comes to the plate.

Graphic courtesy of Kate Correia
Graphic courtesy of Kate Correia

Players on the team were kind enough to fill out a questionnaire, so here’s what Jamal had to say about baseball and beyond…

Favorite baseball memory: Going to play at Cooperstown when I was twelve years old. Every little kid who grows up playing baseball should experience it as it is a great experience as you get to visit the MLB Hall of Fame, trade team pins with other teams from all over the country and you get to play everyday on great ball fields.

Why he chose Maryland: I chose Maryland because living in Maryland I was a Terps fan my whole life and thought it would be awesome to play in my home state and for a well respected team in the country on the rise to do many great things.  When I first stepped on campus I was amazed by the great facilities.

Favorite Maryland baseball memory: Winning Regionals at UCLA

Goals for this season: Work hard, be a good teammate and do whatever is asked of me to help the team win.

Favorite teammate:  It is impossible to narrow it down to just one as the team is filled with great guys.

What’s your walk up song: My walk up song last year was “Got Me Some More” by Wiz Khalifa but this year I am not really sure what it is going to be yet, but narrowed it down to a few choices.

Pump up playlist: Pretty much the whole playlist from the movie South Paw as that movie pumps me up so much.

Hobbies: Playing ping-pong

Favorite place to eat around campus: Blaze Pizza

Guilty pleasure TV show: Keeping up with the Kardashians

Dream job besides playing baseball: Coach or sports agent

25 Days of Baseball: Day 13

Tayler Stiles thrived in a variety of roles for the Maryland last season. He gave the Terps quality innings as a starter, and out of the bullpen, got key outs time and time again to get the team out of jams. In 14 appearances Stiles notched a 3.46 ERA and struck out 37 batters, while issuing just 8 walks. However, on April 18 against Cal State Fullerton, Stiles was struck in the head with a line drive on just the second pitch of the game, ending his season.

Since the injury, Taylor has endured multiple surgeries, and has rehabbed tirelessly to make his way back to be able to pitch again this season. Taylor will enter this season in yet another role for the Terps: closer. He will follow in the footsteps of Kevin Mooney, the school’s all-time saves leader, who was drafted by the Nationals in 15th round of the 2015 MLB Draft.

Graphic courtesy of Kate Correia
Graphic courtesy of Kate Correia

Players on the team were kind enough to fill out a questionnaire, so here’s what Tayler had to say about baseball and beyond…

Favorite baseball memory: Leading my high school team to the WCAC championship played at Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium 2 years straight.

Why he chose Maryland: Maryland is close to home and it is a great school academically and athletically. My first reaction when stepping foot on campus was “woah this place is huge”.

Favorite Maryland Memory: Back-to-back Regional Championships

Goals for this season: Have success in my pitching role and help win games for my team.

Favorite teammates: Taylor Bloom and Brian Shaffer

Walk-out song: Back in Black by AC/DC

Hobbies: Golfing (with Taylor Bloom)

Favorite place to eat around campus: Bread N Greens

Guilty pleasure TV show: How I Met Your Mother

Dream job besides playing baseball: Owner/head of my own training facility

25 Days of Baseball: Day 14

Kevin Smith had big shoes to fill last year, coming in as a freshman, and taking the place of Blake Schmit who was selected in the 26th round of the 2014 MLB draft by the Minnesota Twins. The transition between the flashy Schmit and the smooth fielding Smith was seamless. At the dish, Smith batted .273, with 7 home runs, and 35 RBI. He was named a 2015 first team Perfect Game Freshman All-American, and was tied for the team lead with 11 stolen bases.

Expect more of the same from Smith this year: solid defense in the middle of the infield, and a consistent stick near the top of the Terps lineup.

Graphic courtesy of Kate Correia
Graphic courtesy of Kate Correia

Players on the team were kind enough to fill out a questionnaire, so here’s what Kevin had to say about baseball and beyond…

Favorite baseball memory: Winning the New York 9&10 year old Little League State Championship

Why he chose Maryland: I chose Maryland mostly because of the coaching staff and the culture they wanted to implement into the program. My first reaction on campus was how much warmer it was than upstate New York, and how much it felt like home.

Favorite Maryland baseball memory: Beating UCLA to win Regionals in 2015

Goals for the season: I want to help the team win more games than last year. I think if everyone tries to improve one or two things going into the season, it will all come together and create more dog piles in a few months.

Favorite teammate: John Michael Szefc takes the cake

Pump up playlist: Drake, Mike Stud, G-Eazy, Kendrick Lamar, Jay-Z and others

Hobbies: Golf, might be my best sport

Favorite place to eat around campus: Marathon Deli – Best chicken parm sandwich on this side of the Mississippi

Guilty pleasure TV show: Keeping up with the Kardashians

Dream job besides playing baseball: Anesthesiologist

25 Days of Baseball: Day 15

Brian Shaffer thrived last season after joining the starting rotation late in the year. He went 5-1 as a starter, including a dominant performance against Illinois to capture the Big Ten tournament, and snap the Illini’s 27-game winning streak. In that game Shaffer went seven innings, his longest outing of the season, allowing just one earned run and struck out seven.

This season, Brian will slot in nicely as the Sunday starter, as the Terps plan to go with three hard throwing righties (Shawaryn, Bloom, and Shaffer) in their weekend rotation.

Players on the team were kind enough to fill out a questionnaire, so here’s what Brian had to say about baseball and beyond…

Graphic courtesy of Kate Correia
Graphic courtesy of Kate Correia

My favorite baseball memory: Going to the local baseball field to pitch and hit with my dad growing up. Playing here at Maryland makes me appreciate those times even more.

Why he chose Maryland: Ever since I was a kid I wanted to play baseball for the University of Maryland and was doubted for thinking I could. When I first stepped on campus I had a satisfactory “I made it” feeling.

Favorite Maryland baseball memory: Other than winning the UCLA regional would be when I pitched against the University of Illinois at Target Field and ended their 27-game winning streak.

Goals for this season: Stay healthy and do everything I can to help this team  win a National Championship.

Favorite teammate: I have so many favorites but if I had to choose one teammate, it would have to be Zach Jancarski. He’s one of my best friends and I’ve never met anyone that could make me laugh as much.

Walk-out song: Stranglehold by Ted Nugent.

Pump up playlist: I don’t really have a pump up playlist but anyone who knows me knows that I love country music.

Hobbies: hunt, fish, workout, and hangout by a bonfire with my friends. I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend.

Favorite place to eat around campus: Chipotle (as generic as that is)

Guilty pleasure TV show: Impractical Jokers and Food Paradise. I love shows that involve food.

Dream job besides playing baseball: either a personal trainer or an outdoorsman with my own TV show.

25 Days of Baseball: Day 16

After being drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 35th round in 2014, Justin Morris decided to stay at home and play for the Terps, joining his older brother Zach on the diamond. The younger Morris started 27 games in his freshman campaign, predominately at first base, but also played catcher and DH.

He compiled 11 hits last season, including two doubles and a triple. This summer Justin stayed local as well, playing for the Bethesda Big Train. Morris will see a lot more time behind the plate this season, filling the void left by Kevin Martir, who was drafted in the 18th round by the Houston Astros.

Graphic courtesy of Kate Correia
Graphic courtesy of Kate Correia

Players on the team were kind enough to fill out a questionnaire, so here’s what Justin had to say about baseball and beyond…

Favorite baseball memory: Catching my older brother Zach my freshman year in high school while he was a senior. We used to always play catch together in the backyard growing up and it was cool to actually have the opportunity to catch him in a real game.

Why he chose Maryland: Being a local kid I always grew up rooting for the Terps. It was important for me to give my family the opportunity to see me play without having to travel so far. I wanted them to be able to come to all my home games. I also really wanted to play a season with my older brother which was also really important to me. I felt comfortable as soon as I got to Maryland. It felt like home.

Favorite Maryland baseball memory: Last year winning the UCLA Regional and being part of a special group of guys.

Goals for this season: Just to be the best teammate I can be and to do whatever I can to help the team win.

Favorite teammate: I love all my teammates.

Hobbies:
 Going to the beach with friends and family.

Favorite place to eat around campus: Salad Works

Guilty pleasure TV show: Impractical Jokers

Dream job besides playing baseball: NFL Owner/Coach or a Rapper/Singer or a Pro Surfer.

25 Days of Baseball: Day 17

Taylor Bloom is one of a trio of right handers that Maryland will rely on heavily this season. Brian Shaffer and Ryan Selmer are the other two, and they will both be featured on future editions of 25 Days of Baseball. Last season Bloom made 15 appearance for the Terps, 5 of them starts, tossing 33 2/3 innings, and posting a 4.01 ERA. Bloom surged at the end of the season, starting the Big Ten Tournament final against Michigan, and again in the winner-take-all regional final against UCLA. Against the Bruins, Bloom shined, pitching six plus innings, allowing one run, and only two opposing hitter reached base.

This season, Bloom is expected to be the Saturday starter for the Terps, and Maryland would greatly benefit from him becoming a fixture in the weekend rotation, as one of the biggest challenges for the team a season ago was finding consistency and stability to follow the Friday night reliability of Mike Shawaryn.

Bloom-17
Graphic courtesy of Kate Correia

Players on the team were kind enough to fill out a questionnaire, so here’s what Taylor had to say about baseball and beyond…

Favorite baseball memory: Going to Cooperstown with my 12u team

Why he chose Maryland: Being close to home really influenced my decision to come to Maryland, as well as just the comfortable atmosphere I got when I first came here.

Favorite Maryland baseball memory: Beating UCLA in the regional final in Los Angeles.

Goals for this season: To be the Saturday starter throughout the year, and give my team a chance to win every weekend.

Favorite teammates: Brian Shaffer, Tayler Stiles, and Ryan Selmer

Pump up playlist: Usually a mixture of Rap and Hard Rock

Hobbies: Hitting the links with some teammates/friends.

Favorite place to eat around campus: Chipotle

Guilty pleasure TV show/movie: The Walking Dead/Star Wars

Dream job besides playing baseball:  I’d like to coach some day

25 Days of Baseball: Day 18

In his senior year at Shikellamy High School Nick Dunn batted .477, but that wasn’t the average that set the school record. In fact, Dunn batted a whopping .544 in 2013 to claim the Shikellamy batting crown. In addition to hitting .477 his last year, Dunn drove in 32 runs, including seven home runs, while not striking out a single time.

This summer, while playing for the Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts, Dunn led the team in hitting with a .321 average, also good for fifth in the entire Cal Ripken League. With Brandon Lowe being drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays, Dunn appears to be the favorite to start at second base for the Terps this season. While he’ll certainly have big shoes to fill, his game also carries many similarities to Lowe’s.

Dunn

Players on the team were kind enough to fill out a questionnaire, so here’s what Nick had to say about baseball and beyond…

Favorite baseball memory: Breaking my high school’s batting average record.

Why he chose Maryland: I picked Maryland because of the coaching staff and the team’s recent success. When I first got here I was excited to start getting ready for the season.

Goals for this season: I want to contribute as much as possible and do everything I can to help the team make the College World Series.

Favorite teammate: I don’t really have a favorite teammate. I enjoy being around the whole team.

Hobbies: Playing video games and ice skating

Favorite place to eat around campus: Chipotle

Guilty pleasure TV show: Rocket Power on Nickelodeon

25 Days of Baseball: Day 20

As a freshman, Zach Jancarski made his biggest impact on the bases. He scored 9 runs in 16 pinch running appearances, including scoring in his first 3 games as a Terp. After being named to the Perfect Game USA All-Atlantic First Team in 2014, Jancarski tallied two hits and two runs in four starts.

This summer, he played for the Baltimore Redbirds in the Cal Ripken League, and batted .286, and had 14 stolen bases in 28 games.Jancarski

Players on the team were kind enough to fill out a questionnaire, so here’s what Zach had to say about baseball and beyond…

Favorite baseball memory: playing with my travel ball team through high school and during the recruiting process with some of the best teammates and guys I’ve ever met. I wish all of them success in their future and I look forward to staying in touch with them for many years to come.

Why he chose Maryland: I felt that I fit in the best with the way they play and the work ethic that goes into being a successful team on an everyday basis. I also really had a good relationship with the coaches and give them credit for being great recruiters through the whole process. I’m very happy with my decision.

Favorite Maryland baseball Memory: Enjoying all of the success we had as a team through my first year in the program. We had a special team last year, and it was fun to be a part of some really big games.

Goals for this season: To play as hard as I can every day I step between the lines, and help the team win games at any cost.

Favorite teammate: I can’t choose just one teammate to single out as my favorite because I have such good relationships with a lot of guys on the team. But I do always have have fun with Kevin Biondic and Brian Shaffer

Walk-up Song: “Minute” by Mike Stud.

Hobbies: Playing video games and hanging out with friends and teammates.

Favorite place to eat around campus: Chipotle no doubt.

Guilty pleasure TV shows: Big fan of the show Friday Night Lights, and I’ll dabble with Keeping Up with the Kardashians on a lazy Sunday or two.

Dream job (outside of playing baseball):  Serving my country as a Navy Seal

25 Days of Baseball: Day 21

In exactly three weeks, the Terps will be a lot warmer, about 30 degrees warmer, as they travel south to Tuscaloosa. 

The new all-turf field is already paying dividends, as the team was able to practice on the infield despite last week’s blizzard.

John Szefc orchestrated bunting drills outside, while the assistants conducted batting practice in the shell beyond the left field fence. 

The Terps will go with a four- inning scrimmage tomorrow and work their way up to six-inning scrimmages in the days to follow. The scrimmages will feature live pitching.

Rankings Update:
D1baseball.com and Baseball America have now each released their preseason top 25. Maryland doesn’t appear on either list, in fact, the only Big Ten school ranked on either list is Michigan (15th by Baseball America). But the Terps are using this as motivation, and some within the program have even asserted that this year’s team has more offensive depth than last year’s team.