Preseason Countdown: Ty Friedrich, #20

Maryland Baseball Network is counting down to Opening Day! Today marks 20 days until the start of the 2017 season, so here’s a look at #20, Ty Friedrich.

ty-friedrich
C Ty Friedrich

C Ty Friedrich

Position: Catcher

Bats/Throws: R/R

Height/Weight: 6’2” / 185

Hometown: Humelstown, Pa.

Previous School: Lower Dauphin

2016 Spring Stats (High School): .491 (third-highest single-season average in school history)

2016 Summer Stats (Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts, Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League): .351 (13-for-37), 2 2B, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 11 R, .500 OBP, .486 SLG

About Ty: Friedrich comes to Maryland after a historic season in high school, which earned him a spot on Baseball America’s Pennsylvania draft prospects list. Perfect Game’s third-ranked catcher in Pennsylvania’s Class of 2016 was also named to the Rawlings-Perfect Game Honorable Mention All-American team after his senior season.

Friedrich spent the summer playing for the Silver Spring-Takoma T-Bolts in the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League—the same team as now-Terps teammate Nick Cieri.

In high school, Friedrich took part in a study conducted at the SUNY College of Optometry that was designed to help athletes—especially baseball players—increase their vision. According to the Wall Street Journal article, Friedrich “wears contact lenses and had always known his left eye was better than his right.”

This season, Friedrich’s biggest chance to make an impact may be as a pinch-hitter, as he’ll more than likely play behind both Cieri and junior Justin Morris.

Preseason Countdown: Tyler Blohm, #21

Maryland Baseball Network is counting down to Opening Day! Today marks 21 days until the start of the 2017 season, so here’s a look at #21, Tyler Blohm.

LHP Tyler Blohm
LHP Tyler Blohm

Position: Pitcher

Bats/Throws: L/L

Height/Weight: 6’3” / 180

Hometown: Millersville, Md.

Previous School: Archbishop Spalding High School

2016 Spring Stats (High School): 66 IP, 9-0, 0.74 ERA, 0.88 WHIP, 103 K

2016 Summer Stats (Baltimore Redbirds, Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League): 26 IP, 1-0, 2.07 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 26 K

About Tyler: One of the most decorated high school players in the state, Tyler Blohm comes to Maryland after an impressive senior season at Archbishop Spalding in which he had an ERA and WHIP under 1.00. Along with fellow Terp Barrett Smith, Blohm led Spalding to a third straight MIAA A Conference title in 2016 and racked up numerous individual awards, including Maryland Gatorade Player of the Year,  Baltimore Sun All-Metro Player of the Year, Capital Gazette Communications Baseball Player of the Year and first-team Washington Post All-Metro. He was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 17th round of the 2016 MLB Draft, but did not sign, electing to pitch for Maryland instead. Over the summer, Blohm pitched for the Cal Ripken League’s Baltimore Redbirds alongside Marty Costes, Mike Rescigno, Hunter Parsons, and Andrew Miller, and again excelled, posting a 2.07 ERA and 26 strikeouts in 26 innings. The lefty hurler, who features a low-90s fastball as well as a plus curveball and a changeup, will join a strong Terps rotation that includes Parsons, Brian Shaffer and Taylor Bloom.

Preseason Countdown: Madison Nickens, #23

Maryland Baseball Network is counting down to Opening Day! Today marks 23 days until the start of the 2017 season, so here’s a look at #23, Madison Nickens.

madison-nickens
OF Madison Nickens

MADISON NICKENS | 23

Position: Outfield

Bats/Throws: L/L

Height/Weight: 6’2” / 210

Hometown: Gonzales, La.

Previous School: LSU-Eunice

2016 Spring Stats: .260 (54-for-208), 6 2B, 8 HR, 28 RBI, 40 R, .362 OBP, .428 SLG

2016 Summer Stats (Mat-Su Miners, Alaska Baseball League): .146 (6-for-41), 4 R, 3 RBI, 6 BB

About Madison: After transferring from LSU-Eunice, Madison Nickens put together a strong season in his first year with the Terps. The outfielder led the team in runs scored (40) and stolen bases (8) while finishing second in home runs (8) and slugging percentage (.428) and fourth in total bases (88). He started 54 of the team’s 57 games and saw playing time in all three outfield spots, as well as at DH. He started the season as the leadoff hitter and was immediately a catalyst, reaching base in the first 13 games of the season, but moved lower in the order as the season progressed. He fell into a slump over the summer, hitting under .200 in limited action for the Mat-Su Miners of the Alaska League, but the versatility, speed and power he showed last spring will make him a reliable piece in John Szefc’s lineup this season.

Preseason Countdown: Ryan Hill, #24

Maryland Baseball Network is counting down to Opening Day! Today marks 24 days until the start of the 2017 season, so here’s a look at #24, Ryan Hill.

LHP Ryan Hill
RHP Ryan Hill

RYAN HILL | 24

Position: Pitcher

Bats/Throws: R/R

Height/Weight: 6’1” / 235

Hometown: Frisco, Texas

Previous School: Grayson College

2016 Spring Stats: 39.1 IP, 2.29 ERA, 53 K, 2 SV

About Ryan: Ryan Hill joins Maryland after two years with the Grayson College Vikings. He showed great improvement statistically during his sophomore year at Grayson, lowering his ERA from 6.06 to 2.29 and raising his K/9 from 5.1 to 12.1. Hill helped the Vikings win a conference championship in 2015 and a second-place finish in 2016. He figures to be a bullpen piece for Szefc and the Terps just as he was for the Vikings. The only player on the Maryland roster from Texas, Hill joins fellow transfers Brandon Gum (George Mason) and Will Watson (LSU-Eunice).

Preseason Countdown: Tayler Stiles, #25

Maryland Baseball Network is counting down to Opening Day! Today marks 25 days until the start of the 2017 season, so here’s a look at #25, Tayler Stiles.

LHP Tayler Stiles
LHP Tayler Stiles

TAYLER STILES | 25

Position: Pitcher

Bats/Throws: L/L

Height/Weight: 6’2” / 223

Hometown: Bowie, Md.

Previous School: Bishop McNamara High School

2016 Spring Stats: 2-3, 35.2 IP, 6.56 ERA, 22 K, 12 BB, .327 BAA

2016 Summer Stats (Silver Spring Takoma Thunderbolts, Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League): 1-0, 5 IP, 1.80 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 5 K, 1 BB

About Tayler: As a freshman in 2014, Tayler Stiles made 22 appearances, including three starts, and posted a 4.05 ERA while recording 34 strikeouts. He pitched well enough in the regular season to earn valuable innings in the postseason. Stiles recorded two relief victories at the Columbia regional and pitched 5 ⅔ innings in the super regional against Virginia. He came back as a sophomore in 2015 and made six starts in 14 appearances. He pitched to a 3.46 ERA with 37 strikeouts and eight walks, but his season was abruptly ended in April after being struck in the face by a line drive.

The lefty came came back fully recovered in 2016, making 15 appearances, five of them starts, and posting a 6.56 ERA with 22 strikeouts in 35 ⅔ innings. The Bishop McNamara product figures to yet again be a key part of the pitching staff for John Szefc this season. He could be slotted as the fourth starting pitcher, setting him up to start some mid-week games but also contribute out of the bullpen on the weekends.

 

Preseason Countdown: Nick Pantos, #26

Maryland Baseball Network is counting down to Opening Day! Today marks 26 days until the start of the 2017 season, so here’s a look at #26, Nick Pantos.

RHP Nick Pantos
RHP Nick Pantos

NICK PANTOS | 26

Position: Pitcher

Bats/Throws: R/R

Height/Weight: 6’4″ / 185

Hometown: Rockville, Md. 

Previous School: Gaithersburg High School

2016 Spring Stats: 7-0, 36.2 IP, 0.95 ERA, 58 K

2016 Summer Stats (Gaithersburg Giants, Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League): 2-3, 28 IP, 3.53 ERA, 17 K

About Nick: The fourth-ranked prospect of the Class of 2016 in the state of Maryland committed to the Terps prior to his junior season of high school. A local pitcher, Pantos spoke to the Washington Post in 2014 and described his excitement to stay in his home state.

“I’ve grown up in Maryland my whole life. The college baseball that I’ve watched has been the University of Maryland,” Pantos said according to Tom Schad. “It’s my home school. I get to stay close to home and have my family close, have the support from all my coaches.”

Pantos was named an honorable mention on the 2016 Rawlings-Perfect Game All Region Second Team, and he finished high school with a 4.2 GPA. Over the summer, he played alongside fellow Terps Elliot Zoellner and Pat Hisle on the Cal Ripken League’s Gaithersburg Giants. After the season ended, he and other Cal Ripken League players embarked on a goodwill trip to Cuba, playing three exhibition games against Cuban professional teams.

Preseason Countdown: Ryan Selmer, #27

Maryland Baseball Network is counting down to Opening Day! Today marks 27 days until the start of the 2017 season, so here’s a look at #27, Ryan Selmer.

Selmer
RHP Ryan Selmer

RYAN SELMER | 27

Position: Pitcher

Bats/Throws: R/R

Height/Weight: 6’8″ / 220

Hometown: Beltsville, Md.

Previous School: Riverdale Baptist School

2016 Spring Stats:
27 G, 37.1 IP, 2-2, 4.34 ERA, 4 saves, 25 K, 15 BB

2016 Summer Stats (Wareham Gatemen, Cape Cod Baseball League):
12 games, 22.2 IP, 2-2, 3.17 ERA, 12 K, 6 BB

About Ryan: During the Terps’ 2015 Super Regional run, Ryan Selmer emerged as both a spot-start and late-inning option, leading the team in appearances (31) and finishing fourth in innings-pitched (53.2) with a strong 2.18 ERA. In 2016, Selmer tied with left-hander Rob Galligan for the team lead in appearances (27) and improved his strikeout-to-walk ratio from 19:16 to 25:15, despite a higher ERA (4.34).

This summer, the redshirt junior fine-tuned his mechanics while pitching for the Wareham Gatemen in the Cape Cod Baseball League, adding more movement to the pitches in his arsenal and making him more effective at inducing ground-balls and getting out of jams. In his best appearance in CCBL action, he notched a win against the Chatham Anglers, tossing 3.2 innings, allowing just three hits, no runs, striking out six and walking none. 

The tall right-hander figures to be a key late-inning option for pitching coach Ryan Fecteau in 2017.

 

Preseason Countdown: Elliot Zoellner, #29

Maryland Baseball Network is counting down to Opening Day! Today marks 29 days until the start of the 2017 season, so here’s a look at #29, Elliot Zoellner.

zoellner
RHP Elliot Zoellner

ELLIOT ZOELLNER | 29

Position: Pitcher

Bats/Throws: R/R

Height/Weight: 6’3”/190

Hometown: Annapolis, Md.

Previous School: St. Mary’s High School

2016 Spring Stats: 4-3, 43.1 IP, 10 G, 2 GS, 0.97 ERA, 65 K, 1 SV

2016 Summer Stats (Gaithersburg Giants, Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League): 1-2, 23.2 IP, 8 G, 5 GS, 4.94 ERA, 20 K

About Elliot: Right-hander Elliot Zoellner capped off a decorated career at St. Mary’s High School (Annapolis, Md.) in 2016, winning four games and boasting a sub-1.00 ERA in 10 games. In 2014 and 2015, Zoellner helped lead St. Mary’s-Annapolis to MIAA-B championships, going a combined 8-0 over 52.1 innings pitched, with 69 strikeouts and ERAs of 2.91 and 1.56, respectively. Last summer, Zoellner played alongside fellow Terps freshman Nick Pantos for the Gaithersburg Giants, making eight appearances, including a six strikeout performance against the Baltimore Redbirds on July 10. Zoellner committed to Maryland in July 2015, choosing the Terps over West Virginia University..

Preseason Countdown: Nick Cieri, #31

Maryland Baseball Network is counting down to Opening Day! Today marks 31 days until the start of the 2017 season, so here’s a look at #31, Nick Cieri.

C Nick Cieri.
C/DH Nick Cieri.

NICK CIERI | 31 

Position: Catcher

Bats/Throws: L/R

Height/Weight: 6’3″/250

Hometown: Hainesport, N.J.

Previous School: Rancocas Valley Regional High School

2016 Spring Stats: .256 (46-for-180), 9 2B, 3 HR, 29 RBI, 19 R, .379 OBP, .367 SLG

2016 Summer Stats (Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts, Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League): .301 (25-for-83), 5 2B, 5 HR, 24 RBI, 19 R, .392 OBP, .542 SLG

About Nick: In his junior season with the Terps, Nick Cieri finished fourth on the team in doubles (9) and RBIs (29). While Cieri struggled at the plate for the beginning of the season, the catcher and designated hitter finished his 2016 campaign with a team-high 31 walks, the 11th-most in the Big Ten. Cieri’s season wrapped up with a stellar Big Ten Tournament, as he went 7-for-12 (.583) with three walks and an RBI in four games.

His strong finish carried over to summer ball, where he was one of nine players to hit over .300 and tally more than 20 RBIs. Cieri slugged five home runs over the summer—averaging one per 16.6 at-bats—including a game where he went 4-4 with three home runs, 10 RBI, three runs scored and a walk in a 17-8 win over the Vienna Riverdogs on July 3.

In 2017, Cieri will look to be a key run-producer in the middle of the order for the Terps.

Preseason Countdown: Zach Guth, #32

Maryland Baseball Network is counting down to Opening Day! Today marks 32 days until the start of the 2017 season, so here’s a look at #32, Zach Guth.

LHP Zach Guth.
LHP Zach Guth.

ZACH GUTH | 32

Position: Pitcher

Bats/Throws: L/L

Height/Weight: 6’3”/200

Hometown: Franklin, Pa.

Previous School: Franklin Area High School

2016 Spring Stats: 0-0, 8.1 IP, 12 G, 5.40 ERA, 5 K, 6 BB

About Zach: As a freshman, Zach Guth pitched in 12 games for Maryland, all out of the bullpen. His best outing of the season came on April 1 against High Point, a two-inning, no-hit performance with a strikeout. A back of the bullpen left-hander, Guth pitched at least one inning in six of his 12 appearances, and entered the game in the seventh inning or later in all but one of his games played. The freshman’s final appearance came against Iowa in the Big Ten Tournament, when he recorded the final out of Maryland’s season. Guth, a native of northwestern Pennsylvania, enjoys fishing, and says his sports idol is Ken Griffey, Jr.