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.

Maryland Offense Comes Alive as Terps Beat Delaware 13-6

In Maryland’s first at-bat of their Wednesday matchup with Delaware, leadoff hitter Chris Alleyne popped a ball up into shallow right field where it dropped between first baseman Josh Carpenter and right fielder Kyle Baker for a double. 

The miscue set the tone for what would be an afternoon filled with Delaware mistakes and Maryland hits, and the Terps recorded 15 hits, including 8 for extra-bases, in a 13-6 win.  

While the Terps bats came alive, they were helped along by the many mistakes made by Delaware on the afternoon. The Blue Hens issued seven walks, made two errors, hit six batters, and had five wild pitches and three passed balls. The Terrapins put added pressure on the Delaware defense, stealing four bases in five attempts. 

After a Randy Bednar flyout, Maxwell Costes hit a sharp ground ball back up the middle to score Alleyne and put the Terps on top. Maryland doubled its lead in the second, when Bednar ripped a double to left-centerfield, scoring Ben Cowles from second base.

The Terps gave themselves more breathing room in the third, scoring three runs on a solo shot by Tavin Shahidi and an RBI double by Cowles. A bloop single off the left fielder’s glove by Austin Chavis chased starter CJ Schaible from the game and brought on Winston Allen who retired Alleyne before hitting Bednar and Costes with back-to-back pitches to bring in another run and allow the Terps to bat around.  

While Schaible scuffled, Maryland starter Zach Thompson’s first trip through the Blue Hens’ order was tremendously efficient, as the redshirt junior set down the first nine men he faced, punching out two and throwing strikes on 20 of his 27 pitches. 

“He had really good sink,” said head coach Rob Vaughn. “When Zach’s good the ball just disappears. Our guys have faced him for three years now and the ball looks like it’s down the middle and it ends up at you ankle.”

Delaware got its first base runner when shortstop Vinny Vaccone led off the fourth with a walk. After stealing second and moving to third on a groundout, Vaccone scored on an RBI groundout by Joseph Carpenter. The Hens also registered their first hit in the fourth on a two-out single by Jordan Hutchins. A two-run single by Aidan Riley brought two more runs to cut the Terps lead to 6-3. 

The Blue Hens moved to within one in the fifth, scoring on an error by Shahidi and an RBI double by Carpenter off reliever Sean Heine. A solo homer by Cowles in the bottom of the frame brought the Terps lead back to two and two sacrifice flies in the bottom of the sixth made the score 9-5. 

Cowles led the Maryland offense, going 2-for-2, with a home run, a double, two walks, and five RBIs.

“I was just trying to find a pitch to hit,” Cowles said of his homer. “I got down 0-2, so I was looking soft and I got a curveball.”

In the seventh, Delaware struck again, this time with a long solo homer by Kyle Baker. The Terps got the run back in the bottom half of the inning when Bednar scored on a passed ball. Maryland loaded the bases with one out, and scored twice more on an RBI walk by Cowles and a wild pitch by Tommy Pomatto. 

While it was Delaware’s mistakes that defined the game, the Terps continued to struggle defensively, making two errors to bring their season total to 20 in just 11 games. Maryland also struggled to control the running-game, allowing three stolen bases on three attempts.  

 

Game Preview: Delaware Blue Hens

After a difficult weekend series with Coastal Carolina, Maryland will look to get back in the win column when it welcomes Delaware to Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium on Wednesday for a 4 p.m. first pitch.

Coming off two blowouts and a heartbreaking late loss to the Chanticleers in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, the Terps will play their second home midweek of the season, with a 13-3 drubbing of George Mason already under their belts. 

Maryland has five key home games over the next week, starting with the game against the Blue Hens, followed by a three-game set with Bryant, and then another midweek game against James Madison.

With this five-game stretch sandwiched between tough series at Coastal Carolina and TCU, the home stand should allow time for the Terps to bounce back from their trip to South Carolina and gain momentum before heading to Texas.

On offense the Terps will look for sophomore Maxwell Costes to remain their most dangerous hitter and to continue his scorching form at the Bob, where he is six for his last seven with three home runs and a double.

Junior outfielder Randy Bednar, who leads the team with 11 RBI, also comes into the series hot. Hitting .351, Bednar had a tremendous game in Maryland’s last midweek, roughing up the Patriots to the tune of three hits and three RBI, including a mammoth home run. 

On the mound the Terrapins may turn to junior Zach Thompson, who excelled in his first appearance of the season last week. Thompson shut down George Mason, allowing one run on four hits over five innings, and was efficient, tossing 66 pitches through his five frames of work.  

With strikeouts coming at a premium, whoever starts for Maryland will need to hope for his defense to be better than it has in the season’s early-going, where the Terps have a .949 fielding percentage and have gotten through only one game error-free (Game three against Rhode Island).  

Delaware Blue Hens (4-5, 0-0 CAA)

Last Season

Delaware finished 2019 with a record of 21-33. The Blue Hens were 7-21 on the road, and went 7-3 in midweeks, including a pair of midweek losses to the Terps (both by a score of 11-6).

This Season

The Hens are 4-5 this year, as of Tuesday morning, but come in hot with wins in four of their last five games. They head to College Park as the second part of a midweek back-to-back after facing the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore on Tuesday. 

Hitters to Watch

Delaware brings a dangerous offense to the Bob, with 50 runs scored over nine games and five qualified hitters batting above .300, as of Tuesday morning. Sophomore first baseman Josh Carpenter enters Tuesday leading the squad with a .419 average and four doubles, while senior backstop Jack Goan is pacing the Blue Hens with 10 RBI to go along with two long balls and junior Jordan Hutchins leads the team with three home runs. 

Pitchers to Watch

While Delaware’s offense has produced well, the Blue Hens have struggled on the mound, with a team-wide 6.59 ERA. The Hens’ arms have struggled to find the plate, with 58 walks already issued this season. Opposing hitters have also had success when Delaware pitchers have thrown strikes, hitting .272 against them and knocking 28 extra-base hits.

The Blue Hens do have a trio of reliable arms out of the bullpen, with relievers Winston Allen, Bryce Greenly, and Nate Rolka combining for just two earned runs over 11 ⅔ innings. Only four pitchers have made starts for the Hens so far this season, so with five games in six days and a series with Rider beginning on Friday, head coach Jim Sherman may have to get creative with how he uses his arms. 

Coastal Carolina takes late lead to capture series sweep over Maryland

Unlike the first two games of the series, it was a pitcher’s duel between the Terps and the Chanticleers. But in the eighth inning, Coastal Carolina got a rally going against freshman  Connor Staine.

Staine got two quick outs, but let up a single to redshirt junior Fox Leum, who would steal second. The Chanticleers were stealing all afternoon as they were taking advantage of backup catcher, Tavan Shahidi behind the dish. Coastal Carolina stole eight bases on the afternoon.

Staine followed it up with a walk and the following batter, freshman Cooper Weiss laced an RBI into center field to take a 3-2 lead. After the go-ahead run, Staine walked another batter and would be taken out for senior Elliot Zoellner. Zoellner came into a bases loaded jam, and struck out the lone batter he faced.

But the damage was already done, as the Chanticleers possessed a 3-2 lead heading into the final inning. In the top half of the ninth, the Terrapins went down in order, resulting in a series sweep for Coastal after a 3-2 victory in the series finale.

Maryland hit a combined 6-for-31, which resulted in a .194 team average. The Terps also struck out 12 times. Coastal Carolina also had a rough afternoon in the batter’s box as they hit 5-for-29, which was a .172 team average and struck out 11 times.

In the early goings of the series finale, it seemed like the game was going to go similarly to the first two games of the series.

In the top half of the first inning, Coastal Carolina starting pitcher, Nick Parker struck out the side. In the bottom half of the frame, senior Scott McKeon jumped on a 2-0 pitch from redshirt freshman Sean Burke and sent it over the left field wall, for an early 1-0 lead.

But after letting up a leadoff blast, Burke settled down on the mound. Following the McKeon homer, Burke sent the next three batters down on strikes to get out of the inning.

The right hander had a very strong outing for the Terps and kept Maryland in the game during his time on the mound. Burke had a lot of success on the mound with his fastball as he was able to overpower the Coastal batters throughout the afternoon. Burke would finish his day on the mound with six innings pitched and totaled eight strikeouts, while allowing just two runs and three hits. This marks Burke’s third consecutive start with eight strikeouts recorded.

For Maryland, they answered back to tie up the game in the third inning. Freshman Matt Orlando got things started for the Terrapins as he ripped a double into left center. Orlando was moved over to third on a single by sophomore Benjamin Cowles and later scored on a single by junior Chris Alleyne to tie things up, 1-1.

In the sixth inning, it looked like Maryland was going to break things open. After a walk and an error, the Terps had runners on the corners with no outs for junior Randy Bednar. The junior outfielder hit a single up the middle to plate Alleyne to take their first lead of the weekend, 2-1.

After the single it would mark the end of Parker’s afternoon for the Chanticleers. Redshirt sophomore Shaddon Peavyhouse would enter and he had his work cut out for him. Maryland was threatening with runners on the corners and no outs, but Peavyhouse made quick work of the Terps. The righty struck out sophomore Maxwell Costes and then induced an inning ending double play off the bat of Shahidi. Maryland squandered a big scoring opportunity, but they did take a 2-1 lead.

But the lead didn’t last long for Maryland. In the bottom half of the frame, sophomore Nick Lucky led off with a walk and swiped second. . Lucky would advance to third on a wild pitch and later score on an RBI single from Leum to knot the game back up, 2-2.

After the Chanticleers took the late lead, Coastal Carolina brought in graduate student Chase Antle to close out the game. The hard throwing righty struck out Costes, but walked Shahidi to put the tying runner on base. But, Antle got the following batter, redshirt sophomore Michael Pineiro to ground into a game ending double play, to secure the series sweep over the Terps.

Maryland continues to struggle as they can’t contain the Coastal Carolina offense

In the seventh inning, freshman Ryan Ramsey issued back-to-back free passes and the Chanticleers moved over the runners with a sacrifice bunt. Sophomore Sean Heine was brought into the game to try to get out of the jam. Maryland decided to intentionally walk freshman Eric Brown to load the bases with one out.

On an 0-1 count, freshman Cooper Weiss laced a ground ball to third, but freshman Matt Orlando made a diving stop and stepped on third to limit the damage. But Heine would walk the following batter to reload the bases. Freshman Tanner Garrison jumped all over the first pitch he saw as he roped a line drive into left field to plate two runners, extending the Chanticleers’ lead to 6-1.

The five run lead seemed much larger, as the Maryland offense struggled in the box for the second consecutive day. The Terrapins hit just 5-for-31 at the plate, which was a .161 team average.

On the flip side, the Chanticleers offense was impressive once again against the Maryland pitching. Coastal Carolina racked up 10 hits, posting a .344 team average. The Chanticleers also showed off their plate discipline as they drew eight walks. The combination of the free passes and hits, allowed for Coastal Carolina to capture a 10-3 victory.

After getting shutout in yesterday’s game, it looked like the Terps were going to struggle on offense once again in the early parts of the game. Redshirt senior Scott Kobos started on the mound for Coastal Carolina and got off to a hot start. The left hander retired the first nine batters he faced.

But in the fourth inning, Kobos’ control began to dwindle. Junior Chris Alleyne led off the inning with a double and later advanced to third on a fly ball off the bat of junior Randy Bednar. Just a few pitches later, Alleyne would swipe home on a passed ball to tie the game, 1-1. This was the beginning of Kobos’ loss of control as he would walk three of the next four batters he faced to load the bases.

Kobos was pulled as he left the game with bases loaded and two outs. Sophomore Alaska Abney was brought in for the Chanticleers to try to get out of the jam. Abney threw just three pitches and struck out freshman Matt Orlando to shut the door on Maryland’s scoring opportunity.

Abney has been dominant all season long for the Chanticleers. The righty came into this game with 7 2/3 innings pitched and had only allowed one hit, while totaling eight strikeouts. In today’s matchup, Abney finished with 4 1/3 innings pitched and allowed just two runs on four hits, while totaling six strikeouts.

For Maryland, freshman Nick Dean had a strong start as he showcased his resilience on the mound. In the first inning, Dean allowed three hits including an RBI double off the bat of junior Alex Gattinelli.

But after allowing one run in the first frame, Dean threw three straight scoreless innings, before allowing another run in the fifth inning, to keep the Terps in the ballgame. The freshman finished the afternoon with five innings pitched and allowed two runs on six hits, while picking up six strikeouts.

The freshman right hander tossed five innings and allowed just two runs on six hits. Dean also racked up six strikeouts and issued three walks.

After Dean’s afternoon, the Terps’ used Ramsey, Heine and freshman Chris Chaney out of the pen. The Maryland pitching staff kept Maryland within striking distance until the seventh inning, but the Terps’ offense continued to fight.

In the top of the eighth inning, the Terps were finally able to get to Abney. The rally began with Alleyne once again, after he reached base after being hit by a pitch. The following batter Bednar, roped a double into right center field and the speedy Alleyne came all the way around to score. Bednar would later advance to third on a fly ball and then score on a ground out by redshirt junior Tavan Shahidi to cut the score to 6-3.

But as Maryland tried to claw their way back into the game, the Chanticleers would answer right back in the bottom of the frame and runaway with it. Coastal Carolina loaded the bases after a fielding error, bunt single and a walk.

With the bases juiced, the Chanticleers would plate two runs on a sacrifice fly and an RBI single before Heine was taken out of the game. Freshman Chris Chaney would come into the jam with runners on the corners and one out. On the first batter he faced, freshman Cooper Weiss chopped a double down the left field line to score two more runs to extend their lead to 10-3.

In the top of the ninth, the Terps came to the plate facing a seven run deficit and went down in order as they lost the second game of the series, 10-3. With this loss, it is Maryland’s will drop the series against Coastal Carolina.

Maryland struggles on both sides of the ball as they drop the series opener

With a runner on first, junior Sean Fisher was in the midst of a multi-pitch battle with the number nine batter, Makenzie Pate. On the seventh pitch of the at-bat, Pate turned on one and drove it way over the left field wall to take a 2-0 lead for Coastal Carolina in the third inning.

From there on, the inning spiraled out of control for Fisher and the Terrapins. With the top of the lineup due up, senior Scott McKeon went back-to-back as he smacked a home run of his own over the left field wall.

Fisher walked the following batter to spark a new rally for the Chanticleers, as three straight hits would follow. In addition to the hits, passed balls and wild pitches hurt the Terrapins before they were able to get out of the inning. But unfortunately for Maryland, they dug themselves in too big of a hole to come out of as they faced a seven run deficit after three frames.

With the Terps facing such a huge deficit, it made things even more difficult as they couldn’t get anything going on the offensive side of things. Maryland totaled just four hits and had few opportunities as they lose the series opener to the Chanticleers, 16-0.

Junior Zach McCambley started on the mound for Coastal Carolina and was dominant in his start. Coming into this game, he had allowed just three runs in 13 innings, while racking up 18 strikeouts. The righty tossed five innings as he recorded six strikeouts and allowed just two hits.

In the first inning it seemed like Maryland was going to be able to attack McCambley early. Junior Chris Alleyne led the game off with a walk and later found himself on third a few pitches later after a stolen base and a past ball. But with one out and a runner just 90 feet from scoring, junior Randy Bednar and sophomore Maxwell Costes were unable to bring him home.

On the defensive side of things, Fisher came back out onto the mound in the fourth inning, but ran into trouble once again. The junior hit the first batter he faced and then allowed three straight singles, before being relieved by sophomore Trevor LaBonte.

After two great starts for Fisher, his third career start at Maryland was a rough one. Fisher’s Friday night ended with three innings pitched, while he allowed 10 hits and nine earned runs.

In relief, LaBonte tossed 1 1/3 innings, allowed three runs on two hits, while surrendering three walks. After LaBonte, redshirt junior Mike Vasturia made his season debut as he entered in the fifth inning, with Maryland trailing, 13-0. The righty knuckleballer was impressive in his outing as he totaled 3 1/3 innings, while allowing six hits and picking up five strikeouts, while surrendering two runs. Vasturia’s outing was huge for Maryland as it seemed like the Terrapins were going to have to empty out their bullpen early on in the series opener.

The Terps struggled to get anything going against McCambley, but they got to face a couple of arms after the junior was taken out after five innings because of the large lead. However, as new pitchers came in, the Maryland offense still had difficulty getting anything going.

The Maryland offense was just 4-for-30 and posted a .133 team average. It was quite the opposite for the Coastal Carolina offense as the Chanticleers went 18-for-40 with a .450 team average.

This huge difference in the offenses was clearly reflected on the scoreboard, as Maryland suffers its first shutout loss this season, 16-0.

 

 

Series Preview: Coastal Carolina

Maryland travels down to East Coast to Conway, South Carolina, to take on Coastal Carolina in their the Terps’ first true road series this weekend, after picking up a 13-3 midweek victory over George Mason on Tuesday. Though Maryland has played on the road this season, this will be the first time it plays one team in a three-game set. 

For Coastal Carolina, they own a 4-3 record and they’ve played all seven of its games on its home field; last season the Chanticleers were dominant at home with a 24-12 record. 

After a pair of double headers last weekend, including a pair of double-digit offensive outpourings on Sunday (13-5 win over Kennesaw State and 14-2 win over West Virginia), Coastal Carolina had a bit of a break this week, as their midweek game against Charleston was cancelled due to inclement weather. 

Last season, the Terps and Chanticleers met at the start of the year for the Brittain Resorts Invitational, hosted by Coastal Carolina, where the Chanticleers came out on top, 7-2. 

While Maryland’s offense struggled against Coastal Carolina last season, this year the team has the most home runs in the Big Ten entering the third weekend of regular season play (7). Three of those long balls have come off of Maxwell Costes’ bat. The reigning Big Ten Freshman of the Year leads the Terps with a .429 average and a .647 on-base percentage.

As a whole the Terps have succeeded in large due to their ability to draw walks; in their seven games thus far Maryland has walked 46 times to their opponents’ 27. (Coastal has drawn 28 walks to their opponents’ 17).

While, on the offensive side of the ball, Maryland has shown great discipline at the plate and the it has resulted in a lot of run scoring opportunities. But on the defensive side the Terps have worked on cleaning up their fielding, especially with regard to infield fly balls. 

“We just have to come out of the gate and be clean on defense, that’s really one thing I want to see” Vaughn said. “And with really good starters, you get them in one or two spots. You get them in the first when they’re trying to settle in or you gotta grind them out and get them in the sixth or seventh when they get tired. So that’s going to be our biggest thing.”

Though Coastal Carolina’s pitching staff will be potent, Maryland’s barrage of arms is nothing to disregard.

The Terps’ pitching staff currently holds the second-lowest team ERA in the Big Ten (2.53), while starters Sean Fisher and Sean Burke have the fourth- and eighth-lowest ERAs in the Big Ten, respectively. Plus, Maryland’s freshman arms have recorded a combined 44 strikeouts, the most by a freshman pitching staff in the Big Ten.

“I think there’s some confidence with our guys,” head coach Rob Vaughn said. “I think we have a little bit more depth on the mound than we’ve had to attack them with the last couple years.”

Despite playing a tougher opponent like Coastal Carolina, Vaughn told his team that there’s no need to try to play different, though they should expect fewer offensive chances against the Chanticleers’ talented pitching staff. 

“It’s gonna take a full team effort.,” Vaughn said. “We know what they’re capable of and we’re just going to have to match energy and play clean baseball. We don’t have to do anything different, we just have to come out and take advantage of our opportunities and grind them out and create things.” 

 

Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (4-3, 0-0 Sun Belt)

Last Season

Coastal Carolina finished the year with a 36-26-1 record and went 15-13 in conference play during the regular season. The Chanticleers got hot during the Sun Belt Tournament and took home the championship, but couldn’t make it out of their regional in the NCAA Tournament and was eliminated after a loss to Georgia Tech.

This Season

So far this season the Chanticleers have had a bit of a slow start as they sit at just 4-3. Coastal Carolina hasn’t suffered a blowout loss yet, as its few losses have all been single-digit run differences. But, when the Chanticleers win it is usually a result of an offensive explosion. Through just seven games, the Chanticleers are outscoring their opponents 48-26. 

Hitters to Watch

Coastal Carolina lost a few of its best bats after last season, but not its hits leader from last season, Scott McKeon. This season McKeon has continued to be one of the Chanticleers’ best bats; the senior is the only player with double-digit hits so far, as he has gone 11-for-28, posting a .393 average. 

Another offensive threat for Coastal Carolina this season has been sophomore catcher, B.T. Riopelle. The sophomore leads the team with seven RBI and has also recorded seven hits. Riopelle also leads the team in home runs with two. 

Relievers to Watch

Sophomore Alaska Abney has had the most appearances out of the bullpen for Coastal Carolina and has proven dominant on the mound. The righty has appeared in four games and tossed 7 ⅔ innings, while allowing just one hit and picking up eight strikeouts. 

Redshirt sophomore Shaddon Peavyhouse has been another reliever that has found success four the Chanticleers this season. The right-hander has thrown four innings and has not allowed an earned run, while striking out four batters. 

Probable Starting Pitching Matchup

Friday, 4 p.m. ET

Jr. LHP Sean Fisher (2-0, 0.77 ERA) v. Jr. RHP Zach McCambley (1-1, 2.08 ERA)

 

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After moving from the bullpen in 2019 to a starters’ spot in 2020, Fisher has been solid as Maryland’s Friday starter. Through his first two starts the southpaw has tossed 11 ⅔ innings and allowed just one earned run, plus nine strikeouts. In both of his starts the Terps’ offense provided a plenty of run support, so it will be interesting to see how Fisher fares when he may not have the same backing.

“Ending guys’ at-bats quicker is the biggest thing,” Fisher said of what he’s been working on heading into the weekend. “Not getting in deep counts and not walking guys.”

Last season, McCambley started 11 games on the mound, posting a 6-3 record with a 5.21 ERA. The righty showed he had strikeout stuff as he tallied 76 strikeouts in just 67 ⅓ innings pitched for the Chanticleers. This season, McCambley has allowed three runs in 13 innings, while racking up 18 strikeouts. 

“When you’re facing McCambley on Friday night from Coastal, you might not get seven innings of opportunity like we got [against George Mason],” Vaughn said. “That game could be won or lost in the first or second inning on offense or defense, just because he’s that kind of arm.”

 

Probable Starting Pitching Matchup

Saturday, 2 p.m. ET

Fr. RHP Nick Dean (0-0, 6.75 ERA) v. R-Sr. LHP Scott Kobos (0-2, 2.45 ERA)

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After a stellar collegiate debut against Iona, Dean ran into some trouble against Rhode Island, allowing five runs through 4 ⅔ innings. Dean has thrown 9 ⅓ innings so far this season, and has allowed seven runs and picked up 11 strikeouts. The freshman will have an opportunity to bounce back this weekend against the Chanticleers.

In the 2019 season, Kobos only started five games for Coastal Carolina and recorded a 2-2 record with a 6.04 ERA. This season, the southpaw has put together some solid starts, but his offense hasn’t been able to provide run support. Through two games, Kobos has pitched 11 innings and allowed just three runs, while totaling nine strikeouts. 

Probable Starting Pitching Matchup

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

R-Fr. RHP Sean Burke (1-0, 0.84 ERA) v. So. RHP Nick Parker (1-0, 2.70 ERA)  

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Though he missed last season due to injury, Burke has been dominant in his first collegiate season on the mound. The righty has picked up eight strikeouts in each of his two starts and has only allowed one run through 10 ⅔ innings. Maryland has come out on top in both of his starts, beating Charleston 4-2 and Rhode Island 3-0. 

Parker had 16 appearances in the 2019 season and pitched in 46 innings, while he posted a 6.07 ERA. This season, the sophomore has made two starts and has thrown 10 innings. Through his two starts, he has allowed 10 hits and three earned runs, while tallying six strikeouts. 

 

Maryland’s plate discipline and late offense results in dominant midweek win

After failing to capitalize on big opportunities early on in the game, the Terps offense came alive in the last few innings to runaway with its first midweek victory, 13-3.

With the game tied 3-3, with two outs and runners on first and third, the Terrapins showed off their plate discipline, drawing three consecutive walks. The lack of control from the Patriots converted into two Maryland runs to give the Terps a 5-3 lead in the sixth.

The Terps broke things up in the bottom of the seventh and got it done with the small ball and the long ball. Junior Tommy Gardiner drew a leadoff walk and was moved over on a bunt by Chavis. Gardiner would later make his way around the bases to score after an error on a pick off attempt and a wild pitch. After another walk, junior Randy Bednar dug into the box and hit an absolute moonshot over the left field wall to give Maryland an 8-3 lead.

“That felt really good,” Bednar said. “I always think about singles and doubles, I know the power’s gonna come eventually. So I’m not too worried about that, but it’s definitely a good feeling to be able to come out and do that.”

The Terrapins drew 14 walks in this midweek matchup and collected nine hits, which totaled 13 runs. This was the most runs the Terps have scored in a game this season to secure the victory and move to 6-1, despite stranding 15 runners on base.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do,” Head coach Rob Vaughn said. “I told our guys don’t look at that scoreboard, that score is fool’s gold a little bit for me. I thought offensively that was probably our worst played game of the year. Leaving tons of guys on base, when you leave the bases loaded three times at home, you should lose, that’s the reality.”

Early on, the Terrapins struggled to capitalize on scoring opportunities early on in the game. Maryland found themselves with bases loaded in back-to-back innings, but only managed two runs in those situations in the third and fourth.

In the bottom of the fourth inning, the Terrapins did what they’ve done well all season long, draw free passes and get hit-by-pitches. Young hit two batters and walked one run in, but he bounced back and got out of the inning on a groundball, limiting the damage once again.

This theme continued for Maryland in the bottom of the sixth, with the game tied 3-3. With two outs and runners on first and third, the Terrapins showed off their plate discipline, drawing three consecutive walks. The lack of control from the Patriots converted into two Maryland runs to give the Terps a 5-3 lead.

Last season, redshirt junior Zach Thompson was the Terps’ Saturday starter in their weekend series. Thompson finished the season with 3-6 record and posted a 5.08 ERA.

This season, the right-hander found himself making his season debut in the Terps’ first midweek game. Thompson worked some quick innings and only ran into trouble in the fourth after allowing one run but escaping a bases loaded jam. The redshirt junior’s evening was done after tossing five innings, allowing just four hits and one run, while picking up two strikeouts.

“He trusted his stuff, trusted his preparation, was very focused and was awesome,” Vaughn said. “I’m gonna be honest with you, people wanna talk about Friday night guys and this and that, [but] midweek starting pitching is huge. We really haven’t had that the last couple years… But him coming out today was really good to see. He was tremendous, he was mature and I was really proud of him.”

Thompson left the game with the Terps out in front 3-1, but he quickly watched the lead disappear from the bench. In the sixth inning, sophomore Trevor LaBonte started the inning and issued a leadoff walk. The following batter, junior Scott Morgan smashed a long fly ball over the left center field wall to reset the game, 3-3.

But with the game tied back up, the offense began to come alive and senior Elliot Zoellner shut the door on the George Mason offense. Zoellner took over in the middle of the sixth inning and was dominant. The righty picked up the win in 2 1/3 innings in relief, without allowing a hit and recording four strikeouts.

“He really showed me a lot there today,” Vaughn said about Zoellner. “His composure was awesome. At the time, when we threw him in the game, the game was still pretty tight. Not only did he get us out of that one inning, but he gave us two more.”

In just the second inning, sophomore Maxwell Costes made a fielding error but when he  stepped into the box in the bottom of the frame, he looked for some redemption. With an 0-1 count, Costes turned on one and sent a sky-high fly ball towering over the left field wall. The sophomore gave the ball a stare and tossed his bat to the side as reigning Big Ten Freshman of the Year gave the Terps an early 1-0 lead on his third bomb of the season.

Costes followed up an impressive weekend with another incredible day at the plate. The sophomore reached base safely in all six of his at-bats and was just a triple shy of hitting for the cycle.

“[I’m] seeing the ball really well,” Costes said. “Swinging at the pitches I can swing at, taking the pitches I should.”

While the Terps were able to limit the Patriots’ offense, George Mason wasn’t able to do the same on the other side. After keeping it close for the first six innings, the game began to slip away for the Patriots as a result of free passes and timely hitting from the Terps. Maryland scored 10 runs in its last three offensive frames to capture the first midweek of the season.

 

 

Game Preview: George Mason Patriots

After taking two-of-three from Rhode Island over the weekend, Maryland hosts George Mason for its first midweek game of the season on Tuesday at 4 p.m. The two teams met in mid-April last season in Virginia, where the Patriots came out on top 9-5. 

Now, George Mason it still looking for its first victory. The Patriots started the season 0-5 and they have struggled to limit their opponent’s offense. Through five games, George Mason has been outscored, 55-21. 

For Maryland, the Terps look to continue their great start to the season. Last season Maryland had success in its midweek matchups, posting a 9-4 record. The Terps look to duplicate that success this season, beginning with the Patriots.

Through its first six games, Maryland has impressed on both sides of the ball. Offensively the Terps have tallied 43 runs, averaging just about seven runs per contest and outscoring opponents 43-20.

Junior Randy Bednar leads the team in RBI (6) while also posting a .333 average. Fellow junior Tommy Gardiner, tied for the team-high in hits (7) with Bednar, has also been impressive at the plate. Gardiner leads the team in average (.412) and has totaled four RBI and scored three runs. 

This past weekend, reigning Big Ten Freshman of the Year Maxwell Costes’ bat began to heat up. Against Rhode Island, Costes went 4-for-9 with three RBI and four runs scored. Costes also belted his first home run of the season on Sunday and went on to hit his second in the same game en route to a 3-0 victory. 

On the mound Maryland has added depth, as junior Zach Thompson, who was the typical Saturday starter last season, will get the midweek nod this Tuesday. The start will be the right-hander’s first appearance for Maryland since last season, when he tossed a 5.08 ERA on his way to a 3-6 record in 14 starts, including 63 strikeouts.

The Terps’ bullpen has also been solid so far this season and a few more arms should get their opportunity in this midweek game. So far, the bullpen has allowed six earned runs in 23 ⅓ innings pitched, and the Terps’ pitching staff as a whole has the second-lowest ERA in the Big Ten (2.45, behind Penn State’s 1.68 ERA). 

George Mason Patriots (0-5, 0-0 Atlantic 10)

Last Season

George Mason finished last year 19-35 and went 5-19 in conference play, which kept the Patriots out of the Atlantic 10 Tournament. They also finished the season on an eight-game losing streak. 

This Season

With a rough start to the season the Patriots have continued their losing streak from last season and they are still on the hunt for their first victory of 2020. George Mason has lost all three of its road games so far. 

Hitters to Watch

George Mason lost one of its most powerful bats, Logan Driscoll, to the MLB draft last season. Now, it’s graduate transfer Cooper Mrowka who has been one of the players to step up offensively.

Mrowka is tied for the team-high in hits with five and is hitting .333 this season, including one RBI and four runs scored. Junior Scott Morgan has also been an offensive threat for George Mason. Morgan is batting .333 with two home runs, three RBI and four runs scored.

Pitchers to Watch

Sophomore southpaw Nate Young will get the nod on the mound for the Patriots. Young currently holds a 9.00 ERA after a three-inning relief outing, though it’s still early in the season. As a freshman Young made five starts and three relief appearances, and though he struggled on the mound does at least have some experience starting.

Out of the pen, sophomore Patrick Halligan has thrown the most innings with 4 ⅔ and has allowed three runs while freshman Lyle Miller-Green has thrown 4 ⅓ innings out of the bullpen and has also allowed three runs.