Big Ten Tournament Preview: Indiana Hoosiers

It’s finally tournament time.

For the first time since 2019, No. 10 Maryland is playing in the Big Ten Tournament in Omaha, Nebraska.

After the best season in program history — a record 44 wins and the Terps’ first conference title in 51 years — Maryland earned the No. 1 seed in the tournament and will face the No. 8-seeded Indiana Hoosiers in game one Thursday morning.

Indiana is one of the few conference opponents the Terps hadn’t faced in the regular season, with Michigan State, Nebraska, and Iowa being the others. The Hoosiers bring new faces into the fray, but as the final team to make the cut in the conference tournament, they also bring a glaring weakness: the worst ERA in the Big Ten. Less than a week ago, the Indiana pitching staff gave up 30 runs in a loss to Iowa — the most runs scored in a single game in Hawkeyes history.

Coming off five-straight games of putting up double-digits in the run column, the Terps’ bats couldn’t be hotter as they look to take advantage of the struggling Hoosier pitching.

Indiana Hoosiers (25-30, 10-14 Big Ten)

Last Season:

The Hoosiers’ ended 2021’s Big Ten-only season with a 26-18 record, which had them tied for fourth in the conference standings as their dominant pitching led the way. It wasn’t enough to get them into the NCAA Tournament, but in a season that had the top five teams in the Big Ten beating up the rest, Indiana was in that top tier. The final series of last season came against the Terps, where the Hoosiers dropped two very important games that could have made the difference between fourth and second place.

This Season:

Indiana’s biggest strength in 2021 turned into its greatest weakness in 2022. With its top two starters — McCade Brown and Gabe Bierman — getting selected in the 2021 MLB Draft, the Hoosier weekend rotation took a major blow, losing two arms that put up sub-3.50 ERA’s. Overall, the staff went from a collective 3.18 ERA to a 7.16 ERA between the two seasons, and has been the biggest reason for the team’s 25-30 record.

Hitters to Watch:

The Hoosiers’ lineup includes a handful of potent bats, as five of the nine regulars own an OPS over .900. The strongest of those bats is freshman Carter Mathison, who slashed .275/.402/.601 in 193 at-bats. While the Hoosiers as a team didn’t hit the long ball that frequently, Mathison (17) and team-leader redshirt junior Matthew Ellis (18) carried the freight, contributing to almost a half of the team’s 71 home runs. There aren’t many easy outs in the Indiana lineup, but watch for Mathison and Ellis to be potential difference-makers.

Pitchers to Watch:

With just one pitcher owning an ERA below 5.00, there’s just about nothing overly positive about the Indiana pitching staff. That one pitcher who sticks out is redshirt junior Ty Bothwell, who has a 4.03 ERA in 17 relief appearances and one start. If the Hoosiers manage to get themselves a lead in the later innings, Bothwell is likely the man they’ll send out to maintain it.

Probable Pitching Matchup:

With Ryan Ramsey (10-0, 2.98 ERA) and Jason Savacool (8-2, 2.71 ERA) earning First Team All-Big Ten Honors Tuesday, it’s hard for Head Coach Rob Vaughn to go wrong with who he gives the ball Wednesday night. Ramsey’s last start came on May 14, so with the extra rest it’s likely he could start against the Hoosiers.

Redshirt junior Jake Perkins’ 5.17 ERA is the lowest out of any Hoosier starter this season, and Indiana’s options don’t get much better from there. With Perkins likely to be the man on the mound tomorrow night — less than a week after being tagged for nine earned runs against Iowa — Charles Schwab Field should be ready for some fireworks.

BIG TEN CHAMPS! TERPS WIN FIRST-EVER B1G TITLE WITH 18-7 VICTORY

(RECAP COURTESY OF MARYLAND ATHLETICS)

WEST LAFAYETTE, IN — BIG TEN CHAMPS! 

No. 14 Maryland won its first Big Ten Championship in baseball on Friday evening as the Terps beat Purdue, 18-7, at Alexander Field. The Terps won the outright Big Ten title and will be the No. 1 seed in the Big Ten Tournament. The Terps stand at 18-5 in the conference and add to its best record in program history, moving to 44-10.

The Terps last won a conference championship in 1971 when the Terps won the ACC. Overall, this is the fifth conference title for the Terps, as they also won the ACC in 1965 and 1970 and the Southern Conference in 1936. Maryland’s last outright conference title in baseball was in 1965.

Matt Shaw smashed his 20th of the season to put the Terps up for good in the sixth inning, making it 7-5 at the time. Shaw went 4-for-5 with two homers, four runs scored and five RBIs and now has 63 RBIs this season to go along with his 21 home runs, second in the Big Ten . 

Chris Alleyne went 2-for-4 with two homers and five RBIs as he leads the Big Ten in homers with 22 and RBIs with 73.

Freshman Ian Petrutz went 3-for-5 with a home run — for the fourth game in a row — and three RBIs. Troy Schreffler Jr., and Kevin Keister also drove in runs. Luke Shliger also hit a home run to give the Terps six homers in the game — the third time this season they blasted six long balls. 

On the mound, Nick Dean earned the win to move to 6-2 throwing the first five innings. Nigel Belgrave pitched two innings in relief. David Falco Jr., finished off the eighth and ninth, including recording the final out to clinch the championship with a strikeout.


Breaking Down The Action 
• The Terps jumped out to 1-0 lead as Alleyne crushed his fourth homer in as many games to right field. 
• The Boilermakers grabbed a 2-1 lead in the second inning as Cam Thompson and Evan Albrecht drove in runs. 
• Alleyne walked with the bases loaded to bring in Maxwell Costes in the top of the fourth to tie the game at 2-2. 
• The Terps took a 3-2 lead on Schreffler Jr.’s bloop single which scored Matt Shaw who singled to right and raced all the way to third on a fielding error. Another Maryland run came home on an Ian Petrutz single to center, which was misplayed by the Purdue centerfielder, which allowed Schreffler to come around to score, making it 4-2. After a pitching change, Keister’s drive to right field brought home Petrutz for a three-run edge, 5-2. 
• Purdue evened the game at 5-5 on a two-run homer by Paul Toetz in the bottom of the fifth inning. 
• Shaw’s two-run homer to center regained the lead for Maryland at 7-5 as he brought in Nick Lorusso, who singled in front of him. 
• Alleyne blasted his second homer of the game, a three-run shot, to make it 10-5 in the seventh. Shaw’s double to center scored Lorusso, for an 11-5 lead. A wild pitch allowed Shaw to score for a 12-5 advantage. 
• Shliger his a solo home run, Shaw added a two-run blast, and Petrutz knocked a three-run home run in the bottom of the ninth to drive in six extra insurance runs for the Terps.

ALLEYNE’S BIG GAME LEADS NO. 14 TERPS TO SCHOOL-RECORD 43RD WIN, 14-7 

(RECAP COURTESY OF MARYLAND ATHLETICS)

WEST LAFAYETTE, IN — Chris Alleyne’s big day led No. 14 Maryland to its school-record breaking 43rd win of the season as the first-place Terps (17-5 Big Ten) continued their late-season charge to a potential first-ever Big Ten Championship with a 14-7victory at Purdue on Thursday night. The Terps improved to 43-10 with two regular-season games remaining at Purdue. The 43 wins break the school record set in 2015, when Maryland went 42-24 in advancing to the NCAA Super Regional. The Terps are No. 9 in the latest RPI.

Alleyne became the first Maryland player and first in the NCAA since 2018 to be a 20/20 man, recording 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases. Alleyne blasted his Big Ten-leading 20th round-tripper, a three-run homer in the second inning to put the Terps ahead 5-0 on the way to the victory. He also tied his career-high with three stolen bases in the game and now has 23 this season. Alleyne went 4-for-4 with three RBIs and three runs scored. 

Starting pitcher Jason Savacool (8-2) was strong on the mound as he threw seven innings, allowing four runs and seven hits. He struck out seven batters. Will Glock finished off the game throwing 1 1/3 scoreless innings. 

Bobby Zmarzlak went 3-for-5 with two home runs, a career-high four runs scored and three RBIs. Matt Shaw went 2-for-5 with an RBI. Freshman Ian Petrutz homered for the third game in a row, as he lined a two-run shot to right, going 1-for-4with two RBIs. Troy Schreffler Jr. went 2-for-4 with an RBI. Nick Lorusso also drove in two runs.  

The Terps now have a chance to clinch at least a tie for the Big Ten Championship as soon as Friday should Rutgers (16-5 Big Ten) lose on Thursday night and the Terps win in Friday’s game that starts at 5 p.m., on Big Ten Network. 

Breaking Down The Action
• The Terps took a 1-0 lead as Lorusso’s sacrifice fly brought home Alleyne, who doubled, in the top of the first inning. 
• Luke Shliger doubled home Zmarzlak to make it 2-0 in the second inning. Then Alleyne crushed a three-run home to leftfield to push the lead to 5-0. 
• Zmarzlak blasted a two-run homer to center scoring Maxwell Costes making it 7-0 in the third inning. 
• Shaw singled through the left side scoring Alleyne for his third run scored in the game, making it 8-0. Schreffler Jr.’s liner off the rightfield wall drove in Lorusso to push the lead to 9-0. Costes brought home Shaw on a sacrifice fly for a 10-0 lead. 
• Petrutz hit a homer for the third game in a row with a two-run shot in the fifth for a 12-0 lead. Lorusso’s groundout scored Shliger, making it 13-0. 
• Purdue got on the board with a run in the fifth inning. 
• The Boilermakers scored three runs in the seventh inning to draw within 13-4. 
• Purdue’s Ryan Howe hit a three-run home run to make the score 13-7, Purdue. 
• Zmarzlak hit his second homer in the top of the ninth, to double up Purdue, 14-7. 

Backed by strong offensive showing, Maryland defeats James Madison, 12-2

Up by a run entering the third, No. 15 Maryland looked to add on to its slim lead over the James Madison Dukes.

Chris Alleyne and Nick Lorusso did just that in big ways — hitting back-to-back home runs to give the Terps a three-run lead.

Maryland led from the very first inning and never looked back, downing James Madison, 12-2, for the Terps’ 42nd victory of the season — tying the program record.

In the final regular season game at Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium, the Terps got out to an early lead.

Luke Shliger led off Maryland’s bats with a first-pitch single in the bottom of the first, and two batters later, scored on a base right into right off the bat of Lorusso.

Two innings later, the Terps’ power showed. After retiring the first couple Terps in the inning with relative ease, CJ Czerwinski struggled to find the third out of the frame.

On a 1-0 pitch, Alleyne crushed a blast into left center. Fenwick Trimble leaped at the wall but was unable to bring back Alleyne’s shot as it fell over the wall for a solo home run.

The very next batter, Lorusso, sent a towering blast into dead center. As soon as Lorusso made contact, Czerwinski looked down and sighed as he knew the outcome — a blast over the batter’s eye for the back-to-back jack.

Alleyne and Lorusso’s third inning home runs gave the Terps a 3-0 lead.

After firing three scoreless innings, Andrew Johnson was replaced on the mound by Matt Cunningham.

Cunningham immediately gave up a single and a two-run blast to right by Ryan Dooley, ending his outing after only two batters as Coach Rob Vaughn removed him on the mound for Logan Ott.

Ott got through the rest of the fourth without more damage being done, keeping Maryland’s lead at 3-2 entering the bottom of the inning.

With Troy Schreffler on base and a 1-2 count in the bottom of the fourth, Maxwell Costes sent one deep into right center. Grant Painter leaped at the wall but couldn’t bring Costes’ blast back as it landed over the fence for a home run, extending the Terps’ lead back up to three, 5-2.

Matt Kleinfelter entered in relief to start the fifth for the Dukes, and his first pitch was blasted over the fence in left center for a long home run off the bat of Lorusso. Lorusso’s second home run of the game upped Maryland’s lead to 6-2.

In the bottom of the sixth, Michael Stewart entered to pitch for the Dukes. Ian Petrutz gave Stewart a rude awakening as he hit a blast over the wall in left for a solo home run, putting Maryland ahead 7-2.

Later in the inning, the Terps threatened with the bases loaded and no one out — sending Stewart back to the dugout in a short outing. Stewart was replaced on the mound by Lliam Grubbs. Grubbs allowed a walk to his first batter faced, bringing home the eighth run of the game for the Terps.

Matt Shaw followed with an infield grounder mishandled for an error, sending home another run while keeping the bases loaded with no outs. Two batters later, Costes roped one down the left field line to score two, giving Maryland an 11-2 lead.

The Terps added another run in the eighth on a Bobby Zmarzlak run-scoring single.

Gavin Stellpflug fired a scoreless ninth, clinching the 12-2 win for the Terps.

Midweek Preview: James Madison

Following a home weekend sweep against Michigan, No. 15 Maryland has a matchup on the horizon against James Madison, the second time the Terps and the Dukes will play this season. In their contest a month ago in Harrisonburg, Virginia, the Terps downed the Dukes in a thriller. James Madison got out to a 3-0 lead and following back-and-forth play, led 7-5 entering the eighth inning. After Jacob Orr recorded a two-run single to tie the game in the eighth, Chris “Bubba” Alleyne smacked a solo home run over the wall in right in the ninth, putting Maryland ahead 8-7. David Falco shut down the Dukes in the bottom of the inning, securing the Terps’ 8-7 victory.

Against Michigan this past weekend, the Terps’ bats were on full display. Maryland outscored Michigan 43-23, including a 20-run showing on Saturday. Matt Shaw had a series to remember — the sophomore shortstop went 7-13 with seven runs scored, 12 RBI, and six home runs.

The midweek game against James Madison is the Terps’ last home game of the season, with their regular season finale set for this weekend on the road against Purdue.

James Madison (26-23, 11-9 CAA)

Last Season:

James Madison was one of the worst teams in the CAA last season, as the Dukes were in the bottom half of the conference in both conference and overall win percentage. The Dukes’ pitching staff was their big weakness last season, as they ranked second-to-last in the CAA with a 6.38 ERA. The only Duke that threw double-digit innings with a sub-4.00 ERA last season was Donovan Burke, with a 3.00 ERA. Burke was one of the few consistent Duke arms last season, as he led James Madison in appearances, strikeouts, and WHIP, and was top-three in batting average against.

This Season:

The Dukes rank in the middle of the pack this season in the conference in both batting and pitching. James Madison relies on the home-run ball more than most of its conference, as the Dukes rank third in the CAA in slugging percentage and second in home runs.

Pitching-wise, James Madison is much improved from 2021 — a near two-run decrease from last season. The Dukes’ pitching staff is one of the best in the conference in terms of control, as James Madison ranks third-best in the CAA with 160 walks allowed.

Hitters to Watch:

Redshirt junior backstop Travis Reifsnider has been a wrecking force in the Dukes’ lineup this season. Reifsnider leads qualified Dukes in average (.299), OPS (.988), home runs (12), and slugging percentage (.628). Another redshirt junior, Trevon Dabney, has been a threat at the top of the order for James Madison. Dabney ranks first on James Madison with a .452 on-base percentage, and is a perfect 9-9 in steal attempts.

Pitchers to Watch:

James Madison has started a number of arms in each its past midweek games this season – Ryan Murphy, Todd Mozoki, and CJ Czerwinski. Right-hander Eli Ottinger has been one of James Madison’s best arms out of relief, with a 3.86 ERA and 1.15 WHIP in 19 appearances, all out of the bullpen. Ottinger also has a slim batting-average-against of just .214.

Probable pitching matchup

Logan Ott vs. CJ Czerwinski

Ott has been Maryland’s primary midweek starter this season, and the sophomore has been a mixed bag in that role. Ott has fired scoreless outings in two of his starts, but has struggled in the others. Ott enters with a 6.70 ERA.

In its previous midweek matchup this season, the Dukes sent out Czerwinski as the starter against the Terps. Czerwinski struggled, allowing two runs in just 2 1/3 innings pitched. The redshirt sophomore has struggled to a 9.17 ERA on the season.

Six Home Runs Lead Maryland Past Michigan on Senior Day

The stage was set for No. 17 Maryland on Sunday: celebrating senior day on a beautiful afternoon for baseball, the Terps came in with a chance to sweep Michigan and gain more ground in a crowded top of the Big 10 standings.

The Terps took full advantage, defeating the Wolverines 15-10.

It was all Michigan to start, scoring quickly in the first and taking a 3-0 lead halfway through the fifth inning. The Terps had plenty of early chances to score, but couldn’t take advantage, going 0-5 with runners in scoring position in the first four innings.

After looking lethargic early on, the Terps lineup finally came alive in the fifth with four home runs.

Nick Lorusso got it started with a two-run shot, immediately followed by Matt Shaw’s fifth home run of the weekend. Three batters later, Ian Petrutz launched a three-run home run over the right field wall, giving Maryland its first lead of the game.

“I went up in the count early and I knew he was going to throw a lot of changeups,” Petrutz said. “3-1 I was just banking on a fastball. He threw a fastball belt high that I could drive and I drove it.”

Number four came off the bat of Chris Alleyne, just barely pushing one over the fence to bring two more runs across. After trailing the entire game, Maryland was now fully in control.

“Bubba’s our captain. He’s tough as nails,” Head Coach Rob Vaughn said of the fifth-year senior. “There’s not enough adjectives I could use to describe his importance to this program.”

A Luke Shliger three-run shot in the sixth and another Shaw home run in the seventh made the Maryland lead ten and put the game fully out of reach.

With his two home runs today, Matt Shaw finished off a historic weekend, hitting six home runs and driving in twelve runs across three games. He also now finds himself ahead of Chris Alleyne for the conference lead in longballs with nineteen on the season.

“You’ll get a few days where you see the ball well,” Shaw said. “I’m hoping to stay consistent with this through the end of the season.”

It was a mixed bag start of sorts for Nick Dean today, giving up four runs on eight hits in five and 2/3 innings of work.

There were points where the Maryland starter looked as dominant as he did at the start of the season, striking out six Wolverines, but he also showed the same signs of struggle from late March and April, allowing eleven batters to reach base.

After a Michigan rally in the ninth that brought home four runs, Lorusso came on and got the final out, securing another conference win and a sweep over the Wolverines.

The win today capped off a senior day celebration that saw recognition for Maryland’s six graduating seniors.

“This group, they’ve turned in the best year in school history up to this point in the regular season,” Vaughn said. “When you get that, you have to have special people.”

With the win, Maryland improves to 41-10 and 16-5 in the Big 10, now tied atop the conference standings with Rutgers as the schedule enters its final week. Michigan falls to 10-11 in conference play, still having work to do next weekend to secure a spot in the Big 10 tournament.

The Terps will look to extend their winning streak to five games on Tuesday against James Madison in the team’s final regular season home game of the year. The starting pitching matchup is still to be determined.

Shaw, Maryland offense make history in 20-6 win over Michigan

Despite an uncharacteristically rough outing from Ryan Ramsey, Matt Shaw and the No. 17 Maryland offense tallied a Big Ten record 20 runs in its 20-6 defeat of Michigan on Saturday night. 

Shaw came into the day tied for fourth in the conference in home runs. By the end of the night, Shaw was tied for first.

The sophomore capped off a career-night with a grand slam for his third homer of the game and tied the school record with 8 RBIs. 

“He’s incredible. I’ve seen that from day one,” Head Coach Rob Vaughn said. “He’s worked his tail off to get himself right.” 

While starter Ryan Ramsey was coming off a historic night himself with a perfect game during his last home start, his shaky opening frame was a sign of things to come for the left-hander. 

After loading the bases three times on Friday, the Wolverines filled the bases in the first inning on Saturday. Catcher Jimmy Obertop doubled home two runners to open the scoring. One inning later, second baseman Ted Burton cleared the left center field wall to put Michigan ahead 3-0.

But the Terps offense was quick to pick up Ramsey. The Terps plated seven runs in the second inning, beginning with a Bobby Zmarzlak RBI single. Three hitters later, Luke Shliger hit a two-run double off the batter’s eye to tie the score at 3-3. 

Chris Alleyne welcomed junior Cameron Weston to the game with an RBI double down the third base line. After a Nick Lorusso walk, Matt Shaw connected on a three-run shot to give Maryland a 7-3 lead.

The Wolverines answered right back in the third. After hitting the game-tying three-run homer yesterday, Matt Frey hit a two-run shot to center field to cut Maryland’s lead to two.

The back-and-forth affair continued into the bottom frame as freshman Ian Petrutz delivered with a two-run single down the first-base line. In the following inning, Matt Shaw hit his second blast of the game just over the outstretched arm of right fielder Clark Elliott to extend the Terps’ lead to 10-5.

Michigan tacked on one in the fifth on an RBI single from Riley Bertram. Ramsey’s outing ended at the conclusion of the fifth inning. The lefty gave up six earned runs on four hits and walked six over 108 pitches.

After using five pitchers last night, freshman Noah Mrotek gave the Terps some much needed relief innings. The righty went three innings, allowed just one hit and struck out two.

Vaughn was pleased with Mrotek’s performance and is looking forward to his future at Maryland. 

“Noah’s going to pitch major, major impact innings throughout his career,” Vaughn said. “Major ones down the stretch as we move into postseason baseball, so for him to go out and have a really good night tonight is good for us and a good step for him in his career development.”

After relinquishing a 7-0 lead on Friday night, Maryland made sure there would be no Michigan comeback on Saturday night. The club added five more in the seventh, highlighted by Shaw’s grand slam, giving him eight RBIs on the night. The last Terrapin with an eight RBI game was Will Watson back in May 2018. 

Saturday night’s performance raised the shortstop’s average 14 points. After going through a midseason slump, Shaw is happy to have regained his swing.

“I’m just glad that the pieces are coming together,” he said. “I’m just glad to be in the right direction.”  

The Terps added two more in the eighth thanks to RBI singles from Ian Petrutz and Luke Shliger. Both Petrutz and Shliger had 3 RBIs apiece. 

After scoring 17 runs on 16 hits, Maryland’s offense was not done. Nick Lorusso capped off the team’s prolific night at the plate with a three-run blast to right-center field.

One of the keys to this year’s offensive success has been the depth of Maryland’s lineup, Vaughn said.  

“That’s what’s been fun about this offense. It’s been somebody different throughout the year. We’ve had the top carry us, we’ve had the middle carry us, we’ve had the bottom carry us, and I think that’s what makes this team good,” the fifth-year head coach said. “There’s just no let up. If you make mistakes, they can hammer baseballs.” 

Right-hander Will Glock worked a perfect ninth, closing out the game on a strikeout of pinch-hitter Casey Buckley. 

The Terps look for their second weekend sweep of the season tomorrow at noon. Nick Dean is set to start for Maryland while Chase Allen is slated to take the mound for Michigan.

Maryland uses small ball, long ball to pick up thrilling victory over Michigan

After storming in front via the long ball, the Terps offense used small ball to save a struggling bullpen in a thrilling 8-7 victory over Michigan on Friday night.

Following a steal of third base, Troy Schreffler scored the go-ahead run in the bottom of the eighth off a wild pitch from Connor O’Halloran. There was no sign from third base coach Matt Swope. It was purely impulse from Schreffler.

“The adrenaline took over and I just started running,” Schreffler said. 

Head Coach Rob Vaughn praised the junior’s bold approach on the basepaths. 

“He won the game for us because he was fearless,” said Vaughn. “He was unafraid to crash and burn, and that’s something this group’s done all year.”

Schreffler’s dash for home capped off a wild three innings for No. 17 Maryland in which they relinquished a 7-0 lead before ultimately gaining it back. 

The Terps were in control throughout the first five innings. The offense jumped out to an early lead, connecting on back-to-back solo blasts from Nick Lorusso and Matt Shaw in the bottom of the first.

On the mound, Jason Savacool showed no signs of a back ailment that caused him to exit last Sunday’s start after one inning. The right-hander brought his swing-and-miss stuff against a Wolverines offense that ranks top five in the conference in runs, hits, home runs and RBI. Making his first Friday night start of the year, the righty recorded seven strikeouts through the first three innings.  

Maryland broke the game open in the fourth. Maryland extended their lead to 4-0 on a Bobby Zmarzlak two-run single. Freshman Ian Petrutz followed Zmarzlak with an RBI double to right-center. Five pitches later, Kevin Keister hit a two-run homer to extend the Terps’ lead to 7-0.

When these two teams met back in March, Maryland led 4-0 at the start of the sixth before Michigan scored seven unanswered runs to win 7-4. Friday’s game played out similarly.  

Once again, the Wolverines offense awoke in the sixth, but this time Michigan was spearheaded by an unlikely source. Nine-hole hitter Jake Marti hit his first homer in a Michigan uniform to start the rally.

Michigan proceeded to load the bases with one out, bringing up Tito Flores, the team leader in homers, to the plate. Savacool was able to work out of the jam by getting Flores to ground into a double play. That would be Savacool’s final batter of the night, as the sophomore went six innings, gave up two earned runs on four hits and recorded seven strikeouts along with two walks. With his third-inning strikeout of Ted Burton, Savacool became just the ninth Maryland pitcher to record at least 100 strikeouts in a single season.

After using four of their top bullpen arms on Friday night, Vaughn hinted at bringing in some young arms out of the bullpen on Saturday. 

“There’s some young pups that might get the ball tomorrow,” said Vaughn. “I want them to pitch without any fear of the negative of what could happen because they’re not freshmen anymore. You know, we’re six games left in our year.”

Michigan’s hitters immediately took advantage of Savacool’s exit. Sean Heine entered the game for Savacool and failed to record an out. After a leadoff double and back-to-back walks, Michigan loaded the bases for the second consecutive inning. Right-hander Nick Robinson replaced Heine but could not contain the Wolverine offense. A sac fly followed by a Joe Stewart two-run single cut Maryland’s lead to 7-4. 

Then Matt Frey delivered the biggest blow of the night. The graduate student hit a three-run homer that seemed to keep on carrying, as center fielder Chris Alleyne watched it sail over the batter’s eye. 

Down 7-0 to start the sixth, the Wolverines had stormed back to tie the game in the seventh.

The small but loud Michigan faithful erupted in cheers as the rest of Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium fell silent. But the Wolverines were not finished.

They threatened to score once more in the inning, putting runners on second and third before redshirt sophomore David Falco retired Joey Velazquez and Riley Bertram to end the inning. 

Schreffler and Maxwell Costes worked back-to-back one-out walks to fuel the Terps’ eighth inning rally before Schreffler used his speed to create the go-ahead run.

Schreffler talked about the team’s ability to not only hit for power, but get on base in a variety of ways. “We’re able to hit the long ball and extra bases, and also be able to work the walks, work the hit by pitches and put the ball in play a lot,” said Schreffler. 

The Wolverines would not go quietly in the ninth. Frey worked a leadoff walk and advanced to second on a Nigel Belgrave wild pitch. The hard-throwing right-hander set down the next three hitters, capped off by a called strike three on Velazquez. 

The team’s confidence in their ability to win never wavered, even after the Wolverines came back to tie the score at 7-7, Vaughn said. “I think they expected to win tonight even when it got bad. When I went out to the mound to make a visit there was no panic. It was like, man, they got to get us out nine more times. We’re in a good place,” said Vaughn.

The Terps earned their regular-season record 39th win of the season, just three behind the program’s all-time winningest season set in its run to the Super Regionals in 2015. 

Maryland and Michigan play game two of the series at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday. Lefty Ryan Ramsey is slated to start for the Terps while righty Cameron Weston is expected to start for the Wolverines.

Series Preview: Michigan Wolverines

No. 17 Maryland’s quest for a Big Ten regular season title continues this weekend as the Terps take on the fifth-place Michigan Wolverines. 

The Terps met Michigan back in March as part of the Keith LeClair Classic in Greenville, N.C. The Terps led 4-0 at the start of the sixth inning before Michigan came back and won 7-4 to hand the Terps their first loss of the season. The game did not count in the Big Ten standings. 

While the Terps dropped two of three that weekend, including a defeat in a regional finals rematch with East Carolina, Maryland comes into Friday’s game with high spirits. The Terps took two of three from first-place Rutgers in a series that concluded on Monday due to the weekend rain.

The Terps offense was out in full force, scoring 32 runs, including 11 home runs, over the three-game series. That continues an excellent last two weeks for Maryland hitters, who have scored at least seven runs in nine of their last 10 games.

Michigan Wolverines (25-21, 10-8 Big Ten)

Last season

The Wolverines finished third in the conference last season, one game behind Maryland. Like Maryland, they qualified for the NCAA Tournament. They went 0-2 in the regional series, losing by five or more runs to both Connecticut and Central Michigan. Michigan dropped three of the five games played against the Terps last season. Three of those games were played during the second-to-last weekend of the regular season, just like this year’s series.

This season

The Wolverines are full of offensive weapons, led by MLB Draft prospects Clark Elliott and Tito Flores. As a team, Michigan ranks top five in the conference in runs, hits, doubles, home runs, RBI, slugging percentage and stolen bases. They are coming off a season-high 21-run performance against a Wright State squad that made the NCAA Tournament last season. 

The Wolverines’ pitching, however, has struggled. The team has the third-worst ERA in the conference at 6.41. They rank among the Big Ten’s worst in runs, hits, walks and batting average against.

Hitters to Watch

Elliott, a preseason All-Big Ten selection, paces the team in batting average, OPS, runs, walks and RBI. The junior has collected multiple hits in eight of his last 14 games, including a three-hit afternoon with four RBI versus Wright State on Wednesday.

Flores ranks among the team’s top 3 in batting average, OPS, hits, RBI and home runs, which he leads the Wolverines with 10. The Detroit native has collected at least two hits in six of his last 11 games, including a two-hit, 3-RBI day against Wright State. Flores was named Second Team All-Big Ten last season. 

Michigan has four other hitters with at least eight home runs each: graduate students Joe Stewart (9) and Matt Frey (8), d1baseball.com’s top infield draft prospect Ted Burton (8) and Third Team All-Big Ten honoree Jimmy Obertop (8).

Pitchers to Watch

Right-hander Chase Allen holds a team-low 3.84 ERA and has made 19 appearances, including five starts, for the Wolverines. The sophomore also leads the team with a perfect record of 6-0 and is holding opponents to a .224 batting average. Each of his last four outings have been Sunday starts, in which he’s gone at least five innings in each start. The righty presents Michigan’s best opportunity to win when he is on the mound.

Friday night starter Connor O’Halloran is another starter expected to see action this weekend. The lefty leads the team in innings (67.1) and strikeouts (80) and has started in all 13 games he’s appeared in this season. O’Halloran has the ability to pitch deep into games, going seven-plus innings three times this year. However, the pitch count can be a concern for him, as he’s thrown at least 107 pitches in five of his last six starts.

Probable Starting Pitcher Matchups

Friday, 6:30 p.m. ET

So. RHP Jason Savacool (7-2, 2.59 ERA) vs. So. LHP Connor O’Halloran (4-3, 4.41 ERA)

Savacool will make his first Friday start of the season after lasting only one inning on Sunday due to back soreness. In his shortened outing, the righty gave up two hits on three runs (two earned) along with one strikeout and one walk. Despite lasting only one inning, he still remains the conference leader in innings pitched (80) and strikeouts (95). His seven wins rank second in the Big Ten and his 2.59 ERA ranks third. 

O’Halloran earned a no-decision last Friday versus a solid Indiana lineup, going 5.1 innings, surrendering four runs on six hits, striking out eight and walking three. The key for the lefty is striking out hitters- Michigan is 5-0 when he records at least eight punchouts. However, the home run ball has bitten the sophomore lately. After allowing no home runs through his first 50.2 innings this season, he’s surrendered six homers in his last three outings, including three in last Friday’s start.

Saturday, 2:00 p.m. ET

Jr. LHP Ryan Ramsey (9-0, 2.47 ERA) vs. Jr. RHP Cameron Weston (4-3, 4.72 ERA)

Arguably the top pitcher in the Big Ten, Ramsey continued his dominance last weekend versus one of the best hitting teams in the nation in Rutgers. Ramsey went six innings, gave up two earned runs on four hits, recorded one strikeout and allowed two walks on 91 pitches en route to his conference-leading ninth win of the year. 

Weston had heightened expectations coming into the season, as he was ranked a top-five Big Ten pitching prospect by d1baseball.com. The righty has been consistent all season long, but not as effective as many predicted. The junior has given up between two and four earned runs in all but one of his starts. Weston is coming off a mediocre outing in which he allowed three earned runs on eight hits in 5.1 innings. He walked three and struck out five on 102 pitches.

Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET

Jr. RHP Nick Dean (4-2, 4.01 ERA) vs. So. RHP Chase Allen (6-0, 3.84 ERA)

Since being moved to a Sunday starting role, Dean has shined on the mound, allowing just two earned runs on four hits in 11 innings. The junior earned the win in Monday’s rubber match in Piscataway, going six innings, allowing two earned runs (both solo homers) on three hits while striking out nine and walking two. The righty will look to continue his momentum against a hot Michigan lineup.

Recently moved into a starting role, Allen has been the Wolverines’ most consistent pitcher all year. The righty sits just outside the conference top 10 in ERA and has made the second most appearances (19) for Michigan this season. Last Sunday’s start versus Indiana was his worst outing of the season, as he allowed a season-high six earned runs in six innings and earned the no-decision. Allen will return to the site of his collegiate debut, which he made last April. 

SERIES WIN! NO. 17 TERPS TAKE RUBBER GAME AT RUTGERS IN 9-4 VICTORY

(RECAP COURTESY OF MARYLAND ATHLETICS):

PISCATAWAY, NJ — While No. 17 Maryland baseball held a lead over Rutgers for most of Monday afternoon’s rubber game, the Scarlet Knights continued to keep the score close. Until the Big Ten’s home runs leader extended his total in a big way.

Chris Alleyne smacked a three-run bomb to right field in the top of the ninth inning. The Dirty Terps finally broke the game open with Alleyne’s 17th big fly of the season, securing a 9-4 victory — and a crucial series win.

Maryland improves to 38-10 and 13-5 in the Big Ten, while Rutgers drops to 37-12 and 16-5 in the conference. While the Terps and Scarlet Knights have the same number of losses in the conference now, Maryland has six Big Ten games left and Rutgers has three. The two are ahead of Iowa and Illinois for the top two spots in the conference standings.

Nick Dean started on the mound for the Terrapins. The junior right-hander racked up nine strikeouts over six innings of work, surrendering a pair of runs on three hits. Sean Heine and David Falco Jr. held down the final three innings.

The Terps took the lead early on four solo home runs across the second, third and fourth innings, off the bats of Bobby ZmarzlakKevin KeisterMatt Shaw and Maxwell Costes. It was the second straight game in which Keister (2-for-2, two RBIs, two runs and a walk) went yard.

Breaking Down The Action

  • Maryland got its offense started with a solo blast by Zmarzlak in the second inning.
  • Rutgers answered in the bottom half of the inning with a solo shot of its own off the bat of Chris Brito.
  • Keister homered in the third, giving the Terps a 2-1 lead.
  • Shaw and Costes both ripped solo homers in the fourth.
  • Alleyne hit a sacrifice fly in the fifth to score Keister and give Maryland a 5-1 advantage.
  • Rutgers’ Josh Kuroda-Grauer hit a solo homer in the bottom of the fifth to trim its deficit to 5-2.
  • Keister scored Costes on an RBI single in the sixth.
  • The Scarlet Knights got a couple of runs back on a two-run single in the seventh, making it a 6-4 ballgame.
  • Alleyne crushed a three-run home homer in the ninth, breaking the game open to give the Terps a 9-4 lead.

Numbers to Know

  • 4: Maryland hitters clobbered four solo homers over the first four innings to take an early lead.
  • 7: Keister hit his seventh homer of the season. The sophomore has now homered in back-to-back games.
  • 14: Costes hit his 14th home run of the season. That is the fifth-most of anyone in the Big Ten, behind Alleyne’s Big Ten-leading 17 dingers. 
  • 61: Alleyne now has 61 RBIs this season. That’s second in the Big Ten. 

Up Next

  • Maryland is back in action this weekend for another late-season Big Ten series as the Michigan Wolverines come to College Park.
  • Friday’s contest starts at 6:30 p.m. It can be seen on Big Ten Plus and heard on the Maryland Baseball Network.