Terrapin second baseman Nick Dunn (39) throws the ball to first baseman Brandon Gum (5) to record the out in Maryland's 7-6 win over West Virginia in College Park on Tuesday, April 11. (Paige Leckie/ The Left Bench)

Terps look for another win in rematch with William & Mary

When the Maryland baseball team last met William & Mary on March 7, the Terps were just starting to find their way. They had begun the year 1-5, but a 9-8 win over the Tribe got the Terps back to .500 and gave them their fourth of eight straight victories.

Now, Maryland is 24-11 and sits in second place in the Big Ten with a 9-3 conference record.

Many of those 24 wins required the Terps to pull out of early holes. It wasn’t their first comeback of the season, but against William & Mary, the Terps fell behind 6-0 in the top of the second. They responded with four runs in the bottom half of that inning and pulled ahead for good in the sixth.

“No one was really down, no one was really frustrated or anything, we knew we were going to have to grind back,” shortstop Kevin Smith said after that game, recalling the six-run deficit. “Once we put up that four spot, we knew we were going to be alright.”

Since then, the team’s confidence has snowballed with each lead the Terrapins erase on the path to victory. The factors that do most teams in—the magnitude of the deficit, the time left in the game to come back—have not fazed Maryland.

The Terps fell behind 9-4 early against Richmond and won 12-11. They poured on five runs after entering the seventh down 5-2 against West Virginia. Behind 1-0 with one out in the ninth Friday, the Terps hit homers on consecutive pitches to topple Penn State 2-1.

The capacity for the comeback is not lost on the team. The Terps will gladly accept the wins they’ve taken in that fashion, but they would like to open the scoring more often in upcoming games.

“Unfortunately we’ve kind of made a habit of it in midweek, and you don’t really want to have to come back all the time,” first baseman Brandon Gum said. “But knowing that you can do it at any time—I mean, we were down to two outs against one of the best arms we’ve faced all year Friday and we came back. That just shows that you’re never really out of a ballgame until it’s over.

Early struggles by the starting pitching have provoked the team’s need for its midweek rallies.  Pitchers starting midweek games for the Terrapins still have not lasted into the fourth inning after Taylor Bloom and Hunter Parsons turned in short outings last week.

If Wednesday’s starter should be knocked out early once again, Maryland need not worry about overusing the bullpen. Starters Bloom, Brian Shaffer and Tyler Blohm covered 22.1 of 27 innings against Penn State last weekend.

Both William & Mary and Maryland have yet to name their starting pitcher for Wednesday’s game, scheduled for 6 p.m. in Williamsburg, Virginia.

Second baseman Cullen Large remains an offensive threat for William & Mary in this matchup. Large had a three-RBI double against Maryland last time and is batting .331 with a team-leading .531 slugging percentage.

William & Mary will look to end a six-game losing streak that has dropped the Tribe to 18-19. (dependent on Tuesday’s game against Richmond). Maryland will try to come away with a fourth straight win following its sweep of Penn State.

Connor Mount

Connor Mount

Senior Staff Writer at The Left Bench
Connor Mount is an analytics enthusiast, which is polite for "sports nerd." Philip Merrill College of Journalism, University of Maryland, Class of 2017.
Connor Mount
About Connor Mount 164 Articles
Connor Mount is an analytics enthusiast, which is polite for "sports nerd." Philip Merrill College of Journalism, University of Maryland, Class of 2017.