The Terps will start their four-game weekend when they take on the Delaware Blue Hens (5-4) in College Park on Thursday.
Maryland (7-4) enters the week riding the momentum of a five-game winning streak, including a 13-1 victory Sunday over Ball State during the Johnny Gardner Law Group Invitational in Conway, South Carolina the previous weekend.
The weekend marked a turning point for Terps first baseman Kevin Biondic, who had a total of nine RBIs in the course of the weekend, including a three-run homer on Sunday. Biondic is now hitting .310 with a .396 on-base percentage.
“I was just sticking with my approach, trying to get good pitches to drive” said Biondic after the win over Ball State. “I think some of the balls just fell for me this weekend.”
“He just goes out there and competes every at-bat,” said Maryland pitcher Hunter Parsons after the game Sunday. “I think you’re finally starting to see that pay off.”
Second baseman Nick Dunn also had a great weekend, with four hits and four RBIs, including two home runs. Dunn is hitting just below .300. Four players,Biondic, Dunn, Zach Jancarski and Taylor Wright, have 10 or more hits this season.
While most of the Terps’ offense had a great weekend overall, two starters ended the weekend hitting below .200–left fielder Marty Costes and catcher Justin Morris.
“Hopefully we’re just moving in the right direction,” said head coach Rob Vaughn after Sunday’s game. “I tell these guys all the time, the most important thing they can ever do is respond.”
Maryland will face a Delaware team that is playing its first midweek game of the season. The Blue Hens will likely go with a pitcher out of their bullpen as their starter; most likely James Meeker, who has a 2.70 ERA in 10 innings of work, or Matt Hornich, who has a 1.69 ERA in 5 ⅔ innings pitched.
It is also possible that the Delaware staff will go with either Colman Vila or Clay Conaway, who have given up no runs in 4 ⅔ and 4 innings pitched, respectively.
Offensively the Blue Hens don’t stack up that differently than the Terps, with two starters, Kyle Baker and Erik Bowren, hitting over .400 and three starters hitting over .200. Baker has 16 hits, twice as many as Bowren.
Maryland will likely start Mark DiLuia, who pitched four scoreless innings in the Terps’ midweek matchup last Wednesday against the VCU Rams. In total he’s pitched nine innings and has a 4.00 ERA.
If Maryland goes to the bullpen, freshman Sean Fisher and senior Biondic will likely be two of the first relievers to take the mound. Fisher has a 3.68 ERA while Biondic has a 1.17 ERA. John Murphy is one of the Terps’ go-tos as a closer, with a 2.84 ERA om 6.1 innings pitched.
“We kind of operate in a pack mentality, so it’s really not about who’s going, who’s doing good, who’s doing bad,” said Vaughn. “You’re going to find different ways to win games different days.”
Not only will the game mark the Terps’ first midweek at home, but it will also be $1 hot dog night at Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium.
Fans can listen to the 4 pm game on the Maryland Baseball Network.
This preview has been edited to reflect the schedule change.
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