After their season-high five-game win streak ended Thursday afternoon against Delaware, the Maryland Terrapins will look to start a new streak during a weekend series against Bryant.
The Terps (7-5) will look for more production from the offense after a disappointing performance against the Blue Hens’ pitching staff. The team did have nine hits, but only scratched across one run, leaving 12 runners on base, a problem the Terps are all too familiar with early in the season.
“It’s hard to hit with runners in scoring position,” head coach Rob Vaughn said. “We just couldn’t quite get that consistency up and down through the order.”
Although Maryland’s offense went cold against Delaware, they have shown outbursts during the season that suggest they will be able to get back on track. In the three games at the Coastal Carolina Tournament, the Terps averaged over 10 runs per game and recorded their two highest run outputs of the season, with 11 against Radford and 13 against Ball State.
If the lineup wants to get back to those ways, they will need players like Nick Dunn, Randy Bednar and Kevin Biondic to continue to thrive at the plate, while getting contributions from struggling bats like Marty Costes and Taylor Wright. Biondic and Dunn are leading the team in batting average and home runs, respectively, while the freshman Bednar continues to improve in his first season.
As for Costes and Wright, the two have struggled after getting off to a hot start, batting .128 and .227, respectively. Costes began the season as the leadoff hitter, but has since moved down to the three spot, where he spent the majority of the 2017 season.
The Terps’ offense will go up against Bryant’s three lefty starters Steve Theetge, Jack Patterson and Vito Morgese. The junior Theetge will most likely get the nod friday, while the senior Patterson will take Saturday and the sophomore Morgese will have Sunday. All three have had an inconsistent season, pitching well at times but struggling to limit runs.. Out of three, Theetge has the lowest ERA at 5.27.
As for the Terps rotation, it will once again be Taylor Bloom, Tyler Blohm and Hunter Parsons on the mound. The “killer B’s” continue to be reliable arms for Maryland, both with ERA’s under three on the season. Parsons’ start to the season was a rough one, but the righty has rebounded nicely and is coming off seven scoreless innings against Ball State last weekend.
Those three pitchers along with the strong Maryland bullpen go up against a Bryant offense that is beginning to find its stride. After struggling to produce runs earlier in the season, the Bulldogs have scored 27 in the last three games. Junior Tyler Panno and redshirt freshman Ryan Ward will have to do most of the heavy lifting for Bryant. The two are hitting .421 and .342, respectively
This week in March last year, the Terps dominated Bryant in College Park, sweeping the three-games series and outscoring the Bulldogs 20-3. However, Maryland knows not to take them lightly.
“They’re very very good, very well coached and a very tough team,” Vaughn said about the Bulldogs. “We just gotta have a short term memory.”
First pitch on Friday is scheduled for 4 p.m.