After a rest day Monday, Maryland baseball heads to Newark, Delaware, to take on the Blue Hens in what is the Terps’ fifth game in six days.
Maryland (9-6) started the five-game stretch with a 7-1 loss to Delaware (8-5) in College Park on Thursday, when the Terps had trouble stringing together hits..
Those troubles, however, are starting to right themselves, but are far from over. In their last game the Terps stranded 12 runners on base. Maryland overcame that setback, and came out with the win, entering the week after a series win over Bryant, taking games two and three both with double-digit
“Any time we can come away with two wins in the weekend and then get ready to go on the road, you know, we’re feeling pretty good about ourselves,” said senior outfielder Zach Jancarski after Sunday’s game. “So we’re hoping to keep that going.”
Second baseman Nick Dunn has been consistent in the batters box for the Terps, leading the team with 16 RBIs, 19 hits and a .358 average. Jancarski, who is back in the leadoff spot for the Terps, and first baseman Kevin Biondic have also pulled their weight, hitting .298 and .276, respectively. Biondic has the second-most RBIs on the team, with 13.
“Everyone in this dugout is super confident that the person at the plate is going to get it done,” said Jancarski “If he doesn’t get it done then that guy will, and that’s kind of the way our offense works and why we’re good. I think we’ll definitely be getting better as the season goes along.”
The Terps will likely be up against Matt Hornich, who pitched a five full innings Thursday, allowing only one run. Hornich has a 1.74 ERA in 10.1 innings pitched.
Maryland struggled against the lefty Hornich last week, the first of four left-handed starters the team faced over the weekend. After the lineup went cold against Hornich on Thursday and Bryant’s Jack Patterson on Friday, Terrapin head coach Rob Vaughn brought in freshman Tommy Gardiner at third and redshirt freshman Ty Friedrich at catcher.
Whether Gardiner and Friedrich will return to the Terps’ lineup will depend on the matchup. If Hornich does pitch, the pair will likely remain in the lineup for the lefty-righty matchup, as the lineup has performed better against lefties with them in it.
Freshman Mark DiLuia will take the mound for Maryland. He pitched only three innings on Thursday, allowing three runs on 70 pitches. DiLuia has been the Terps’ go-to for midweek games, but has an ERA of 5.09 in 12 innings pitched.
“We knew we were going to run [DiLuia] on Thursday, Tuesday, one would be a little bit shorter outing, one would be a little longer,” said Vaughn. “Since we did keep him short on Thursday hopefully he can go have a good start for us on Tuesday.”
The Blue Hens have an uneven batting situation; three starters are hitting above .300 but four are hitting below .200.
Junior Kyle Baker is hitting .400 and junior Erik Bowren is hitting .364. Both had two hits last week against the Terps. Delaware redshirt senior Diaz Nardo had four hits and five RBIs on Thursday and is hitting .302.
If Maryland goes to the bullpen, they’ll be fairly well stocked with rested arms. Junior starter Hunter Parsons pitched a complete game Sunday, preserving the Terps’ bullpen. Redshirt freshman Mike Vasturia will likely be the first out. He has a 1.93 ERA in 4 ⅔ innings pitched.
Other Maryland relievers who may be called to pitch are John Murphy, with a 2.45 ERA, Grant Burleson, with a 4.50 ERA, and Elliot Zoellner, with a 4.76 ERA.
Fans can listen to the 3 pm game on the Maryland Baseball Network.
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