Photo Courtesy of Maryland Athletics

Terps aim for win against Richmond Spiders

The Maryland Terrapins’ baseball team looks to get back in the wins column on Tuesday, as it heads down to Richmond, Virginia, to take on the Richmond Spiders (14-9).

Maryland enters the week off a series win over the Stetson Hatters, with dominant performances from Saturday and Sunday starters Tyler Blohm and Hunter Parsons. The Terps will look to freshman Mark DiLuia to continue the pitching success.

DiLuia has been the go-to midweek starter for Maryland, starting four of six midweeks for the Terps so far this season. His latest appearance came against North Carolina, where he pitched six innings, allowing nine runs and striking out two. Coming into Tuesday’s game he boasts a 8.59 ERA in 22 innings pitched, with a total of 20 strikeouts.

“Pitching and defense is what wins championships,” said head coach Rob Vaughn after Sunday’s game. “The last two days the [pitching] was great, but can we do that if we’re getting a tight zone, can we do that if we make an error behind them. That’s going to be the biggest key.”

DiLuia is backed by a strengthening Maryland bullpen, lead by sophomore Elliot Zoellner (7.84 ERA) and junior closer John Murphy (2.61 ERA).

The Terps pitching staff will face a Spiders lineup where almost everyone is hitting over .200. Seniors Vinny Capra and Daniel Brumbaugh lead the team in batting average, with .341 and .291, respectively.

This offsets the Maryland offense, which is still in the strengthening process. After struggling to hit the past month, junior outfielder Marty Costes is powering back. With hits in six of the last seven games, Costes is back to hitting above .200.

Freshman Richie Schiekofer has also been a big contributor for the Terps, driving in three runs in the past four games.

“Richie’s a grinder,” said Vaughn. “He just plays so dang hard. You look at his at-bats, he never has an at-bat he doesn’t grind out. He’s very dynamic, he can really really really run, as evidenced by a couple of those plays [Sunday].”

Maryland’s struggling offense faces an average Richmond pitching staff. The Spiders’ midweek starter Lowell Schipper has a 4.80 ERA and has allowed 15 hits and struck out 15 batters.

Schipper is backed by a successful bullpen, with seven relievers boasting ERAs below 2.00. If the Terps can continue their offensive growth, Maryland will likely come out of the midweek with winning record.

“Our program is just maturing right now,” said Vaughn. “Even though we have some older players, every team is a new team. They’re growing up a little bit, they’ve kind of walked through fire the first half of this season. It’s been a tough schedule, and we’re looking forward to hopefully kind of using [last weekend] to keep the momentum rolling into Richmond on Tuesday.”

First pitch is Tuesday at 3 p.m.. Fans can listen to the game via the Maryland Baseball Network.