By Duncan Irvine
On Monday, Maryland baseball fell out of the D1Baseball Top 25 for the first time this season following a series loss to Dallas Baptist. The Terps’ frustration with these rankings were apparent in their midweek tilts.
Towson was the unfortunate object of Maryland’s rage.
Nick Lorusso, Troy Schreffler, and Maxwell Costes powered the Terps to a 26-8 victory, which was good for the most runs they’ve scored since 2007. Lorusso went 3-4 from the plate, scoring four runs and bringing home six more.
Schreffler was 4-7 with a home run, scoring two runs and picking up five RBI. Costes hit his tenth home run of the season, giving him 34 in his career.
This mark puts him in a tie with Will Frazier for second on the all-time Maryland home run list.
Ryan Van Buren got the start in a bullpen game, going three innings, giving up two hits and four runs. Andrew Johnson followed up Van Buren and was the pitcher of record, moving him to 1-0 on the season.
On Wednesday, they traveled to Fairfax to take on George Mason, where Logan Ott led the Terps to a 3-1 victory, his first of the year.
Lorusso’s hit streak is now up to 12 games and he brought in the first run of the night on a groundout that brought Luke Shliger home. Sean Heine got the final four outs and denied a late rally from the Patriots.
Their 20-5 record is a school record through the first 25 games, and they will have the opportunity to extend history against the less-than-stellar Penn State Nittany Lions.
Penn State is 8-13 on the season and 1-2 in conference play. It has been anything but smooth sailing for the Nittany Lions, who have won back-to-back games on just one occasion.
They eked out series wins over Maine, Massachusetts and Milwaukee, but lost single games against both Monmouth and Youngstown State, split two games with LIU, and were swept in a four-game series by Virginia.
Last weekend, they lost two of three against Rutgers to open conference play, and were outscored 32-18 across the three games against the Scarlet Knights.
Catcher Matt Wood is the heartbeat of the Penn State lineup. He leads the team in nearly every offensive metric, including average (.382), hits (26), home runs (4), runs (17), RBI (19), and walks (12). His OPS of 1.162 is 0.33 better than Josh Spiegel, the next closest batter.
The aforementioned Spiegel is the team’s other major offensive threat. He boasts a .293 average on the year with two home runs and 10 RBI.
On the mound, the Nittany Lions have looked to a number of different pitchers, but none have found resounding success. Travis Luensmann is the de facto number one, as he was the opening day starter and has started five more games since.
He has an 0-2 record on the season with a 6.18 ERA and 1.70 WHIP and will likely start Friday night.
Tommy Molsky has been their Saturday starter and has slightly better stats than Luensmann. He is 0-3 in six starts but has a marginally better 5.40 ERA and 1.56 WHIP.
In order to get their name back in the Top 25, the Terps will look to sweep Penn State this weekend.
Maryland has momentum from two mid-week victories and heroic performances from Maxwell Costes and Nick Lorusso.
The Terps have a golden opportunity to set the tone for Big Ten play against a lowly Penn State squad.