Maryland baseball: The Terps hold post-season destiny in their hands

Photo courtesy Todd Carton

Despite a disappointing series loss to Virginia Tech, a loss to St. Mary's, and a prolonged team batting slump, the Terps are still very much in the hunt for a post-season berth. With upcoming ACC games against opponents with a combined 24 - 48 record in league play, Maryland's outlook is good.

Mired in a slump or something more serious?

Baseball is cyclical. Players and teams go through ups and downs during the course of a season. That makes it difficult to tell whether Maryland is mired in a prolonged hitting slump or their batters have hit the wall against ACC pitching. What we do know, as has been demonstrated throughout the whole season, is that the Terps are not going to win via power hitting. In 34 games they have managed only eight home runs and two triples. Their slugging percentage is .339, ahead of only Boston College and Notre Dame.

That would be palatable if the Terps were getting men on base. Maryland does not have a hitter among the top 20 in the league. Brandon Lowe leads Maryland with a .309 average and the next highest hitter is Kyle Convissar at .280. They rank 11th in the ACC in terms of walks. The lack of run support must put a stress on Maryland's pitching staff, which for the most part has been quite effective.

Terps very much still in the hunt for playing in the ACC Tournament

It's not all doom and gloom. Despite their hitting woes the Terps stand at 7 - 10 in the ACC and 21 - 13 overall. If their bats start to light up this is a team that's capable of going on a long winning streak.

The qualifying criteria for making the ACC tournament are a bit disingenuous, but it comes down to this: the top 10 teams in terms of winning percentage make the tournament. Here are the current ACC standings (teams in italics are Terrapins' remaining ACC opponents):





Florida State






Wake Forest






Georgia Tech



North Carolina












Virginia Tech



NC State



Notre Dame



Boston College


The Terps have 12 ACC games remaining. My estimate is that they'll need to go 7 -5 in them, which would give them a 14 - 15 mark and most likely an 8 seed. Maryland's four remaining ACC opponents have a combined 24 - 48 record in ACC play. So the opportunity is there for the Terps.

The case for the Terps making the NCAA tournament

Make no mistake: at the very least the Terps have to qualify for the ACC tournament if they're going to make the Big Dance. Should the ACC send eight teams to the Regionals then Maryland needs to finish in the top eight and win the play-in game. The All Carolina Conference sure as hell isn't going to do Maryland any favors, so the Terps have to clearly distinguish themselves if they want to advance. In Maryland's favor is that they've already beaten Florida, VCU, and Liberty, all of whom are good bets to go dancing. The Terrapins' only blemishes are a loss to St. Mary's and losing two of three to Virginia Tech. Further, the Terps' RPI is 21 and their SOS is 18. These are factors the NCAA takes into consideration when making their selections for the tournament. The Terps have one more game against VCU and two against a solid West Virginia squad: additional chances to solidify their resume. However they can't lose a game to the likes of Towson or Navy.

Maryland plays the game well. They have quality pitching, great fielding, and can run the bases. If their hitting picks up then they'll be a dangerous team come late May.

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