The tall centerfield wall is typically one of the hardest areas of the field to hit home runs at Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium, yet right fielder Troy Schreffler Jr. found a way to do just that for No. 21 Maryland baseball.
When the right fielder swung at a pitch in the second inning, the ball sailed over the large green stand, a grandiose display of power hitting to give the Terps a two-run home run. Schreffler Jr.’s hit drove in two of four total second-inning runs as Maryland grew an early lead which it never gave up.
Schreffler Jr. finished 4-for-5 from the plate with three RBIs as the Terps continued their strongest start in program history, picking up the 14-4 win over Delaware to remain undefeated with an 8-0 record.
“I think he’s just really professional,” head coach Rob Vaughn said about Scheffler Jr.’s performance. “He hits the homer early...then the back-to-back base hits to the middle, like that’s who he is.”
Maryland will head to Greenville, North Carolina, for three straight games. The Terps will see Michigan, Indiana State and East Carolina over the course of three consecutive days starting on Friday against the Wolverines.
Maryland pitcher Logan Ott and Delaware pitcher Dom Velazquez both came out of the gates with a shutout in the first inning as they both registered a strikeout.
But the Maryland bats started heating up in a pivotal second inning as it began to pounce on Velazquez and Delaware.
First, it was first baseman Maxwell Costes, who continued his strong start to the season with an RBI double, which brought left fielder Bobby Zmarlak and third baseman Nick Lorusso home to give the Terps a 2-0 lead. The last run that Maryland collected came after an error as a ball that was intended for third base was dropped.
Soon after Maryland added two runs, Schreffler Jr. stepped up to the plate and absolutely crushed a ball out of the park. It sailed over the centerfield wall and brought Costes home to make it 4-0 after just two innings.
Velazquez managed to get out of the inning without any more damage, but his confidence seemed to have withered away. He was replaced by pitcher Wyatt Nelson after giving up four runs.
And for a second to start the third, Ott looked a little unconfident as well. Giving up a run after loading the bases, the sophomore was faced with a runner on first and third with two outs. He overcame the dangerous scoring situation and struck Joey Loynd out to get out of a jam with the lead at 4-1 in favor of the Terps.
To end the third, Schreffler Jr. kept adding on to his monster day at-bat. With Lorusso on base, the outfielder slung a single into open space bringing Lorusso home. Lorusso had three RBIs in the first three innings, tacking on another run to make it 5-1.
Even after Ott got out of the fourth inning to maintain the lead, Maryland was still putting up runs on Nelson. Center fielder Chris Alleyne followed a left field double from second baseman Kevin Keister with an RBI single to left field after Keister took third on a pop fly. Alleyne’s first hit of the day put Maryland up five runs.
Ott couldn’t be saved by fielding in the fifth inning, giving up three hits including an RBI single from Loynd with two outs. That sequence brought two runners home to shrink the margin to 6-3 at the end of five innings.
Delaware replaced Nelson with Mike Biasiello in the bottom of the fifth, who pitched two scoreless innings despite loading the bases in the bottom of the sixth. Glock also didn’t let up a run in the sixth inning, getting one strikeout in his 1.1 inning stretch.
After Lorusso stepped up and pitched a scoreless inning, the bottom of the seventh featured a nice contribution from his replacement at third, freshman Jacob Orr. He clocked a shot far down the right field line, bringing two runners home with an RBI double to the delight of the College Park crowd.
“I’ll tell you what, I thought that was the play of the game,” Vaughn said about Orr’s RBI. “We’re really proud and excited, our guys love him, he’s an awesome kid.”
Orr would also end up rounding the bases to home in the seventh as new pitcher Matt Kennedy walked Chris Alleyne with the bases loaded. After the seventh, Maryland was carrying 9-3.
To add to the proceedings, in the bottom of the eighth with a runner on first, the standout first baseman Maxwell Costes stepped up to closer Jordan Hutchins and obliterated a fastball to the lacrosse practice field. The two-run homer was followed by a rigorous bat flip from the ecstatic Costes, putting the Terps up 11-4.
But the eighth inning was far from over. Keister hit a two-run RBI double down the right field line shortly after, which was followed up by an RBI double from Alleyne to bring Keister home.
The inning finished with the Terps up 14-4.
Freshman pitcher Andrew Johnson threw his first collegiate pitches in the ninth. He sealed the game up with a strikeout as the Terps dominated the Blue Hens at home in the 10-run victory.
Three things to know
1. Maryland’s hits come from everywhere. Schreffler Jr., Costes, Keister, Alleyne, and Orr all had multiple RBIs in today’s win.
“I mean he just puts the ball in play,” Schreffler Jr. said about Orr after the game. “Kid doesn’t strike out, he hits the ball hard.”
The impressive performances just showed the depth of this Maryland squad. If players like Orr, who was the substitute third baseman for Lorusso, can hit consistently along with the firepower of Costes and Schreffler Jr., this team could put together one of its most successful seasons.
2. Logan Ott wasn’t stellar as Maryland still got the win. Ott nearly pitched five complete innings for the Terps, but he let up three earned runs in the process. He faced 21 Delaware batters, giving up six hits and striking out just three. The Terps’ starters have been brilliant to begin the 2022 season, though Ott delivered a more down-to-earth performance on Tuesday.
3. Delaware’s bullpen needs some work and the Terps were able to capitalize on that. When six different pitchers appear in a single game, it tends to be a bad sign for the side deploying them. Delaware just couldn’t find consistency from anyone today, with Velazquez only lasting two innings and giving up four runs. After that, only two innings were scoreless, with the other poor performances coming from Hutchins and Mike Biasiello. Maryland capitalized on that as Hutchins gave up five runs and Biasiello gave up three as well.