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Maryland baseball vs. Towson, George Mason preview

The Terps will have two midweek games before their first Big Ten series.

Photo courtesy of Maryland Athletics

Maryland baseball took its first three-game series loss of the season after losing two out of three to the Dallas Baptist Patriots in Texas this past weekend.

The Terps will look to bounce back from last weekend as they play back-to-back midweek games against Towson on Tuesday and then George Mason on Wednesday.

It was a shaky weekend from a few of the weekend starters on the mound for Maryland, especially Nick Dean and Jason Savacool. Dean allowed six hits in 4.1 innings giving up three runs, while only striking out three batters. Savacool was coming off of his career-high in strikeouts against Siena, but he was only able to hold Dallas Baptist to four earned runs in six innings pitched.

Maryland’s lone win in the series came on Saturday in the form of an 11-5 victory. Starter Ryan Ramsey allowed only one run in what was a strong display of pitching over seven innings.

Sophomore pitcher Logan Ott will likely be one of the starters on the mound for Maryland in one of these upcoming midweek games. Ott has been a go-to for head coach Rob Vaughn on the mound when it’s not a weekend. As it comes to the other start, this is an unprecedented situation for coach Vaughn. Look for right-handed pitcher Will Glock or right-handed reliever Sean Heine to make a starting appearance for the Terps.

The Tuesday game, which will begin at 4 p.m., will take place in College Park and can be streamed on Big Ten Plus. The second game, set for a 3 p.m. start on Wednesday, will be in Fairfax, Virginia, and can be listened to on the Maryland Baseball Network.

Towson University (8-16, 0-0 Colonial Athletic Association)

2021 record: (21-36, 11-12 Colonial Athletic)

Head coach Matt Tyner is in his fourth year as the head coach of Towson. This season has started on a bad note for the Tigers, who already have a losing record. The team got its first conference tournament appearance under Tyner’s reign just last season. The head coach is still looking to piece together some solid performances during conference play to get his team back to the tournament this season.

So far this season, Towson has picked up wins over Southern University twice, UMBC, Fairleigh Dickinson, Niagara, Princeton and UMass.

Hitters to know

Senior infielder Jack McLaughlin — With the best batting average, on-base percentage, and second-best slugging percentage on the team, this infielder runs the dugout for the Tigers. His .409/.544/.568 slash line is one that would be impressive for just about any player in the country. Another Towson performer with a smaller sample size having only made 18 appearances this season, McLaughlin is still a player to look out for in the opposing dugout.

Junior outfielder Elijah Dickerson- When looking at Dickerson’s .247 batting average, the efficiency might not bounce off the screen. But for an outfielder that has 19 RBIs and 19 hits this season, Dickerson sure makes an impact when he makes contact with the ball and there’s a runner in scoring position. He’s second on the team with four home runs this season and he’s been making an impact with his bat so far despite the image his low batting average may portray.

Pitchers to know

Graduate student right-handed pitcher Jake Pecilunas — In 13.1 innings pitched this season, the veteran has put together a 2.70 ERA, the second-best mark on the squad. Pecilunas has also managed to throw 10 strikeouts, making him the only pitcher on the team who has double-digit strikeouts and an ERA below 5.88. With more playing time, Pecilunas should be able to expand on his past performances.

Senior right-handed pitcher Nolan Bolt — Bolt has the third-best ERA out of all of the Tigers with a 4.32 clip. His WHIP of 1.26 is also the third-best on the team, which is solid considering the rest of the pitching on this squad. Bolt has maintained an ERA that is better than the starters as the senior will look to make his mark on Tuesday.

Strength

Solid production at the plate. While the third-highest batting average on the team is .288, Towson has plenty of other statistics that favor its hitting core. There are only two players in the typical starting lineup that have less than 10 RBIs this season. There are also three batters that have had more than 20 hits in the year as well.

Weakness

The bullpen. The pitching statistics for Towson could easily explain why its winning percentage lies at just .250. The person with the most innings pitched, right-handed pitcher Nate Nabholz has an ERA of 6.83 in 27.2 innings pitched this season. The team’s average ERA average is 7.93, which is a prime example of the lack of authority this club holds regarding its bullpen.

George Mason University (8-14, 0-0 Atlantic 10)

2021 record: (14-29, 7-17 Atlantic 10)

Head coach Bill Brown is the program’s all-time leader in coaching victories and is settling into his 41st season as the leader of the Patriots. He last made an NCAA Tournament run in 2009 and has had at least 30 wins in 15 of his last 30 seasons. It’s clear that Brown knows what it takes for this team to win with past success. However, with the Patriots getting off to such a poor start in 2022, their days above the .500 mark are becoming more distant.

So far this year, George Mason’s wins have come against Wofford College, Presbyterian College, Boston College, Monmouth twice, Quinnipiac, Coppin State and most recently The Citadel.

Hitters to know

Junior infielder Brett Stallings — Leading George Mason in both hits and RBIs, Stallings has been on a tear this season with 26 hits and 18 RBIs. He’s had a great start to the season after not even being in the starting rotation last season, making only 20 starts. But, after becoming an upperclassman, Stallings has started to become an impact player for this Patriots squad.

Freshman infielder/outfielder Brett Ahalt — Ahalt has been able to come into this squad and make an immediate impact. He’s got the best batting average on the team with a .360 average and has a slash line of .360/.431/.460 to show for his efforts in 2022. While his home run and RBI numbers are not the best on the team, he’s had the fourth-most hits on the squad this year with 18. Even though he’s only made 17 appearances out of the 22 games played this season, his ability to hit this well in a small sample size is still impressive.

Pitchers to know

Graduate infielder/right-handed pitcher Danny Hosley — Hosley has a WHIP of .93 on the season, having pitched the second-most innings on the squad with 31.1 total innings. The numbers don’t lie as Hosley has performed well to start the season. He’s also got the most strikeouts on the team with a whopping 37 so far, showing his ability to make hitters miss. Even though he won’t probably be the starter for George Mason in the midweek, look out for Hosley to make a possible appearance.

Freshman right-handed pitcher Chad Gartland — A freshman posting the lowest ERA on the team is something you don’t see normally. Gartland, having pitched 19.2 innings so far this season, has been able to piece together some brilliant performances. With a 2.75 ERA, a 1.17 WHIP, and a third-best on George Mason with 25 strikeouts, Gartland has shown why he’s started two games already in just five total appearances.

Strength

A few nice bats. While only two of the top-three hitters with the best batting averages on the squad have only made 17 appearances this season, that doesn’t negate their statistics. A team that has a collective batting average of .260, having three-plus .300 hitters in the lineup can boost the confidence of everybody else in the rotation.

Weakness

Recent form. George Mason has only won three of its last 10 games. Four of those seven losses have been in devastating fashion, losing by just one run in all those defeats. It’s been a rough road for the Patriots this season, who need to rely on more than just a few star performances to get the job done.

Three things to know

1. Will Logan Ott be on the mound again midweek? Ott has been the go-to midweek starter for Vaughn so far this season, which is partially due to injuries in the bullpen. Through five starts, the sophomore has only been able to pitch a total of 17.1 innings. In that time, he has posted a 6.75 ERA, which is the third-highest of any player who has pitched for the team this season. Even with pitchers David Falco and Nick Robinson recently returning from injury, it’ll be surprising to not see Ott out there starting in one of these next two games.

2. How will Maryland handle five games in the next six days? This will be a very busy week for Maryland and it has a lot to gain. After its matchups against Towson and George Mason, Maryland will have its first Big Ten series of the season on the horizon. That three-game series against Penn State will be just two days after the George Mason game. There will be plenty of games for the Terps this week and they will look to recapture their ranked status.

3. Can Maryland pick itself up from its latest string of losses? It was a tough weekend for Maryland, which had to go up against a formidable opponent like Dallas Baptist this past weekend. However, this season Maryland has typically responded well to losses. With an 18-5 record, the Terps have still yet to lose two games in a row this season. Maryland will have to get back to its winning ways soon if it wants to become ranked again.