Despite taking the first game of its series at No. 4 Ole Miss with a commanding 9-2 victory, Maryland baseball proceeded to drop the ball, losing games two and three, with game three’s loss coming via the brand-new SEC mercy rule. A series win against Ole Miss would’ve been a statement for Maryland, portraying itself as a legitimate threat to make a run to Omaha later this year.
However, Maryland’s bullpen struggled in the series. The starters looked solid over the weekend, specifically junior Jason Savacool, who had a tremendous bounce-back game after a troubling outing to begin the season against South Florida. The offense has bailed out the pitching staff through the first seven games this season, but it is hard for an offense to continuously dig itself out of holes the pitching staff creates.
The Terps will have an opportunity to regain their footing when they take on Delaware in their second midweek game of the season Tuesday at 4 p.m. in College Park. The game can be watched on Big Ten Plus.
Delaware Blue Hens (3-4, 0-0 CAA)
2022 record: (25-26, 8-15 CAA)
Head coach Greg Mamula is in his first season as Delaware’s head coach. He has 22 years of coaching experience in college baseball, including various roles during the last seven years at Florida Atlantic.
Despite having the same record as Maryland, the talent gap between the rosters and opponents faced is quite large. After getting swept by Ole Miss in its first weekend series of the 2023 season, Delaware picked up its first three wins of the season against UMBC on Feb. 21 and won this past weekend’s series over Stetson, 2-1.
Hitters to watch
Joey Loynd, redshirt junior infielder, No. 29 — Loynd is one of the most productive hitters in the Blue Hens’ lineup with 14 RBIs in seven games. He has been raking with runners on base and especially with runners in scoring position. Loynd is batting .323 with an OPS of .901.
Bryce Greenly, redshirt junior designated hitter, No. 35 — Greenly is currently leading the team in batting average (.360) and OPS (1.107). He also has two home runs and five RBIs. Last season, Greenly led the team with 16 stolen bases. He poses as a threat to manufacture runs for Delaware by gaining extra bases.
Pitchers to watch
Joey Silan, right-handed pitcher, No. 11 — Despite facing some struggles, Silan has been the go-to option for the Delaware pitching staff. Silan has thrown 8.1 innings so far this season, only allowing five hits and keeping his opponents to a .175 batting average.
Bryce Greenly, redshirt junior right-handed pitcher, No. 35 — Greenly is the ultimate dual threat when it come to two-way players. While he is hitting over .300, he is also an option to come out of the bullpen or even as a starter for midweek games. With Greenly being a two-way player, his inning count should stay low.
Experienced lineup. The experience that the Blue Hens have in their lineup poses a threat to all pitchers. Players that have adapted to college baseball can find more success, as they are mentally, physically and skillfully prepared.
Starting pitching. The performances by Delaware’s starting pitchers have been way under par to start the 2023 season. There have been multiple games where the starting pitcher has not thrown more than two innings, forcing Mamula to have to rely on, and burn through, his bullpen.
Three things to watch
1. Bounce-back performance for the midweek pitchers. Last week’s game against West Virginia was a struggle for Maryland pitcher Ryan Van Buren, as he gave up four runs in the first inning and only recored two outs. Logan Ott was not used during the weekend series, so expect him to make the start or at least pitch some innings against Delaware. For Maryland to take the next step the bullpen needs to settle in to regain its confidence.
2. Grab a momentum win before heading into a tough weekend. With Delaware being on the weaker side of the competitive scale for the Terps, this should be a win for them to get back on the right track before heading to Minneapolis, Minnesota, for the Cambria College Classic, where they will take on Ole Miss, Vanderbilt and Hawaii.
3. Will Maryland get its first home win of the season? Looking at the numbers and the talent gap, Delaware should be a cakewalk for the Terps. But the beauty of baseball is that any team can win on any given day. Maryland will look to mark its territory at “The Bob” with its first home win this season.