Coming off its fifth straight win, featuring a huge ninth-inning comeback capitalized with an extra-inning victory, Maryland has the opportunity to prolong its winning streak as it continues nonconference play.
The Terps have averaged 13.8 runs scored per game over the past five games, and there are no signs of slowing down. Maryland’s firepower on offense will have another opportunity to tee off this weekend as it takes on Albany.
Maryland will host the Great Danes for a weekend series. The games will proceed as follows: Friday at 4 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. All three games will be streamed on Big Ten Plus.
University of Albany Great Danes (2-7-1, 0-0 America East)
2022 record: 22-25, 11-19
Albany has struggled to start the 2023 season, with only two wins in 10 games. The Great Danes’ lone wins have come against Central Connecticut and St. John’s. The common trend for Albany has been pitching struggles, as it has given up double-digit runs in five out of 10 games this season.
Head coach Jon Mueller is in his 24th season with the program and has brought some success during his tenure, though that success has not been recent. The last time the Great Danes had a winning season was in 2019. Mueller has produced solid talent over the years, but has not won much since 2007.
Hitters to watch
Dan Tauken, junior outfielder, No. 37 — Tauken is hands down the best hitter in this lineup and the stats prove it. He is leading the team in batting average (.406), OPS (1.313) and RBIs (12). Despite the woes Albany has faced, Tauken has lit it up at the dish in 2023.
Will Feil, redshirt senior infielder, No. 25 — Feil is another hitter in this lineup that can do some damage when given the opportunity. He is currently second in hits with 12 and tied for the lead for RBIs with Tauken. Feil has also proven to be a threat on the base paths with three stolen bases this season.
Pitchers to watch
Cregg Scherrer, redshirt junior left-handed pitcher, No. 9 — Scherrer has gotten the most work so far, as he leads the pitching staff in innings pitched (15). Despite having a lofty ERA of 6.60, Scherrer has earned a decent amount of swings and misses with 15 strikeouts on the year.
Connor Eisenmann, junior right-handed pitcher, No. 22 — Throughout the season, Eisenmann has been a name to see on Saturday or Sunday. Mueller seems to usually look for Eisenmann to provide a solid four to six innings, then looks to the bullpen to close it out.
Some impact bats. Tauken and Feil are the two hitters in this lineup that Maryland pitchers have to be careful of. If Albany scrapes together some base runners, it can put runs on the board.
Pitching. The Great Danes’ pitching is the reason they have an extremely subpar record. The Albany offense has got runs across to provide run support for the pitching staff, but its arms have not been able to get it done. The pitching staff has a collective ERA of eight and a .703 OPS against.
Three things to watch
1. Can the Terps continue their hot streak before entering league play? Maryland has started to continuously beat down on its nonconference opponents who it knows it has a significant talent edge over. If the Terps can continue to string these wins together, it will provide great momentum as they head into conference play.
2. Will we see the Kyle McCoy and Nate Haberthier combo again? The likelihood of this combo going each Sunday is extremely high. Head coach Rob Vaughn loved what he saw out of the two and wants to experiment with how he will use them on Sunday. The swap from righty to lefty and the significant difference in arm slots that the two pitchers have keeps hitters off balance.
3. Will Nick Lorusso stay scorching hot at the plate? Lorusso has been raking for the Terps to start the 2023 season. He extended his hitting streak to 15 games in the midweek win over Delaware and has a great opportunity to extend it even further this weekend. Lorusso also has eight homers through 16 games. In 2022, he finished with 15 home runs and already has more than half of that only a quarter of the way through the season.