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Maryland baseball midweek preview: UMBC and Georgetown

The Terps have two midweek games for the second consecutive week.

Chris Lyons/Maryland Terrapins

Maryland baseball is coming off a strong week in which it won four out of five games. It took its fourth straight Big Ten series to start the season this past weekend, taking two of three games against Purdue.

The Terps will now close out their midweek series against UMBC and Georgetown.

They’ll take on UMBC at 6 p.m. Tuesday and will then square off against the Hoyas at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.

UMBC Retrievers (19-17, 9-6 America East)

Maryland and UMBC previously played on March 7, with Terps taking home a 12-6 victory. The Retrievers have had an up-and-down season, but have recently been on a hot streak, winning their last four games. Liam Bowen is currently in his fifth year as head coach of the program. The program as a whole has seen struggles since its America East championship run in 2017.

Hitters to watch

Tony Krueger, senior catcher, No. 21 — Krueger has been one of the most consistent hitters in the UMBC lineup, with a .363 batting average and an on-base percentage of .426. Krueger can single-handedly start rallies for the Retrievers.

Leewood Molessa, freshman first baseman, No. 44 — Molessa is a freshman who has brute strength in his bat, as he leads the team in home runs (13). On top of the long balls, he leads the team with 47 RBIs. Molessa is a dangerous hitter in this lineup that Maryland need to pitch to carefully.

Pitchers to watch

Joshua Rivera, freshman right-handed pitcher, No. 16 — Rivera has gotten plenty of work for UMBC in its last two midweek games. He has come in from the bullpen but has throw a substantial amount of innings — 6.2 innings, to be exact.

Eddie Sargent, freshman left-handed pitcher, No. 13 — In UMBC’s last midweek game, Sargent got the start and threw a solid 2 13 innings, which led to a win. We shall see if Bowen will feed the hot hand and start Sargent for the second week in a row.


Offense. The Retrievers proved that they could get runs across in the teams’ last meeting, scoring six. If the Maryland pitching staff allows UMBC to stay in the game and does not execute pitches to players such as Molessa, it could find itself in a tight battle.


Pitching. The UMBC pitching staff is not too strong with both of their standout midweek pitcher posting and ERA of over five. If Maryland offense keeps hitting at the elite clip it was on Saturday and Sunday the UMBC pitching staff could be in for a long night.

Georgetown Hoyas (23-18, 6-6 Big East)

The season series between the Terps and Hoyas currently stands at one apiece, with Wednesday’s matchup being the rubber match. Georgetown has been playing well of late, taking the series finale against a ranked UConn team and winning its past three midweek games, including one against Maryland.

Hitters to watch

Ubaldo Lopez, graduate outfielder, No. 45 — Lopez had Maryland’s number that last time he faced them, belting two no-doubt home runs. He’s currently slugging over .700 and has an OPS of 1.214. Lopez also has a team-high 26 walks, making him the toughest out in this lineup.

Jake Hyde, junior infielder, No. 6 — Hyde is the second-best hitter on the team behind Lopez. He rose his OPS to over 1.000 since the last meeting between Maryland and Georgetown and is slugging over .600. He has just as much pop as Lopez does, with 14 home runs and a team-high 47 RBIs.

Pitchers to watch

Kai Leckszas, freshman right-hander, No. 25 — Leckszas got the start in the team’s first game against Maryland, and the Terps scored three runs on three hits in two innings. Leckszas has has a strong past two outings in Georgetown’s midweeks, throwing eight total innings and giving up nine hits. If he gets another start against Maryland, he could give them some trouble.

Collin Garner, sophomore right-handed pitcher, No. 4 — Garner has gotten action in two of the Hoyas’ last three midweek games, including the most recent one against Maryland. He has had an average season, posting a 5.40 ERA with 20 strikeouts.


Middle of the lineup. In the teams’ second meeting, the heart of Georgetown’s lineup torched the Maryland pitching staff, as they combined for 11 hits with four of them being home runs. If Maryland doesn’t attack them properly, the Hoyas could win the rubber match.


Pitching consistency. In their last matchup, the Georgetown pitching staff kept the Maryland offense silent for most of the game, but eventually collapsed, allowing the game to go to extra innings. Georgetown has proven that its pitchers are susceptible to breakdowns and could give up a large number of runs in quick succession.

Three things to watch

1. How will the Terps manage their pitching staff? Maryland’s pitching has not only been rough this year, but it has also been stretched very thin. With two midweek games ahead of a massive series against Indiana, it is important to preserve arms. Expect the freshman trio of Joey Colucci, Eli Stowe and Travis Garnett to see time if the offense can muster a sizable lead. Maryland also can’t treat either of these teams as pushovers — Georgetown beat it in their last matchup, and UMBC kept the game tight until the eighth inning.

2. Will Shaw break the home run record before the weekend? Maryland junior shortstop Matt Shaw belted a home run on Friday to tie the program’s all-time home run record. He will have a few more chances to break the record before heading into a tough weekend series.

3. Can Maryland stay hot in midweek games? After two tough losses in midweek games, Maryland had a strong week, picking up a pair of much-needed wins over George Washington and James Madison. But, its opponents have been on a tear of late, so Maryland will have to dig deep to pull out victories.