No. 19 Maryland baseball has played plenty of tough midweek opponents this year, but they face their toughest midweek opponent since West Virginia in a Tuesday game against the Northeastern Huskies.
The Terps' offense is as potent as ever, putting up 38 runs in their series against Nebraska this past weekend. The Terps are also chasing several records: senior third baseman Nick Lorusso needs two RBIs to tie the program career RBI record after breaking the single-season program RBI record on Sunday, junior shortstop Matt Shaw and Lorusso are both chasing the single-season home run record and the team is looking to eclipse their single-season home run record set last year.
With all of this, the Terps have a big matchup ahead of them in their last midweek game of the year, starting at 6:30 p.m on Tuesday and streaming on Big Ten Plus.
Northeastern Huskies (36-9, 17-7 CAA)
Northeastern is one of the toughest midweek opponents the Terps have faced yet. The Huskies have an impressive resume, which includes sweeps over Indiana State (No. 10 in RPI) and USF, and road wins at three top-ranked opponents in Duke, Boston College and UConn.
Despite that, Northeastern is coming off a tough CAA series loss to UNC Wilmington. Head coach Mike Glavine is looking to take the Huskies back to the NCAA Tournament for the second time in the past three years.
Hitters to watch
Mike Sirota, sophomore shortstop, No. 8 — Sirota was a 16th-round pick in the 2021 MLB Draft before arriving at Northeastern, but stayed with his commitment. He was named to the CAA All-Rookie Team in 2022, and is currently in the midst of an astounding year. He has close to a 1.200 OPS, a 17% walk rate and 13 home runs.
Cam Maldonado, freshman outfielder, No. 7 — Maldonado has been explosive in his first year with the Huskies, slugging over .700 in 40 games played. He also leads the team in extra-base hits and average (.386) and is one of the best freshmen in the CAA.
Pitchers to watch
Griffin Young, graduate reliever, No. 18 — Young is a graduate transfer from Wheaton College, and has been dominant during his time in Boston. He currently has a 1.14 ERA in nearly 40 innings pitched, and walks only 4.4% of batters faced, which is astoundingly low. The Terps don’t want to rely on getting to Young if they are battling late in a game.
Jake Gigliotti, redshirt junior right-handed pitcher, No. 37 — Gigliotti has been big in his appearances, pitching for the Huskies in big wins over ranked teams in Boston College and UConn. Gigliotti has a 3.49 ERA and has only surrendered three home runs in 49 innings pitched. He also has a perfect 7-0 record in decisions thus far.
Pitching. With balls flying in college baseball more than ever, one will rarely see a staff ERA under four. But the Huskies have a staff ERA of 3.58, under three walks per nine innings, and only give up 0.74 home runs per nine innings, well below the national average.
Coming off a big series loss. The Huskies were hot going into their series against UNCW, but faltered in a tough series loss. With those two losses, they could be breaking apart at the wrong time, which could create an opportunity for the Terps to strike at the right time.
Three things to watch
1. Implications for the NCAA Tournament. This game will likely make or break any hope for Maryland hosting a regional this year and is important for seeding regardless. This will be the Terps' last big test before the Big Ten Tournament, and it is likely they would rise in RPI if they can beat the Huskies on Tuesday.
2. Maryland offense versus Northeastern pitching. The Huskies’ staff is one of the best the Terps have faced this year. But on the same side, the Maryland offense is as explosive as ever right now. It will be a must-watch matchup between an immovable object and an unstoppable force.
3. Last midweek game of the year. The Terps will get well-needed rest before the Big Ten Tournament, as they won’t play another midweek game after Tuesday. The Terps have had an up-and-down year when it comes to midweek games, but look to go 11-3 when all is said and done.