Maryland baseball is the only Big Ten team in Perfect Game and D1Baseball’s preseason top 25 rankings, coming in at Nos. 23 and 22. Both sites project the Terps to make the NCAA Tournament for the third time in four years.
Head coach John Szefc likes to have his team play a tough out-of-conference schedule, which is particularly important in helping the team’s RPI. Plus, it gives a good picture of how well the Terps stand up to the nation’s best teams. This year is no exception as the Terps play eight games against five ranked teams, including No. 12 Louisville (neutral site), No. 5 LSU, at No. 6 NC State, at No. 9 North Carolina and two games at No. 24 UNC Wilmington.
The Terps lost ace Mike Shawaryn to the 2016 draft, as well as reliable southpaw Robert Galligan. Stalwart outfielder Anthony Papio graduated and has become an assistant coach. But the team returns a number of significant players, and has added some key transfers to the squad. The Terps start their season on Feb. 17 against Ball State as part of the Clearwater Tournament.