Maryland baseball has had a tough week, losing a pair of midweek games to James Madison and George Mason.
The Terps have hovered around the .500 line for the majority of the season after getting out to a hot start. And after entering this week one game over .500 at 18-17, two blowout losses have Maryland sitting with a losing record once again. Midweek struggles have contributed a lot to this, as the Terps have lost four of their last five midweek games.
Midweek pitching has struggled for the Terps, having given up 49 runs in their last five midweek games, almost 10 runs a game. That’s a big problem for a team who’s batting a combined .234, third-last in the conference. Maryland’s offense has scored just seven runs in its last three midweek outings.
Now, the Terps have a tough task this weekend as they welcome Ohio State to Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium for a massive weekend conference series. Despite the recent midweek and bullpen struggles, Maryland is 5-4 so far in the Big Ten, and a good showing against the Buckeyes could continue to help the Terps’ cause as the season winds down and postseason play approaches.
Up next: Ohio State (21-17, 4-5 Big Ten)
The Buckeyes have had some struggles in conference play, getting unexpectedly swept at home to Northwestern. However, they’ve also won two of three Big Ten series, including last weekend at home against Michigan.
The strength of Ohio State is its offense, and four players are currently hitting over .300 for the Buckeyes. Dominic Canzone and Cherry Brady are the heavy hitters for the team. Canzone is hitting .360/.446/.620 with nine home runs, 27 RBI and leads the team with 54 hits. Brady is hitting .322/394/.568 with eight home runs and 31 RBI, second on the team with 47 hits. The Buckeyes are hitting .277 as a team, third-best in the conference which is a valuable asset against a Maryland pitching staff with a combined 5.35 ERA, third worst in the conference.
Ohio State’s pitching staff carries a 4.64 team ERA, seventh in the conference. Their three starters all have ERAs below 4.25, and two have sub-4.00 ERAs. The weekend trio has a combined 13-6 record. Seth Lonsway leads the starters with 61 strikeouts and a .215 opponent batting average and Garrett Burhenn has the lowest ERA with a 3.16 ERA and 5-1 record.
The bullpen is the Buckeyes’ weakest link, as their best reliever has a 3.57 ERA and only two relievers are sub-4.00. From there, it gets progressively worse, so if the Buckeyes want to take the series, they need their starters to pitch deep the three games this weekend.
Storms in College Park on Friday have moved the start of the series to 1 p.m. ET Saturday. The teams will play a doubleheader Saturday and close the weekend at 1 p.m. Easter Sunday.