Maryland baseball was one out away from sweeping Ohio State in a Saturday doubleheader to start the teams’ series. The win would’ve given the Terps their third straight series win, something that hasn’t happened for several years.
However, closer John Murphy was unable to shut the door, allowing them to tie the game, eventually winning in the 11th. Then, the Terps dropped Sunday’s matinee to lose the series, dropping to 19-21 overall and 6-6 in the conference, which has become a battleground for eighth place.
The ship was righted on Tuesday as Maryland defeated VCU handily, 10-5, sweeping their three meetings on the season. The Rams came into the game 28-12, but the Terps came out swinging early and often.
Midweek games by this point in the season are crucial for a team to stay fresh before their conference weekend series. Maryland had a few days after the win to train before heading out to State College, Pennsylvania to take on Penn State this weekend.
This is a crucial series for Maryland, who are looking to improve on their conference record for a chance at the Big Ten Tournament. After this series, Maryland has three more series left, two of them at home, so away series wins, now more than ever, are needed.
Up next: Penn State (18-18, 1-13 Big Ten)
The Nittany Lions, despite having the worst conference record in the Big Ten, still have a better overall record than the Terps. Penn State is 17-5 in nonconference games this season, but hasn’t been able to pull through in league play.
The offense has struggled this season, batting .229 as a team. One player, Jordan Bowersox, is batting .300 or better and two players, Gavin Horner and Kris Kremer, have four home runs, the highest total on the team. Kremer also leads the team with 20 RBIs, which is hardly a great total for a team leader 36 games into the season.
It’s the pitching that has carried the Nittany Lions. All three of their weekend starters have an ERA of 4.00 or lower, led by Dante Biasi, who despite his 3-3 record in 10 starts has a 1.75 ERA in 56.2 innings and has given up 11 earned runs. Their other weekend starters, Eric Mock and Bailey Dees, have given up a combined 42 earned runs in 90.2 innings this season. Mason Mellott, who based on his stats is more of a long reliever for Penn State, has a 1.94 ERA in 51 innings over 16 appearances, also giving up 11 earned runs.
Maryland, who is currently batting .249 as a team, will need to work the count in Happy Valley this weekend. The first game of the series is Friday night at 6:30 p.m. ET.