Maryland baseball was coming off a successful weekend at Penn State, winning two of three against the Nittany Lions to climb back to .500 and improve its conference record to 8-7.
In the midweek, the Terps continued their recent trend of success, one-hitting Villanova, 5-2. Tyler Blohm, in his second start back from injury, struck out six in 3.1 hitless innings. The Terps ended up striking out 15 batters on the day, but gave up five walks, one of which induced an RBI.
The offense has helped carry the Terps as they’ve won four of their last five games, scoring five runs or more in each of those contests and in seven of their last eight games dating back to the Ohio State series. The team batting average has risen to .249, led by AJ Lee, who has really come into his own lately. He’s hitting .314 for the season after struggling to keep it above .200 early on. Lee is hitting above .350 since returning from injury in March and over .400 since changing his walk-up song to “Old Town Road” by Lil Nas X.
Maryland looks to continue its recent run of success this weekend as conference-leading Michigan comes to town, looking to further stamp a No. 1 seed for the Big Ten tournament and ink a NCAA Tournament berth.
Up next: Michigan (31-11, 11-3 Big Ten)
The Wolverines, led by former Maryland head coach Erik Bakich, are riding a six-game Big Ten winning streak coming into this weekend thanks to two straight conference series sweeps against Northwestern and Rutgers.
Michigan missed out on an NCAA Tournament berth last year after what was a remarkable season, capped off with a 20-game winning streak. The Wolverines have been dominant at home in 2019, going 19-2, but are just 8-8 on the road entering this weekend in College Park.
The offense is a large part of Michigan’s success this season, as the team is batting at a .287 clip. Three players are batting over .300, including Jordan Brewer, who’s leading the team, batting .378/.428/.685 with 11 home runs and 41s RBI. He is one of two Wolverines with double-digit home runs, along with Jesse Franklin, and one of four with six home runs or more. Jordan Nwogu is also having a great season at the plate, batting .350/.481/.569 with four home runs, 22 RBIs, 12 stolen bases and 43 hits.
On the mound, Michigan has been dominant with a 3.09 team ERA. All three weekend starters have an ERA below 2.65. Karl Kauffmann leads the trio with a 2.40 ERA and a 7-3 record in 71.1 innings pitched, averaging close to six innings a start this season. Benjamin Keizer and Tommy Henry both have 2.61 ERAs and a combined 10-3 record, giving up 37 earned runs in 127.2 innings pitched. Like they did against Penn State on Friday, the Terps need to jump on Michigan pitching early if they want any chance of possibly taking a game or the series.
The series begins Friday at 6:30 p.m. ET and the games will be streamed on BTN Plus.