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Maryland baseball vs TCU series preview

The Terps will attempt to end their three-game road skid in Fort Worth, Texas.

Maryland baseball, mound huddle, 2020 Tyler DeSue / Testudo Times

After winning four of its last five home games, Maryland baseball heads back on the road and will face TCU in its upcoming series.

The Terps (10-5) were unable to come away with a win against James Madison University Wednesday afternoon, falling 4-2 for its fifth loss of the season.

Only four different Terps collected hits, with junior outfielder Randy Bednar and sophomore Maxwell Costes leading the way for Maryland offensively. The Terps scored two quick runs in the bottom of the first inning, but were unable to generate much else all game en route to the loss.

However, Maryland is coming off of a dominant three-game home series sweep over Bryant, outscoring the Bulldogs 35-9.

“It’s huge when we can get guys at the bottom of our lineup producing like they can,” junior outfielder Chris Alleyne said on the recent sweep. “So when our lineup kind of works like that all the way one through nine, I mean we’re a pretty dangerous team like you saw this weekend.”

Friday’s game against TCU is scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m. ET, Saturday’s first pitch is at 3 p.m. ET and Sunday’s finale will begin at 2 p.m. ET.

Texas Christian University (11-4)

2019 record: 34-28 (11-13 Big 12)

Head Coach Jim Schlossnagle leads a strong baseball program in TCU and remains the university’s all-time winningest coach. Schlossnagle has an outstanding resume, going 682-323 (.679) as the head coach at TCU and 759-370 (.672) in 18 years as a head coach. The Horned Frogs finished with 38 solid wins last season and the team is finding its groove with a quick 11-4 start to the 2020 season.

Hitters to know

Redshirt senior Gene Wood is the driving force offensively for this Horned Frogs attack. The infielder is extremely efficient in getting on base and is batting a strong .353 with 18 total hits this season. Wood also has the most home runs on TCU (5) and is tied for the most RBIs on the team (14). It’s hard to find much weakness in Wood’s offensive game, as he leads the team with a .706 slugging percentage and a .514 on-base percentage. Shutting down this redshirt senior will be a daunting task for the Terps.

Junior Gray Rodgers is a tough player to keep off of base in any game and Maryland will have to pitch its best to avoid letting him exploit the pitching staff. The infielder has the most hits on the team with 22 and has had seven multi-hit games this season. He leads the team in batting average (.373), is second on the team in slugging percentage (.559) and is also second on the team in on-base percentage (.464). Rodgers may not be the flashiest of players offensively with just two home runs on the season, but he finds a way to make it on base consistently.

Senior Zach Humphreys is more of a wild card than anything for this TCU team offensively. The catcher has started in 12 of 15 appearances for the Horned Frogs and has collected a decent .295 batting average this season. Despite four other players having more games played than him, Humphreys has the fifth-most hits on the roster to go along with the least amount of strikeouts amongst the main starters. If Humphrey’s can get it going against Maryland, the Terps will struggle to handle the offensive depth that TCU has.

Pitchers to know

Redshirt sophomore Russell Smith is one of the most dominant pitchers, if not the most dominant pitcher, on this Horned Frogs pitching staff. The 6’9 pitcher is 2-0 in four starts this season and has allowed just six earned runs to show for it. In 21.0 innings, Smith has surrendered just 15 hits and two walks to go along with a team-high 27 strikeouts. To top it off, opposing batters are hitting at a .192 batting average when Smith is on the mound this season.

Senior pitcher Charles King has pitched the most innings for TCU this season with exactly 22 under his belt. However, at 2-1 on the season, King currently has the worst ERA out of the starting pitchers with a 4.50 ERA. Also of note, the senior has given up the most earned runs (11) and the most hits (27) on the Horned Frogs. If the Terps want to find a weaker spot on this TCU pitching staff, they look no further than King this upcoming weekend.

Senior pitcher Haylen Green is just about as consistent as they come for relief pitchers. Green is making himself known across the nation for his stellar start to the new season for TCU. The left-handed pitcher has appeared in eight games and has pitched 17.2 innings of work. In those innings, Green has allowed no earned runs and just seven hits, along with 19 strikeouts. He has faced a total of 58 batters meaning that Green has struck out around 33 percent of the batters he has faced this season. The senior is a tough pitcher to figure out and he’s another hurdle in the way for the Terps.


TCU has dominated its home turf. The Horned Frogs are 8-1 at home to start the season. The only home loss TCU has surrendered was against UT Arlington with a 6-4 loss. The Horned Frogs swept the University of California, Berkeley and Kentucky at home. TCU has only let up 25 runs at home through nine games, good enough for just under three runs per contest given up at Lupton Stadium.


A tendency to lose close games late. In two of TCU’s four losses this season, the game was lost in the latter parts of both outings. In a 6-4 loss to UT Arlington, the Horned Frogs allowed two runs in the top of the twelfth inning. Then, against a college powerhouse in Vanderbilt, TCU surrendered a walk-off run in the bottom of the ninth. If the Terps want to find any success against TCU, coming up clutch in the late innings will be necessary.

Three things to know

1. How will Maryland respond to another big series? The TCU series is Maryland’s second big test of the season. The Terps will face their strongest opponent since Coastal Carolina, in which Maryland lost all three games to the Chanticleers.

Just like Coastal Carolina, the Horned Frogs have a very efficient pitching staff — something that the Terps struggled with in their last road series. Maryland managed to only score five runs in its entire last road series. The Terps will have to keep their bats hot to combat TCU’s dominant pitching.

“It doesn’t matter who we play,” head coach Rob Vaughn said. “I’m going to judge our stuff just against us every single time we go out.”

2. Will Burke continue his brilliant pitching for the Terps? Redshirt freshman pitcher Sean Burke is the ace of this Maryland team. After four starts and two wins for Burke, his confidence on the mound continues to grow.

Following a season-high 11 strikeouts against Bryant, Burke currently has the most strikeouts by a freshman pitcher in Division I baseball with 35 total strikeouts on the season.

And it’s not just strikeouts. The 6’6 right-handed pitcher has let up just five earned runs in four starts. Burke is consistently giving the Terps a chance to win every outing he starts on the mound.

3. Will Costes continues to be reliable for the Terps on offense? Sophomore Maxwell Costes is red-hot from the plate as of late and that should be true even against a strong TCU pitching staff. The infielder is near the top of the nation in on-base percentage and has the highest batting average on the Terps’ roster.

“I don’t feel like there’s any, any team that can outdo us,” Costes said.

The slugger also has the highest slugging percentage and is leading the team in home runs with four on the season. If Maryland hopes to beat TCU this weekend, Costes will play a big role on the offense throughout the series.