#3 in the nation. 21-3 overall and 5-1 in the ACC. Most wins, shutouts, and strikeouts in the country. #6 ERA in the nation. Sounds impressive right? Too bad none of it will truly matter this weekend when Maryland comes to town to take on the Hoos at the Dav.
2 years ago (2009) the Cavaliers entered their weekend series against UNC with an identical 21-2 record and the #8 ranking in the country. The Hoos went on to lose the series dropping two 1 run losses. Granted, this year's Terps squad is nowhere as good as the 2009 Tar Heels (who went on to play in Omaha), but no team will be taken lightly by a Virginia baseball squad. It appears that the Cavaliers relented a little bit this past Tuesday against Towson in their 6-0 victory over the Tigers. Coach O'Connor recognized this and apparently had a strong talk with the boys. Trust me when I tell you, those "conversations" are not pleasant.
Ther Terps will enter the weekend on somewhat of a high note. They defeated GWU this past Tuesday in College Park and will be looking to make a big splash in Charlottesville. Unfortunately, for UMD, the rest of the season hasnt been as exciting. They have an overall record of 11-10 and a 1-5 ACC record with the lone win coming against BC last weekend. There are not many expectations this year when it comes to the Maryland baseball team. They lost their best player from last year, David Poutier, to graduation and have 22 new comers to this years squad.
The two starting pitchers that have been announced for the Terps come in with fairly attractive stats. Junior RHP David Carroll has a 4-1 ERA and a 2.84 ERA in 31 IP. The Sunday starter, LHP Eric Potter has an impressive 3.13 ERA but his record isnt as impressive at 2-2. The Terps pen even has two arms that have been highlights so far this year. Korey Wacker and Charlie Haslup both have ERAs just over 1 and have been holding opponents to a batting average just over .100. Even though Marlyand has shown some promise with their starters and a little out of the pen, I don't think the 'Hoos bats should have a big problem. They have come through when it mattered most and that should continue this weekend.
Like on the mound, at the plate the Terps aren't the cream of the ACC crop either. They will have only two position players that have logged significant starts with batting averages over .325. Like the Cavaliers, Maryland hasn't hit too many home runs. With only 6 on the year they don't seem to be a power threat. I don't see how that is even possible because Maryland plays in a cracker jack box and my high school team could hit home runs there! The Terps appear to also be prone to strikeouts. Clemson and FSU were better teams but strikeout prone and we know how that worked out for the 'Hoos. UMD certainly doesn't have a strong lineup and I don't expect the 'Hoos staff to have too difficult of a time with them.
Not many people expected Maryland to make many waves this year in the ACC. Those many people are correct. These two teams are on opposite ends of the spectrum and I expect it to show on the scoreboard. While I certainly can't expect the games to be blowouts, I absolutely expect the Cavaliers to win all 3 and fairly handedly. As always, I will be providing updates on Twitter @STLUVABaseball and of course as Editor in Chief Brian or the lady with the sexy voice on the radio says "Goooooooooooooo Hooooooooooos!"