Super Regional Preview: Maryland's Offense

Kyle Laferriere-US PRESSWIRE

Maryland's team isn't based around it's hitting, but it could be key this weekend when the Terps come to Charlottesville.

Maryland's strong suit is obviously it's pitching staff. Unfortunately for most of the teams they have come across since the beginning of the ACC tournament, the hitting has done more than enough going 5-2 over that span.

Since the start of the ACC tournament, the Terps have averaged nearly 6 runs per game. It wasn't nearly that high in the Columbia Regional, but they were able to string together enough hits to put up 10 runs on South Carolina in the final game to win the Regional.

Their overall hitting stats aren't overly daunting, but they do say that Maryland is overly aggressive. The Terps only have 526 hits on the season which places them at 7th in the ACC and 108th overall. They also have only batted .271 as a team which is good enough for 7th in the conference and 134th in the country.

They make up for those stats being super aggressive at the plate and on the basepaths. They are head and shoulders above the rest of the conference in the HBP category WITH 125 HBP. The next closest team is FSU with only 84. They're also tops in the country in that category, but the difference is not nearly as dramatic. Because they don't overwhelm the opposition with hits, they are constantly on the move when they get on base. They've got 84 stolen bases on the season, only 5 behind Clemson for the Conference lead, but 13 ahead of third place UNC. In comparison, the Hoos, who have been considered an aggressive team on the basepaths, only have 60 on the season.

They are lead in large part by RFr infielder, Brandon Lowe who is 2nd on the team in RBI (39) but leads the team in average (.339) and slugging (.462). More impressive is he is near the bottom of the team in strikeouts with only 19 in 171 at bats. Limiting the base runners with Lowe at the plate will be key for the UVa pitching staff.

The leaders of the "let's stand on top of the plate and run like the wind when we get on base" brigade for the Terps are clearly Blake Shmit and Charlie White. Both have 19 HBP on the year to match Kyle Convissar's 19, but Shmit and White have combined for 40 of Maryland's 84 SBs on the season. I don't know if buzzing their towers a couple times will back them off the plate, but someone needs to.

In all, they're not a great hitting team. They've gotten lukewarm over the last two weeks, but a majority of their runs are due to crowding the plate and then pressuring the pitcher and catcher to keep them honest on the basepaths. Luckily for UVa, they are one of the best teams in the country at doing that, only allowing 19 stolen bases and 39 HBP on the year.

Oh, and if ANYONE says this is a "power hitting team," take a look at their crackerjack box of a "stadium" and the one they took advantage of in Greensboro. Nope.

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