This weekend the Hoos travel to College Park to take on the struggling Maryland Terrapins. Fortunately for the Cavaliers, the Terps have been struggling on the baseball field for about six years now. Over my three years with the team we lost Maryland once in the nine games we played them. The Sunday game was moved to a double header Friday and a 1pm game on Saturday to avoid the impending weather in the College Park area.
This year UMD comes into the game with a 15-25 overall record and a 4-14 mark in the ACC. Those 4 wins have been single victories against VPI&SU, GT, UNC, and BC. If you understood that to mean they haven't won an ACC series this year, you would be right. On the mound they struggle with all three of their weekend starters. None of the starters have an ERA below 4 and only one of the pitchers on the team has a winning record.
Back to the weekend starters, their Friday starter, Brett Harman, has a 4-5 record and a 4.36 ERA. The other two starters have a combined 2-12 record and average about a 7 ERA. The first game on friday will be the dangerous day as that is the day the Terps were able to steal wins away from GT (Deck McGuire) and UNC (Matt Harvey).
At the plate the Terps have a stud at the top. Brandon Padula, a transfer from WVU, is leading UMD with a .396 20 runs and 29 RBIs. Padula will be a tough out and if Hoos can keep him off the basepaths they will be in good shape. The other player at the plate the Cavs need to keep an eye on is senior David Poutier. I am a homer for Poutier as he is the younger brother of former Cavalier Robert Poutier and was a teammate from 8th grade til I graduated from Grafton. David is a stud as well and almost single-handedly beat us last year.
The Hoos shouldn't really have a problem with the Terps this weekend. Coach O'Connor has never really struggled against Maryland and I don't expect them to start this year. With Miami playing FSU this weekend and GT playing VPI&SU this could be a weekend that the Hoos make up some ground on GT as they come down the home stretch in the season. The Cavs are only 3 games behind GT right now and should sweep Maryland this weekend to move to 34-9 overall and 15-6 in the conference.
As for my prediction record this year, after correctly predicting the Cavs to take two games from the Turkeys and win both midweek games this week, my record is at 36/40 (VMI, Wright St, FSU, NC St).....a .900 winning percentage. I don't want to toot my own horn but I would say thats pretty good. Follow along this weekend with my tweets @STLUVaBaseball GO HOOS