Maryland baseball set to face Northeastern in Winston-Salem Regional

After following up a regular season conference title with their first-ever conference tournament title, Maryland baseball drew the two-seed in the Winston-Salem regional bracket where they will be facing the Northeastern Huskies, Wake Forest Demon Deacons, and the George Mason Patriots.

Maryland hosted Wake Forest in the College Park regional last year, defeating the Demon Deacons by a score of 10-5, but this year the Demon Deacons are the host and the favorites to advance to the super regional as they are the number one overall seed in the entire tournament. Wake Forest finished the season 47-10 overall, going 22-7 in conference play. The Demon Deacons, however, did not win the ACC Tournament after losing to Miami 7-2 in the semifinal game. Like the Terps, Wake Forest did not lose a single series in conference play this year as Wake Forest comfortably has the lowest ERA in the entire country, allowing only 2.82 runs per nine innings. Wake Forest has three pitchers in the top 25 nationally in ERA in Rhett Lowder, Seth Keener, and Josh Hartle as Lowder leads the team with just a 1.69 ERA, good for second in the country. Wake Forest has the offensive firepower to go along with the arms as they enter the weekend eighth in the country in runs per game with 8.9, just three spots below the Terps who are fifth with 9.2 runs per game. If the Terps are to move on to the super regional, the pitching will need to return to the form that guided them through the conference tournament run.

The Terps’ first opponent in the regional is Northeastern, who finished the season 44-14 including a 9-2 win in a midweek game in College Park. The Huskies are coming off a conference tournament championship game loss where they lost to UNC Wilmington, 5-4. Northeastern is a team that relies on its pitching to win games and sits second in the country in ERA allowing just 3.57 runs per nine innings only behind Wake Forest. During the season, the Huskies went 3-0 against ranked teams and did so by a combined score of 27-7. Aiven Cabral is the leader for the Huskies when it comes to pitching, entering Friday 12th in the country in ERA and allowing just 2.26 runs per nine innings as a freshman. On offense, the Huskies love the long ball just like the Terps. Northeastern is 16th in the country in total home runs hitting 103 so far this season. Mike Sirota is the leader for the Huskies on offense leading the team in batting average, OPS, runs scored, home runs, slugging percentage, walks, and on-base percentage.

While they are the four seed in the regional, George Mason is a sleeper and enters the regional with a 34-25 record and is coming off the Atlantic 10 conference tournament championship where they beat St. Louis, 4-1. The Patriots as a team have a .278 batting average while scoring 6.53 runs per game as well as pitching an ERA of 4.74. The Patriots are not a team that tends to hit a lot of home runs, only hitting 30 on the year so far. One thing George Mason does do a lot offensively however is steal bases. The Patriots have stolen 158 bases so far this season which is fourth in the country. They might be a small ball type of team but if they can catch a team sleeping they will tear you apart on the base paths. This season, the Patriots have only used two pitchers as starters consistently with both pitching over 70 innings in Chad Gartland and Ben Shields. No other pitchers have pitched more than 40.2 innings for George Mason. While they might not be as dangerous as Wake Forest and Northeastern, as the low seed they will have a chip on their should and will be out to prove that they belong.

Maryland’s first game will be on Friday against Northeastern at 1 PM at Wake Forest. The winner takes on the winner between Wake Forest vs. George Mason

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