Matt Shaw, Rob Vaughn draw Big Ten postseason award ahead of conference tournament

Maryland baseball begins their postseason run with a pair of accolades after shortstop Matt Shaw was named Big Ten Player of the Year, while Rob Vaughn was selected as the Big Ten Coach of the Year.

Shaw leads the Big Ten with 23 home runs and is the program’s all-time home run leader (52), while he sits top-15 nationally in hits (84), RBIs (66) and runs (74). With the latest accolade coming one day after being named a USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award semifinalist, Shaw also holds the program record for career RBIs and is on pace to become the second straight Maryland player to record a season with 20-plus home runs and 20-plus stolen bases.

Vaughn’s award marks the second consecutive season that he’s been named conference coach of the year after leading Maryland to 22 straight conference series wins and becoming the first Big Ten team to repeat as regular season champions since 2013-14.

Catcher Luke Shliger and third baseman Nick Lorusso joined Shaw on the All-Big Ten First Team, while pitcher Jason Savacool and DH Ian Petrutz were named to the second team. Outfielder Elijah Lambros and pitcher Nick Dean were also named to the third team, while pitcher Kyle McCoy was named to the All-Big Ten Freshman team.

Now, Maryland baseball will look to turn the page and solidify their NCAA Tournament standing as the top seed in the Big Ten Tournament.

Maryland will return to action against eight-seed Michigan State on Tuesday, May 23rd at 7 PM EST on BTN.

The tournament matchup marks the first game between the two teams this season. Michigan State is coming off a series where they took two of three games against Indiana to Maryland secure the regular season conference championship. Overall, the Spartans are 32-20 (12-12 B1G) this season, the most since 2016, but they’ll have to overcome a lack of experience as Michigan State makes its first conference tournament since 2018, meaning no active Spartan has suited up for a postseason conference run.

Offensively, Michigan State sits right behind Maryland at second in the conference in batting average and first in the conference in triples this season.  Maryland’s pitching will be tested once again with the Spartans averaging 7.35 runs per game and Brock Vradenburg has been the spark for the Spartans, hitting .397 on the season and sits top five in the conference in runs (61), RBIs (66) and doubles (21). Defensively, Michigan State pitchers have an ERA of 5.5 and a fielding percentage of 97.2%. The Spartans have a solid pitching staff and can cause problems for opposing teams only giving up a batting average of .268 to their opponents, but they’ll have their hands full with a Maryland team leading the conference in batting average (.317).

If Maryland beats Michigan State in their first game, they will play the winner of Nebraska and Rutgers. If Maryland falls on Tuesday, they will play the loser of Nebraska and Rutgers instead. The conference tournament is a double elimination, so if the Terps do end up being upset in the first game, they will have to win out to win the tournament in order to preserve their NCAA Tournament hopes.

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