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Indiana baseball series preview: Maryland

Cole Barr rounds the bases after hitting a home run in Indiana’s loss to Kent State. (Kurt Spitler/HN)

After losing 9-8 in 12 innings to Kent State on Wednesday, Indiana baseball (15-9) will look to get back on track this weekend at Maryland.

The Kent State game snapped Indiana’s eight game win streak and was their first loss at home on the year. Fortunately for Indiana, Maryland hasn’t been playing very good baseball as of late. Last weekend, the Terrapins hosted Creighton for a three-game series and got swept. Maryland is just 4-6 at home too.

For the season, Maryland has been very inconsistent and holds an overall record of 12-11. Maryland hasn’t been tested in conference play yet either, their matchup with Indiana will be their first series in Big Ten play this season.

Indiana’s sweep of Iowa last weekend has them tied for first in the Big Ten standings along with Nebraska and Minnesota who are also undefeated in the conference.

Now, let’s take a look at what Maryland is going to bring to the series.

Pitching

The pitching staff would certainly be Maryland’s strength. As a team, their ERA is 3.82 and they boast a very formidable group of weekend starters.

The weekend starters are as follows:

  • Friday: Senior, Hunter Parsons (RHP)
  • Saturday: Sophomore, Zach Thompson (RHP)
  • Sunday: Freshman, Trevor LaBonte (RHP)

Parsons has been solid and has pitched more than anyone on the team with 41 innings in six appearances. The senior has a 2.63 ERA to go along with a 3-2 record and leads the team with 35 strikeouts.

Thompson is another reliable starter for the Terrapins. He’s thrown 34.2 innings in six appearances as well for a 1-2 record and 3.63 ERA. He hasn’t given up a home run and has 30 strikeouts on the season.

LaBonte doesn’t pitch like a freshman. In his six appearances and 27.1 innings pitched, LaBonte holds a 2.63 ERA and 1-2 record. The freshman has 25 strikeouts on the season and has only given up one home run and 19 total hits on the season. Opponents have a .198 batting average against LaBonte.

Hitting

On the other end of the spectrum, Maryland’s bats are struggling.

As a team, they hit for a .232 average and don’t have anyone that hits over .300. The long ball isn’t a strength for the Terrapins either. As a team, they’ve hit 20 on the season.

Maryland’s two most dangerous hitters would be senior third baseman Taylor Wright and freshman infielder and outfielder Maxwell Costes.

Wright has the team’s highest batting average at .297 and has 11 RBIs with one home run on the season. He has taken 15 walks and struck out 16 times on the year. He had a rough Creighton series though, going 3 for 11 from the plate.

Costes is hitting for a .279 batting average and has three home runs with 19 RBIs as well. Similar to Wright, Costes has struck out 16 times but has only taken 10 walks. He is also slumping after going through a rough 2-for-13 weekend from the plate last weekend.

Young Roster

Part of Maryland’s inconsistency can be attributed to their youth. The Terrapins have a particularly young roster. Of their 35 players on their roster, 23 of them are underclassmen.

Moreover, the Terrapins only have four seniors on the entire team. All four of them consistently play. Wright and AJ Lee make up the left half of the infield, with Wright manning third base and Lee taking shortstop. Parsons is the team’s ace and Friday starter and John Murphy is a consistent relief pitcher for the Terrapins.

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