Sunday, February 23, 2014

College Baseball: In College Park, an Early Sweep

Maryland v. Bryant, Shipley Field, February 23, 2014 (photo / T. Flynn)

By Boxer Journal Feb. 23, 2014
College Park, MD - Predicting the strength of Maryland's baseball team before the start of their ACC schedule is often a difficult, if not impossible, task.

This year, the job may be a little easier.

Maryland (4-2) began the 2014 season by traveling to Gainesville to face a ranked SEC team in Florida. Despite dropping two of three, the Terps took a game from the Gators (5-3), and played Florida closely in all three contests.

Returning home to College Park, they swept their three-game series with the Bryant Bulldogs (0-3) of the NEC in commanding fashion. They also showed they may have baseball's most valuable commodity: pitching.

On Saturday, they beat the Bulldogs by a 3-0 score in both ends of a doubleheader. In the first game junior Jake Stinnett (1-1) retired 17 straight batters en route to earning the shutout, while striking out 11. The Park School's Ben Brewster picked up his first career save in relief.

In game two, junior standout Charlie White tied the school's all-time stolen base record with his first theft of the season. Mike Shawaryn (2-0) scattered just four hits through six innings for the win.

On Sunday, the Terps closed out the sweep with a 7-3 victory. Bryant, located in Smithfield, Rhode Island, looked the part of a northern team opening the season as they sent a flurry of shots to the right side of the field off right-handed bats.

Brewster again appeared in relief, and the left-hander with the halting motion was perfect in 1 1/3 innings. Alex Robinson struck out two of the three batters he faced to close out Sunday's game.

Second year head coach John Szefc, who led the team to its most ACC victories in over 40 years last season, spoke about his team's strong pitching following the series, "We only walked four guys in three games and gave up three runs. When you limit the amount of freebies like that, good stuff is going to happen."

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