COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Maryland opens its 2017 campaign at the Clearwater Tournament at Spectrum Field, spring training home of the Philadelphia Phillies, in Clearwater, Fla. No. 12 Louisville, Ball State and Alabama State will be the Terps’ opponents.
Setting the stage
• The 2017 season will be head coach John Szefc’s fifth season in College Park. Szefc has led the Terps to four straight 30-win seasons and two NCAA Super Regional appearances, both program firsts. He is eight wins away from becoming the fastest head coach in Terrapin history to reach the 150-win mark.
• Maryland is ranked in four national polls to open 2017; D1Baseball (22), Perfect Game (23), Baseball America (24) and the NCBWA poll (25). The Terps are the only Big Ten team ranked in any of those respective polls.
• The Terps topped the Big Ten preseason coaches poll while D1Baseball, Perfect Game and Baseball America named Maryland the Big Ten favorites for the 2017 season. It is the third straight year D1Baseball has tabbed the Terps its Big Ten preseason frontrunner.
• Maryland returns 11 player that totaled 410 starts last season, 80 percent of the team’s total. That experience extends to the mound where the Terps bring back six players that made up 73 percent of the squad’s total starts. Maryland lost just one player that made a start on the mound last season (Mike Shawaryn).
Weekend Pitching Match-Ups
|Friday||RHP-Brian Shaffer, Jr. (0-0, 0.00, 0 K)||RHP BJ Butler, Sr. (0-0, 0.00, 0 K)|
|Saturday||RHP-Taylor Bloom, Jr. (0-0, 0.00, 0 K)||RHP Kade McClure, Jr. (0-0, 0.00, 0 K)|
|Sunday||TBD||RHP Terrell McCall, So. (0-0, 0.00, 0 K)|
• Sophomore Marty Costes led all Big Ten freshman with nine home runs in 2016 and earned Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors twice, en route to being named to the Big Ten All-Freshman team.
• Costes was also named a freshman All-American by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper.
• The Baltimore native had a standout summer, earning Cal Ripken League All-Star honors after batting .319 with seven home runs for the Baltimore Redbirds.
Starring from the Six
• Junior Kevin Smith is a Baseball America and Perfect Game preseason first-team All-American after a spectacular summer that saw him emerge as one of the top prospects in the nation. He is Perfect Game, Baseball America and D1Baseball.com’s preseason Big Ten Player of the Year.
• USA Baseball placed Smith on its preseason Golden Spikes Award Watch List.
• Smith raked in summer honors, with D1Baseball.com tabbing him as its Breakout Summer Prospect. Perfect Game named Smith an honorable mention summer All-American and the best defensive infielder in the CCBL. The scouting service also has Smith ranked 10th in its junior prospects list. D1Baseball and Baseball America named Smith the top prospect in the Big Ten.
GET IT DUNN
• Sophomore Nick Dunn led Maryland in average (.300) and doubles (16) in 2016. He was tabbed third-team All-Big Ten and was named to the Big Ten All-Freshman Team.
• The Sunbury, Pa., native followed that up with a big summer in Cape Cod, earling all-star and all-league honors after batting .311 with eight doubles for the Brewster Whitecaps.
• Dunn started all 57 games and notched 39 runs scored en route to being named a Freshman All-American by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper.
• The duo has more combined starts (29) than walks (22).
• A native of Severna Park, Md., Bloom threw five complete games, the most in the Big Ten and tied for 8th in the country. He was second in the nation in WHIP.
• Shaffer was a workhorse for the Terps, tossing 103.2 IP, the third-most in school history. His 2.60 ERA ranked ninth in the Big Ten.