With the fall season complete, the Maryland baseball team will shift its focus over the next month to individual strength and development, with an eye towards the Omaha Challenge the week after Thanksgiving.
So with an eye towards the upcoming year, it's a good time to look back at Maryland's fall season, in particular the Red & Black World Series, which the Black team swept three games to none.
When taking a look at how the black team swept the series - they won 6-1, 3-2 and 6-2 - it's easy to see pitching was key. In 21 innings (game two was shortened to seven innings, game three to five innings) the Black team combined for a 1.71 ERA and more impressively, 22 strikeouts to just five walks. Limiting freebies will be a key to success in 2012, as head coach Erik Bakich has pointed out, so it was good to see that.
Senior David Carroll and junior Jimmy Reed were particularly good for the Black team. Carroll started in game one and pitched four scoreless innings, striking out six, allowing just one hit and walking none. He then came on in relief in game three and retired all four batters he faced. Reed, who was one of several Terps to have terrific summer seasons, made two appearances and earned saves in both. The lefty totaled 1 2/3 innings and retired all five batters he faced, including two strikeouts.
Charlie Haslup was also solid on the mound, pitching 3 2/3 innings of relief in game two and allowing a run on two hits with a couple of strikeouts. Haslup, now a junior, enjoyed a breakout season in 2011, finishing second on the team with a 3.66 ERA while holding opponents to a .209 batting average.
Offensively, Alfredo Rodriguez displayed the type of plate discipline you'd expect from someone who has started the last 121 games for Maryland. The senior shortstop was 4 of 6 with four walks (.800 on-base percentage) and he scored four runs. Rodriguez also led a strong defensive effort as the Black team committed just one error in three games.
Other key contributors for the black team included: sophomore Charlie White, who was 4 of 8 with four runs and three stolen bases; freshman A.J. Lardo, who went 4 of 10 with a double; freshman Brent Jones, who was 3 of 8 with three RBI; and junior Jack Cleary turned all three of his hits into doubles and had four RBI.
For the Red team, freshmen Anthony Papio and K.J. Hockaday led the way offensively. Papio went 4 of 5 with two doubles, a walk and two sacrifice hits, while Hockaday was 2 of 5 with a double and a walk. Freshman lefty Robert Galligan was solid on the mound, totaling 3 1/3 innings without an earned run. Senior Sander Beck pitched three innings of relief in game two and allowed one run on three hits while striking out two.
And as they did last season, the players put together a special batting practice Sunday morning in which they all wore their Halloween costumes. It can't be easy taking BP in a Batman costume or sliding into third base as a Power Ranger. Thanks to Wayne R. for the photos.
Finally, be sure to check back to umterps.com as the season approaches and for updates on the program from head coach Erik Bakich, follow him on Twitter @umterpsbaseball.