Terps Play Host To #4 North Carolina
March 15, 2012
No. 4 North Carolina (14-3, 3-0) at Maryland (13-4, 0-3)
Probable Pitching Matchups
In its sweep of St. Peter's, Maryland recorded its fourth and fifth shutouts of the season, winning 9-0 and 1-0. RHP Sander Beck improved to 3-0 and lowered his ERA to 1.56 with six shutout innings in game one, striking out five and surrendering just three hits. In game two, right-handers Michael Boyden, Will Bouey, Charlie Haslup and lefty Korey Wacker combined to shutout the Peacocks again, while shortstop Alfredo Rodriguez provided his second game-winning hit of the year with a walk-off single in the bottom of the 7th.
Though they were roughed up a bit last weekend, Maryland's starting rotation of Brady Kirkpatrick, David Carroll and Brett Harman has been excellent for the most part this season. The trio has a combined ERA of 2.67, and Harman ranks seventh in the conference with his 1.48 mark.
Rodriguez and outfielder Michael Montville have been swinging the bat well of late, with Rodriguez hitting a team-high .394 over the last 10 games, and Montville entering the weekend riding an eight-game hitting streak, the longest by a Terp this season. In addition to his offense, Rodriguez has also played superb defense - he's the only shortstop in the ACC that hasn't committed an error yet. He has a team-high 42 assists, 36 putouts and has helped turn seven of Maryland's 11 double plays.
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Scouting North Carolina...
Sophomore third baseman and 2011 All-America Colin Moran leads the Tar Heel offense with a .377 batting average, 21 RBIs and a .565 slugging percentage. Senior catcher Jacob Stallings is right behind Moran with a .344 average, 14 RBIs and a team-high .455 on-base percentage.
North Carolina's pitching staff has a 2.67 ERA that ranks third in the league behind Maryland and NC State. Friday-night starter Kent Emanuel has a 1.08 ERA, which is tied for third best in the ACC. Closer Michael Morin has a 0.00 ERA in 12 1/3 innings and is tied for the conference lead with six saves.
Series history: Maryland trails the all-time series with North Carolina, 48-126. The Tar Heels are on a five-game winning streak.
What To Watch For This Weekend...
The Terps are undefeated (7-0) at home this year, outscoring their opponents 38-4 in those games. North Carolina is 5-0 in road games.
North Carolina is hitting .289 as a team, which ranks seventh in the ACC. Maryland is the only conference team holding its opponents under a .200 batting average (.199).
Brett Harman ranks 10th in school history with 203 career strikeouts. Next on the list is Bob Grossman (1970-72), who is in ninth place with 212.
Jimmy Reed's five saves already rank t-9th on Maryland's single-season list. With two more, he can move into a tie for third.
Shutting Down the Opponent...
Starting Pitching Sets the Tone...
Kirkpatrick has excelled in his role as the Friday-night starter, going deeper into the game in each start until last weekend. After going 5 1/3 innings while allowing just one unearned run in the season-opening win at No. 14 UCLA, Kirkpatrick went 7 1/3 shutout innings against Western Carolina on 2/26, striking out five and surrendering just four hits. Against Manhattan (3/2), Kirkpatrick went 8 innings and allowed just one earned run on three hits. He was in good shape last weekend until allowing a seven-run fifth inning to Wake Forest.
Carroll bounced back from a tough first start of the year (3 IP, 4 R at UCLA) to give two straight dominant performances. The 6-foot-8 senior matched a career high with eight strikeouts two weeknds ago against Purdue (2/26), spreading out four hits in 7 innings while surrendering one unearned run. He held the Boilermakers, who came in with a .343 batting average, to a .148 clip. Against Manhattan (3/3), he pitched a complete game (7 innings) two-hitter, striking out six and allowing one unearned run. Last weekend against Wake Forest, however, the senior was chased after allowing five runs (four earned) in four innings.
Harman has been steady too, making his return after redshirting last season due to Tommy John surgery. After going 5.0 innings without allowing an earned run in each of his first two starts, Harman turned in seven shutout innings against Manhattan (3/5), allowing just three hits while striking out five and not issuing a walk. Harman pitched 7 1/3 against Wake Forest last weekend, but allowed four runs on seven hits in suffering his first loss of the year.
Bullpen Looking Sharp...
In 47 total innings of work, Maryland's bullpen ERA is 1.53.
Reed is a perfect 5-for-5 on save chances which ranks t-3rd in the league and seventh nationally. In 9 innings, the lefty has allowed just four hits (.143 opponent b/avg) and struck out 11 without issuing a walk or allowing a run.
Boyden has pitched 7 1/3 innings in relief and has made two starts. Coming out of the pen, he has a 2.45 ERA.
Wacker is second on the team with eight appearances and has a 0.82 ERA in 11 innings of work. He's struck out nine and allowed just seven hits.
Haslup ranks third in innings pitched among relievers with 8 2/3, and the junior has a 3.12 ERA with 11 strikeouts. Bouey, meanwhile, has made three appearances and owns a 1.23 ERA.
Making Their Debut...
Will Bouey made his first appearance on the mound on 3/3 against Manhattan and pitched two perfect innings with a pair of strikeouts. Bobby Ruse made his debut on 3/14 against St. Peter's and pitched a perfect inning, striking out two.
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