March 18, 2010
Game Notes (PDF)
COLLEGE PARK, Md. -
The University of Maryland baseball team welcomes Georgia Tech to Shipley Field at Bob "Turtle" Smith Stadium this weekend for the Terps' Atlantic Coast Conference home opener. First pitch for Friday is set for 6 p.m., while 1 p.m. start times are set for Saturday and Sunday.
Live stats can be found on umterps.com and fans can listen to a live broadcast of all three games at WMUCSports.com.
Probable Pitching Matchups:
Friday: RHP Brett Harman (2-2, 5.81) vs. RHP Deck McGuire (3-0, 0.87)
Saturday: LHP Adam Kolarek (1-0, 1.08) vs. RHP Brandon Cumpton (3-0, 4.71)
Sunday: RHP Sander Beck (0-2, 4.05) vs. LHP Jed Bradley (2-1, 3.27)
The Terps open Atlantic Coast Conference play at home with a weekend series against Georgia Tech, which is ranked No. 3 this week by Baseball America. Maryland split a pair of mid-week games, beating Old Dominion at home thanks to an eighth inning RBI double by Brandon Padula that gave the Terps the game-winning run. The Terps dropped their other game, at William & Mary, on Wednesday.
Tracking the Terrapins...
Friday starter Brett Harman has been masterful in his last three appearances. The junior didn't allow a base runner in 1.2 innings of relief in the win over Towson (3/3) and was dominant against Hofstra on March 6. Harman pitched eight innings that game, striking out nine batters, just one short of his career-high. He spread out seven hits and gave up three earned runs while walking just one to earn the win. In his most recent start, against Virginia Tech on March 12, Harman again went eight innings in leading the Terps to their first shutout of an ACC opponent since 2002. Harman ranks eighth in the ACC with 25 strikeouts this season.
Adam Kolarek has mide five appearances this season with two starts in mid-week games, and has moved into the weekend role by posting one of the best ERAs in the ACC. The lefty has allowed just two earned runs (tied-ACC best) in 16.2 innings and is fifth in the league with a 1.08 ERA. He also leads the league by holding opposing batters to a .143 batting average.
Brandon Padula, Matt Marquis and Jack Cleary have led Maryland offensively. Padula is batting a conference-best .518, including two home runs. Marquis, a transfer from Vanderbilt, is hitting .313 with 10 runs scored, while Cleary is hitting .286.
Leadoff batter David Poutier has done his job getting on base. He is tied for second in the ACC with 17 walks this season and leads the team with a .417 on-base percentage. The senior is a threat to run once on, having stolen six bags this year.
About the Yellow Jackets...
Georgia Tech is the third-ranked team in the nation in Baseball America's latest poll, entering the weekend with a 14-1 record. The Yellow Jackets are on a seven-game winning streak, including a three-game sweep of Wake Forest in their ACC opener.
Four Tech players - Cole Leonida, Matt Skole, Jacob Esch and Chase Burnette - own batting averages above .400, and as a team the Yellow Jackets are batting .357.
RHP Deck McGuire, a 2009 All-American, leads an experienced and talented pitching staff. The junior is second in the ACC with a 0.87 ERA. RHP Brandon Cumpton and LHP Jed Bradley fill out Tech's weekend rotation. The trio has a combined 8-1 record with 74 strikeouts to just 13 walks.
SERIES HISTORY: Maryland trails the all-time series with Georgia Tech, 22-64.
The Terps have a number of players that have contributed in a variety of ways, but two in particular stand out.
Dan Gentzler, who is tied for third on Maryland's all-time saves list, has made a team-high eight appearances on the mound in addition to seeing time at third base, first base and as a pinch hitter. Gentzler has three saves (t-2nd in the ACC) this season and currently has a 6.75 ERA. He is 9-for-22 (.409) at the plate, including a 3-for-4 performance against William & Mary (3/17).
Adam Kolarek has split duties at first base with Gentzler, batting .200 with six runs, three doubles and a home run. Kolarek has been most impressive on the mound with his aforementioned 1.08 ERA in five appearances. In addition to playing first base and pitching, Kolarek has also seen time in the outfield.
Power from Padula...
Outfielder/DH Brandon Padula has been on a tear at the plate all season. He is the only player in the ACC with a batting average above .500, entering the weekend at .518. The redshirt-sophomore has recorded three hits in a game six times this season. He has been dangerous in pressure situations, batting .619 with two outs and .647 with runners in scoring position.
Padula leads the team with 15 RBI on the year, including a career-high four in a 7-5, come from behind victory over Hofstra on 3/7. In that game, Padula hit a two-out, three-run home run that proved to be the game-winner in the bottom of the eighth inning.
Padula came through with his second game-winning hit of the season against Old Dominion (3/16), breaking a 2-2 tie with an RBI double in the eighth inning.
Running early and often...
Head coach Erik Bakich made it no secret that he planned to be aggressive on the base paths this season, and the Terps have been just that. Maryland leads the league with 39 stolen bases on the year, including a school-record eight in a 10-3 win over Hofstra on 3/6. Shortstop Alfredo Rodriguez leads the league with 10 stolen bases this year, and has yet to have been caught stealing this season. David Poutier and Matthew Murakami, meanwhile, are tied for seventh in the league with six stolen bases apiece.