Terps, Tigers Set for Mid-Week Series
April 23, 2012
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The University of Maryland baseball team will play a pair of mid-week games against Towson University this week, with the teams facing off at Towson Tuesday and in College Park Wednesday.
The Terps (25-17) will look to bounce back from a series sweep at the hands of Clemson last weekend and improve upon an 18-3 non-conference record. Game times are 3 p.m. Tuesday and 6 p.m. Wednesday.
Maryland continues to lead the Atlantic Coast Conference in team ERA (2.84), but that mark has been even better in non-league games. Led by Brady Kirkpatrick, Michael Boyden and Sander Beck, the Terps have a 1.26 team ERA in their 21 non-conference games.
Kirkpatrick (3-0, 0.27), Boyden (2-0, 0.76) and Beck (4-1, 2.59) have seen the majority of time on the mound in those games, accumulating 88 2/3 innings pitched. Boyden and Kirkpatrick have formed a daunting 1-2 punch over the past two weeks to lead Maryland to a pair of shutout wins.
In a pair of 3-0 mid-week wins over West Virginia (April 11) and James Madison (April 17), those two have combined for 17 shutout innings while surrendering just six hits.
Kirkpatrick is expected to start for Maryland on Tuesday, while Beck gets the nod Wednesday.
In addition to leading the conference in ERA, Maryland ranks first in team fielding with a .974 percentage. The Terps have committed a league-low 41 errors this season.
Offensively, junior catcher Jack Cleary had one of the more impressive weekends for Maryland in recent memory. In the three-game series against Clemson, Cleary went a combined 9-for-12, recording three hits in game one, four in game two and two in game three. That bumped his season batting average from .254 to .329.
K.J. Hockaday (.307), Jordan Hagel (.303) and Tomo Delp (.301) join Cleary in hitting over .300 on the season. Hagel (.366) and Alfredo Rodriguez (.342) have been Maryland's top hitters in non-conference play.
Scouting the Tigers
Towson has a record of 20-20, including a 10-8 mark in the Colonial Athletic Association after dropping two of three to Georgia State last weekend. The Tigers are 12-5 at home and 8-13 on the road.
Infielder Peter Bowles leads the team with a .343 batting average, while outfielder Dominic Fratantuono is second with a .322 mark. The Tigers are hitting .269 as a team.
Towson's pitching staff has registered a 5.62 ERA, while the defense has a .968 fielding percentage that is third-best in the conference. The Tigers will start a pair of righties this week: freshman Nick Cioffi (1-1, 6.94) gets the ball Tuesday, while junior Mike Volpe (0-0, 9.35) will go on Wednesday.
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