The Teams: Maryland Terrapins and South Carolina Gamecocks
The Time: 7 pm EST
The Location: Columbia, South Carolina
The Maryland Terrapins, fresh off their first NCAA victory in over 40 years, are hoping to ride their hor streak. The Terrapins walked their way to victory over the Old Dominion Monarchs Friday afternoon, 4 – 3, as their final two batters were hit by pitches to bring in the tying and winning run in the bottom of the ninth. Jake Stinnett had a solid eight inning outing in which he broke the Terps single season record for strikeouts, and Maryland has now won 12 of their last 14 games.
Meanwhile, South Carolina, the overall seed in the region, took care of business against Campbell yesterday in a 5-2 victory in front of a very favorable crowd. The Gamecocks have been ravaged by injuries all season long, but have had more than enough talent to stay afloat and are getting healthy at the right time.
A familiar opponent?
Trivia: Who are the only two programs to secede from the ACC in its stories history? Yep, Maryland and South Carolina. The Gamecocks started the trend back in 1971 when they bounced from the conference, and Maryland followed that up about thirty years later. Of course, this means both teams have a history together.
Maryland leads the All-Time series 24 to 11, and in their seven matchups since South Carolina left the conference, the Terps have won four of them. Does that make this a historical series? Technically, but they haven’t played since 1986.
Pitching: Advantage South Carolina
The Gamecocks get the edge here as they’ll trot out Jack Wynkoop onto the mound against the Terps. Wynkoop (7-5) enters the game with a 2.71 ERA and was the Gamecocks freshman All-American in 2013. The 6’5 lefty isn’t going to throw you anything overpowering, but his command is uncanny and his offspeed pitches are top notch. Still, batters are connecting with him; his opponent batting average is highest on the team at .267.
The Gamecocks also have the edge in the bullpen, as only two of their pitches sport an opponent batting average higher than .260 on the entire staff. Their closer, Joel Seddon, throws some funky stuff that has batters hitting .191 against him. He’s also struck out 53 batters in 43.1 innings this year.
The Terrapins should have solid mound work as Mike Shawaryn steps onto the mound. Shawaryn holds the Maryland record and ACC for wins with ten this season, and his 2.71 ERA is real. He’s similar in approach to Wynkoop, though he’s a bit more of a strikeout threat.
Batting: Advantage South Carolina
The Gamecocks and the Terrapins are polar opposites hitting wise. Maryland plays small ball, while South Carolina carries a heavy bat. Gamecocks hitters are batting, on average, .280 but they also have 31 homeruns to Maryland’s 19 on the season. South Carolina doesn’t steal like Maryland does, but then they don’t necessarily need to. Also factor in that their best hitter, Max Schrock (another freshman All-American in 2013) was injured most of the year but has since returned to hit .270 this year with 5 bombs.
The Terps have a slight advantage in this regard by decimal points, but realistically speaking both teams don’t commit many errors. South Carolina converts a whole lot of double plays thanks to that pitching staff and strong arms, but if Maryland is hoping for errors to win they probably won’t happen.