Maryland Baseball: Offense needs to show up early

The Maryland baseball team had an afternoon to forget against West Virginia on Friday.

In their NCAA Tournament opener, the Mountaineers tagged star pitcher Brian Shaffer for seven runs in just five innings in a 9-1 loss. One of the biggest reasons for the loss was the Terrapins’ struggles at the plate.

When it was all said and done, Maryland recorded just seven hits throughout the entire game. Five of those hits came off the bat of center fielder Zach Jancarski and first baseman Brandon Gum.

Jancarski singled in his first two at-bats, including a two-out RBI single in the third inning to put his team on the board. However, as a team, Maryland only had two innings in which they had multiple hits.

Maryland did manage to get on base throughout the game, especially off of starter Alek Manoah. However, the Terps left 10 runners on base and only registered four hits off of BJ Myers in his 5.2 innings of relief.

In addition, Maryland only registered one extra base hits throughout the entire game.

Saturday’s game is the most important one of the season for the Terps. If they fall to UMBC, their season is over.

The Retrievers aren’t as likely to hit the long ball several times like the Mountaineers, but the Terps still could have their hands full.

During the regular season, UMBC led the America East with a .293 batting average despite having the second-fewest at-bats. Their .371 on-base percentage also allowed the Retrievers to 261 runs on the season.

In the only meeting between the two teams this season, Maryland topped UMBC 6-2 back on May 9. The Terps scored a first inning run, but found themselves trailing 2-1 after the Retrievers scored a pair of runs in the sixth inning.

Luckily for Maryland, they exploded for four runs in the bottom half of the inning to take a 5-2 lead. The first four batters reached base during that inning, including Gum and Jancarski, who had RBI hits for the Terps.

Maryland is going to need to get their offense going early in Saturday’s contest. The likes of Marty Costes, AJ Lee, and Nick Dunn are going to need to put the ball in play and be patient.

The Terps can’t fall behind early on due to the importance of this game. This is a group of very talented hitters that can do a lot of damage, so it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see a rebound performance on Saturday afternoon.