Maryland Baseball starts this season with strong returning lineup

By Megan Smedley

The Maryland Baseball team will start this season with plenty of preseason accolades. Coming in at No. 22 in DIBaseball.com’s preseason rankings, the Terps are favored to win the Big Ten. Kevin Smith has been ranked the no. 10 junior prospect by Perfect Game as well as third team D1Baseball Preseason All-American.

The team is looking to improve upon last season’s 30-27 finish where they failed to make the NCAA tournament. The previous two years the Terps advanced to the Super Regionals of the NCAA Tournament.

Despite losing Mike Shawaryn to the draft, Maryland retains the majority of their starting lineup. The team will look to veterans Kevin Smith, Nick Cieri, Madison Nickens, and Mike Rescigno to lead the way. Also returning, a pair of dynamic freshmen second baseman Nick Dunn and outfielder Marty Costes. Dunn led the team hitting .300 while Costes smashed a team-high nine homeruns. Head Coach John Szefc thinks Costes is one of the more underrated players in the league.

“For me, he probably has a much power as anybody in college baseball on the East Coast,” said Szefc. “Marty’s going to be an interesting guy for you guys to watch. And even more so because he’s a Maryland kid that means he’s a good student too.”

In order to succeed this year without Shawaryn, the team will have to look at younger pitchers to step up. Pitchers like Taylor Bloom, Hunter Parsons, and Brian Shaffer are expected to make an impact.

“Our pitching staff will have to be the productive group that we think that they are,” said Szefc. “You know, you don’t have like a real big time sexy guy at the front of the rotation like with Shawaryn and his accolades. But you have two guys that were All-Big Ten guys and more innings, more starts than walks. That’s a really hard stat to have in baseball.”

First pitch for Maryland Baseball is next weekend down in Clearwater, Fla. where the Terps will take on Ball State, Louisville, and Alabama State.

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