Maryland baseball completes 12th comeback win, 13-12 agasint UMBC

The cardiac Terps completed their 12th comeback win of the season, walking it off against mid-week rival UMBC on Wednesday night.

With the 13-12 win, Maryland moved to 20-9 while UMBC fell t0 11-14.

With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Iowa Transfer Sam Hojnar swung on a 2-0 count and squeezed a single to left field allowing two runners to score.

Ryan Van Buren started the game for UMBC, only going two innings and giving up five hits, four earned runs, and two walks.

It was a rollercoaster game for the Terps on both sides of the ball. The team led 7-0 after two innings, with the offense scoring seven runs via extra-base hits. However, after the third inning, the Retrievers retired the next ten Maryland hitters, and they took advantage offensively. They tied the game 8-8 going into the seventh when center fielder Justin Taylor launched a grand slam.

Although Maryland cut the deficit to two runs in the eighth from singles by Chris Hacopian and eventually Sam Hojnar, the Terps moved to 8-1 in one-run games and completed their 15th straight win against UMBC. All-time they are 41-13-1 against UMBC.

“I think it’s a culture thing, to be honest,” head coach Matt Swope told the media after the game. “If anybody has been following us for three or four years, no lead is safe. Everybody has contributed over these years. That’s what we preach about as an offense: handing it off.”

Maryland used six pitchers during the game. Eventually, Alex Walsh earned his first win of the season. He recorded zero runs and zero hits over 2.2 innings.

“You got to be ready to seize the opportunity when you get your chance,” Swope said when asked about the bullpen’s performance.

Maryland will host Indiana for a three-game series at Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium starting Friday, April 5. The first pitch is at 6 p.m.

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Kevin Willard hires Kevin Norris as new assistant coach

After the Maryland basketball team lost assistant coach Mike Jones earlier this month, the team has already filled its position.

The Maryland basketball program announced on Monday morning they are hiring Kevin Norris as their new assistant coach.

“We are excited to add Kevin to our staff,” Willard said in a press release. “He is a veteran coach who understands how to develop players and is a tenacious recruiter.”

Norris was a former college basketball standout who played with the Miami Canes from 1995-1998. He holds the record for career steals (208) and ranks fourth in career starts (108). He helped lead the Hurricanes to their first NCAA Tournament game since 1960 and was instrumental in creating a winning culture at Miami. 

After he graduated from Miami, he played overseas in Italy, France, and the Czech Republic before moving to the coaching side. Norris began his coaching career at Tallahssse Community College in 2017, where he spent one year. After he was hired at Texas A&M-Corpus Chrsiti. He has since spent the last eight years as an assistant coach at UCF and helped the Knights reach their first NCAA Berth in 2019.

It should be noted that in only two seasons as head coach, Kevin Willard has made many changes to the coaching staff. Meanwhile, three assistant coaches, Mike Jones, Tony Skinn, and Grant Billmeir, all left to become head coaches elsewhere.

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Former Virginia Tech guard transfers to Maryland

The Maryland basketball team made a significant addition over the weekend.

Former Virginia Tech guard Rodney Rice announced he will be transferring to Maryland. Joe Tipton of On3 Sports was first to report the news.

“It feels like a weight off my shoulders,” Rice said via The Washington Post. “Today is just a lot of happiness and excitement. It’s the right situation for me.”

After losing seniors, Jahmir Young and Donta Scott head coach Kevin Willard had significant holes to fill. Furthermore, three Terps players entered the portal last week, including sophomores Noah Batchelor and Caelum Swanton-Rodger.

Rice is a former DeMatha alum who only played in eight games before suffering various injuries that limited him during his first year.

In those eight appearances, Rice averaged 7.4 points and 3.3 rebounds with the Hokies. 

Rice opted out of his sophomore season, and last October, he announced he was stepping away from the team. Rice, a DMV native, originally played at Bullis before transferring to DeMatha for his senior year. After an incredible year, he earned All-Met first-team honors and shortly after committed to Virginia Tech.

So why Maryland? 

He truly believes in the program and, more specifically, Willard, which is an excellent sign to see if you’re a Terps fan.

“My friends and family can come to see my play. But I also wanted to play for Coach [Kevin] Willard. He really lets his guards go, lets his guards boogie, and I feel like my game can really develop while playing for him.”

Rice’s father, also a DMV native, was a former Washington Post All-Met player of the year when he helped lead Richmond to the Sweet 16 in 1988.

Former DeMatha coach Mike Jones joined the Maryland coaching staff last spring, but his stay in College Park was brief. He didn’t even complete a season before leaving to become the head coach at his alma mater, Old Dominion.

The New Maryland Terpian also strongly believes in the team next year, highlighting players like Deshawn Harris-Smith, Derik Queen, and Julian Reese.

“I’m very confident in what we can do next year,” he said. “We already have some key pieces set in stone. We have Julian Reese, Derik Queen, and Deshawn, and I think we’re still looking in the portal. I think we’re going to be really good and looking to add. We can be a dangerous team, so I’m excited.”

Maryland now has two open scholarships for next year.

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Brayden Martin records his second walk-off in three days to propel Terps past Spartans

The Terps returned from a tough loss and dramatically defeated the Spartans on Sunday afternoon.

The Maryland Terps (18-6) won their 15th-straight weekend series with a 5-4 victory over the Spartans. The series win marked Maryland’s 23rd consecutive win over a Big Ten opponent, dating back to 2021. At first, it seemed unlikely that Maryland would continue the streak. The Terps had to claw their way back, trailing for most of the game.

Joey McMannis started the game for the Terps, giving up just two earned runs. He struck out two batters while surrendering five hits across a career-high six innings. Alex Waslsh relived McMannis and pitched two scoreless innings of relief. Head coach Matt Swope then called on Logan Berrier in the ninth inning, and the right-hander would retire every batter he faced. Berrier had a rough outing on Friday night and had a bounce-back win on Sunday afternoon. He also notched his fifth win of the season.

On the offensive side of the ball, the bats were quiet, and it was in the sixth inning, the Terps started to gain some momentum. But, it was the eighth inning when the Terps began to mount the comeback. Alex Calarco brought home Sam Hojnar, and then Keister scored shortly after via a wild pitch. Suddenly, it was a one-run game in College Park. Even after a pitching change, the Terps were piling on, with Jordan Crosland drawing a walk and Elijah Lambros getting hit. It was a tie game heading to the ninth.

After hitting the walk-off knock on Friday, Martin came to the plate with the same approach. Like Friday, there were two runners on base, and he, again, received a fastball, which he hammered to left field.

“It’s pretty unreal,” Martin told the media after the game. “They kind of set it up for me again there, and it’s just all the confidence. I know they have all the confidence in the world in me, so it was good to get it again.”

In addition, Martin registered his first three-hit game of his career. Maryland’s win was the team’s 10th comeback win of the season.

The Terps now take a road trip and will face the Georgetown Hoyas on March 26 at 4 p.m. The game can be seen on the Maryland baseball network.

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Terps drop Game 2 against Spartans

The Terps struggled early and couldn’t retake the lead as they dropped game two to the Spartans, 5-2, on Saturday afternoon.

Logan Koester earned the start for the Terps and threw a career-high 115 pitches across 7.1 innings. It marked his third start of the season. He lasted more than seven innings. Koester recorded four strikeouts while only allowing six hits and two earned runs.

“He’s been consistent all year,” head coach Matt Swope said of Koester and his long outing on the mound. “I think we let him down, wasn’t really indicative of his start, which is kind of frustrating. But again, it’s huge because now we can bring everybody back in the bullpen tomorrow and get our main guys going and hopefully it’s in a situation to win.”

Michigan State got the scoring started in the second when the Terps allowed two runs to score via an RBi single and a throwing error. Then, in the third, the Spartans added two more runs because of more unsteady defense from the Terps. 

Maryland finally got the bats moving in the bottom of the third and loaded the bases with consecutive base hits from Chris and Eddie Hacopian. However, the Terps could only push acess one run. The Terps cut the deficit to two in the bottom of the sixth with Sam Hojnar hitting a solo shot to center field. 

That would be all for the Terps, though, because the Spartans extended their lead in the eighth, and the Terps couldn’t plate another run, leading to a 5-2 Michigan State victory.

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Terps walk it off against Spartans; seals come-back win

Freshman Brayden Martin walked to the plate with two runners on and one out, and he delivered.

“[I] was never in doubt,” Martin said. “Your guys believe in you, and you feel like you can do anything.”

Once down three runs, the Teprs clawed their way back from an early deficit to defeat the Michigan Spartans 7-6 and earn their first Big Ten matchup. After a rough stretch, the Terps have only lost one of their last eight games and haven’t lost at home this season.

Maryland ace Kenny Lippman got the ball to start the game but had a bumpy start for the second straight game. He quickly gave up two consecutive doubles and allowed three runs to score in the first inning. However, after the first, he threw five scoreless innings, giving the offense a chance to catch the lead.

“We kind of let [Lippman] down a little bit at first, but I appreciate the way he battled,” head coach Matt Swope said

Jordan Crosland started the scoring for Maryland, launching a homer over the left-center field to lower the deficit to two runs. Then, in the fourth inning, Chris Hacopian plated Devin Russell via a double. Power hitter Jacob Orr continued the big offensive inning, hitting a massive two-run homer, which allowed the Terps to take the lead.

The Spartans didn’t back down and tied the game via a homer in the seventh. Trystan Sarcone, who relieved Lippman, allowed the homer but bounced back in the eighth. The Spartans scored another run in the tenth on a wild pitch to take a 6-5 lead.

Game two of the series is set for Saturday at 4 pm. Maryland hasn’t lost a Big Ten series since 2021 and can continue that streak with a win on Saturday afternoon.

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Terps baseball falls to Portland 5-3

The Maryland baseball team (13-5) fell to the Portland Pilots (10-5) in their series opener.

The Pilots got on the board first after Jake Holfcroft knocked an infield single and was quickly plated with Christian Cooney’s RBI. Soon after, Zach Togilia hammered a double to left field, bringing in two more runs. The Terps found themselves in a 3-0 hole to start.

Maryland starter Kenny Lippman has been productive thus far this season but was getting hit around by the Portland offense this evening. Eventually, with a few more base hits and walks, the Pilots led 5-0 after three innings.

Lippman pitched five innings, allowing five earned runs on six hits and three strikeouts. After a rough start, Maryland’s ace put together a satisfactory performance.

Andrew Johnson relived Lippman and was lights out for the Terps. He didn’t allow a hit and recorded two strikeouts in his bullpen appearance.

Can’t say enough about AJ (Andrew Johnson),” “His last two outings have been lights out and like I said, I told these guys there are going to be a lot of different lineups, a lot of different guys out on the mound, so whoever seizes our opportunity, you just got to take advantage of it and that’s what Andrew is doing right now. He definitely kept us in the game.”

Head coach Matt Swope 

The Terps finally got their first baserunner of the night when Chris Hacopian singled up the middle. Maryland’s offense continued to string together some opportunities in the top of the seventh with hits from Sam Hojnar and Chris Hacopian. Kevin Kister hit a second fly, scoring Hojnar, and Hacopian ran home on a wild pitch, trimming their deficit to three runs.

In the following inning, the Terps kept their comeback hopes alive. Eddie Hacopian hit a soaring fly ball that turned into a double and allowed Brayden Martin to score from first.

After two solid offensive innings, Maryland’s luck ended when Portland called on Tanner Douglas for the save opportunity. He struck out all three batters he faced, securing the Pilots victory.

Maryland baseball plays their second game of the series at 6 pm ET on Saturday night.

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Terps basketball guard Noah Batchelor will enter tranfer portal

Maryland Terps basketball guard Noah Batchelor announced on X that he will enter the transfer portal. Batchelor is the first player to announce his decision to part ways with the basketball program.

Batchelor, 20, was the first player signed by head coach Kevin Williard. Before Maryland, he was ranked the 22nd small forward in 2021 and played at IMG Academy during the 2021 season.

As a freshman at Maryland, he played in 22 games, averaging 1.6 points and 1.2 rebounds, totaling six assists and two steals.

The 6-foot-6 guard struggled behind the arc, only recording 20-of-68 three-point attempts (29.4%). He didn’t play much, only averaging 7.3 minutes through 49 appearances at Maryland. In addition, he only made two starts.

After Maryland’s loss to Penn State, Willard explained his thoughts on Batchelor and his inconsistency

“I think for Noah. Eventually, the light will go off,” Willard told the media after Batchelor scored a career-high nine points.

Batchelor is the first Maryland player to depart after a tough 2023 Terps’ season. The move means Maryland has a scholarship spot open as Willard looks to acquire new talent. The Terps have a lot of work on their hands this off-season, as two of their top three scorers will no longer be with the team.

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Round II of the Big Ten Tournament has #12 Maryland against #5 Wisconsin

The Maryland Terrapins men’s basketball team cruised to victory last night in the first round of the Big-Ten Tournament in Minneapolis, Minnesota. With less than 20 hours to rest, the Terps are back at it this afternoon as they face the #5 seed Wisconsin Badgers. Ther Terps are looking to be the upset darling in this tournament and disrupt the brackets before the NCAA Tournament begins next week.

This season the Terps went up against Wisconsin in Madison and were three shots from victory as they dropped that one by a final score of 74-70. For five of the six teams on Maryland’s side of the bracket, the Terps lost by an average of four points to each with the exception of a 14-point loss to then No. 1 ranked Purdue in the only meeting of the season between the two teams. Again, Maryland has to look at last night at what they can be before they brought in the bench to finish that game as the Terps were up by over 20-points over Rutgers and won by 14-points.

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Senior Day for Terps Men’s Basketball ends in a meltdown

The Maryland Terrapins at home at the Xfinity Center celebrated Senior Day in a pre-game presentation of framed jerseys to Jahmir Young, Donta Scott, Jahari Long, and Jordan Geronimo. Head coach Kevin Willard had them all in the starting-5 along with Julian Reese, and the Terps responded with a halftime lead of 43-33 over Indiana. Maryland then took their biggest lead of the game at 51-35 on Young’s 3-point play early in the second half. That 16-point lead disappeared mid-way into the second half, and the Terps ended up with a 83-78 loss to fall into the bottom tier in the Big-Ten.

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