CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- Maryland baseball takes the field Sunday seeking a two-game sweep of rival Virginia in the NCAA super regional, and the stakes of Sunday’s game, the second of a best-of-three series, are simple.
A win by Maryland ends Virginia’s season and sends the Terps to their first ever College World Series. A win by Virginia forces a decisive third game Monday afternoon.
It’s safe to say the Terps are going to go for it today, with coach John Szefc saying it was all hands on deck for his pitching staff.
Here are a few pregame notes from yesterday’s 5-4 win.
-- Szefc finished his news conference yesterday by answering a question with a question, which is always fun. A reporter asked Szefc who was starting Sunday’s game, to which he responded, “Who do you think?” And that was the end of the news conference.
The answer, which was already announced, is Mike Shawaryn, a true freshman from New Jersey who has compiled an 11-3 record and a 2.81 ERA this season. He’s been overshadowed a bit by Stinnett, but the team is plenty confident sending him to the hill against sophomore left-hander Brandon Waddell of Virginia (8-3, 2.73 ERA).
-- Virginia coach Brian O’Connor was asked to think back to when the Cavaliers were in Maryland’s shoes, as an upstart program trying to break into the college baseball elite.
“I’d probably say we played with a chip on our shoulders, with something to prove,” O’Connor said. “Looking at Maryland’s approach in the batter's box, defensively, on the mound, there’s a calm confidence to them. They’re doing a great job and they’ve earned the right to be here.
“Watching them play in the ACC tournament, they were playing some terrific baseball. Not only against us. The last couple weeks of the regular season, geez, I think they won all their games. They’re doing things right.”
-- Three Maryland players were selected on the third day of baseball's first-year player draft, and it was nice to see some of the players congratulating one another on the achievement even as the game Saturday was being played.
Senior left-hander Ben Brewster was selected in the 15th round (No. 438 overall) by the Chicago White Sox, junior outfielder Charlie White was taken in the 21st round (No. 619) by the Cubs, and senior shortstop Blake Schmit was taken in the 26th round (No. 770) overall by the Minnesota Twins.
White could join senior right-hander Jake Stinnett in the Cubs organization. Stinnett was drafted 45th overall by Chicago on Thursday.