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Maryland pitchers Brian Shaffer (North Harford), Tyler Blohm (Spalding) win Big Ten awards

Maryland pitcher Brian Shaffer was named Big Ten Pitcher of the Year.
Maryland pitcher Brian Shaffer was named Big Ten Pitcher of the Year. (Courtesy of Maryland Athletics)

Maryland junior right-hander Brian Shaffer (North Harford) and freshman left-hander Tyler Blohm (Archbishop Spalding) were named the Big Ten Pitcher of the Year and Freshman of the Year on Tuesday, respectively, for the program's first such conference honors in over two decades.

Shaffer (7-3) led the Big Ten with a 1.67 ERA and is the only pitcher in the conference with more than 90 innings pitched (97). The Pylesville native is second in the conference in strikeouts (98) and third in opposing batting average (.206).

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The 2016 All-Metro Player of the Year and a 17th-round pick of the Orioles in last year's draft, Blohm tied for the Big Ten lead with eight wins, third among freshmen nationally. The Severna Park native, who has a 3.46 ERA with 57 strikeouts and a .228 opposing batting average, was a unanimous pick for the Big Ten All-Freshman team.

The two yearly awards are a significant bounty for a program long unaccustomed to such distinctions. Outfielder Derek Hacopian was the last Terps player to win overall conference honors, being named the 1992 Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year. Bob Grossman, the 1972 ACC Player of the Year, is the only other player in school history to win such an individual honor.

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Kevin Smith is dedicated to mastering a game with no master, so in the Maryland baseball shortstop's worst d

Also honored Tuesday was sophomore outfielder Marty Costes (Archbishop Curley), a first-team All-Big Ten selection. The Baltimore native leads Maryland in batting average (.336), hits (71), total bases (113) and RBIs (39) and is in the top 10 in the conference in six offensive categories.

Sophomore third baseman AJ Lee was a third-team pick, batting .366 with a .537 slugging percentage in conference play. The Millersville native batted .376 with six home runs and 22 RBIs in his final 30 regular-season games.

The fourth-seeded Terps open Big Ten tournament play Wednesday night in Bloomington, Ind., where they play fifth-seeded Iowa. Despite a poor end to the season, in which the Terps squandered a shot at the league regular-season title, Maryland is expected to be in the field of the 64-team NCAA tournament, which begins June 2.

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