The college baseball season is winding down for most of Maryland’s four-year colleges.
A handful of teams have already clinched postseason berths and some have wrapped up their conference tournaments.
Teams that took part in postseason action last weekend included Frostburg State University, Salisbury University, Hood College, and Johns Hopkins University.
Here’s a look at where things stand for Maryland teams and the postseason:
The Gulls (31-10, 15-3) took care of business in the first round of the Capital Athletic Conference tournament last weekend, going 3-0 with three convincing victories. They beat York College 7-0 and 11-3 and knocked out in-state rival Frostburg State, 7-0. In that game, senior lefty Austin Heenan fanned 10 batters in his second complete-game shutout of the season and junior infielder Jack Barry (pictured above) had two hits, including a solo homer.
The Gulls will host Penn State, Harrisburg, on Friday at 3:30 p.m. and Saturday at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. (if necessary) in a best-of-three CAC championship series. Salisbury is looking to win its third straight conference title and is facing a team it beat twice this season by scores of 11-3 and 14-3.
Winning this weekend will send the Gulls to the NCAA Division 3 tournament later this month.
Frostburg State University
After falling to York College in the opening game of the Capital Athletic Conference, Frostburg (23-14 overall, 9-9 conference) faltered early against Salisbury.
The Bobcats allowed three early runs on two errors and couldn’t do anything offensively to help ace Greg Schneider. Frostburg’s career strikeout leader fanned only two while walking four and hitting a batter. Still, Schneider lasted 7 2/3 innings in his final appearance of a splendid career at Frostburg.
The Bobcats’ season is done; an at-large NCAA bid is not expected.
Hood (32-11 overall, 12-9 conference) saw its magical season come to an end Saturday.
The Blazers set a program record for victories in a season, which included a 14-game winning streak to begin the year.
After dropping the playoff opener to Arcadia University, Hood won two, come-from-behind games versus Alvernia University and Widener University.
That included a seven-run rally in the seventh inning versus Widener in a 13-12, 10-inning victory that culminated with Nathan Kessler’s RBI single.
In the championship round, Hood avenged its playoff opening loss by defeating Arcadia, 6-3. The win forced a winner-take-all game for the conference title.
In the season-deciding game, Arcadia slugged its way to an insurmountable 9-0 lead in the first, with Hood ultimately falling, 25-13, to finish as the MAC Commonwealth runner-up.
Johns Hopkins University
The Blue Jays sought a consecutive Centennial Conference title heading into last weekend and their bats exploded in the playoff opener against Muhlenberg College. Four different players knocked in two or more runs. Senior Chris DeGiacomo platted three RBIs while hitting for the cycle.
In a back-and-forth second round game against Swarthmore College, a walk-off homer sent Hopkins into the loser’s bracket.
After a convincing win over Franklin & Marshall College, Hopkins found itself in the championship series versus tournament host, Swarthmore.
It was 2-2 in the 10th when sophomore Chris Festa homered to give Hopkins a one-run lead. But Swarthmore added a sac fly in the bottom of the 10th and then won in the 11th on another sacrifice fly for its first conference title.
Hopkins (29-14, 15-3) is not expected to get an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Teams still playing; some still hoping for a title
The U.S. Naval Academy (36-13 overall, 18-7 conference) will host the College of the Holy Cross in the first two games of a best-of-three series on Saturday in the Patriot League Tournament. Navy is 3-2 versus Holy Cross on the season. … Coppin State University (18-4, 20-21-1) finished first in the Northern Division of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (8-16, 12-39) placed third in the same division. Both will play in the MEAC Tournament, which begins Wednesday in Daytona Beach, Fla. … Mount St. Mary’s (20-25, 14-11) is holding onto the fourth and final playoff spot in the Northeast Conference with three games remaining against second-place Bryant University. The conference tournament begins May 24 in Connecticut. … UMBC (19-24, 9-9) has six games remaining in the America East Conference and is holding onto fourth place. The conference tournament begins May 23 in Maine. … The University of Maryland Terrapins’ (21-27, 6-11) disappointing season would have to turn around dramatically in their final six Big Ten games to make the tournament’s field of eight in Nebraska this month. The Terps are currently 11th of 13 teams. … Towson University (13-36, 6-12) have six conference games remaining, but would have to win outright and get some help to advance to the Colonial Athletic Association tournament. … All remaining Maryland four-year schools are finished for the year.
BaltimoreBaseball.com’s Top Performers of the Week
Connor Reeves, RHP, Salisbury University
Senior/Bel Air, Md./John Carroll High School
For the second time in three weeks, Reeves earned CAC Pitcher of the Week honors. The Bel Air native tossed his second, complete-game shutout of the season against York on Friday. In the 7-0 victory, Reeves tied his season’s best with 11 strikeouts. Reeves holds a 12-3 record, with a 1.33 ERA. He has struck out 90 batters through 101 2/3 innings. His 12 wins are tied for the most in both CAC and Salisbury history, and currently has him sitting alone atop all of Division 3 in that category.
Toby Hoskins, RHP, University of Maryland, Eastern Shore
Senior/North East, Md./North East High School
Hoskins was named the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Co-Pitcher of the Week on Monday. The Hawks’ ace pitched eight scoreless innings against Delaware State University. Hoskins struck out eight batters on his way to his fifth win of the season. The 4-0 victory marks Hoskins second shutout this spring. On the year, Hoskins has pitched to a 3.29 ERA with 53 strikeouts. Against the MEAC, he’s earned a 2.81 ERA over eight starts with 38 strikeouts.
Chris DeGiacomo, OF, Johns Hopkins University
Senior/Norwell, Mass./ Bats/Throws: L/R
DeGiacomo hit for the cycle in a 12-7 win over Muhlenberg. The senior outfielder tied a career high with four hits and three RBIs in the game. DeGiacomo is just the fifth player in Centennial Conference history to hit for the cycle and the first from Hopkins to achieve the feat since the conference was formed.
Coppin State University won its first MEAC North Division Title since 1996 with a 5-2 victory over Norfolk State University. Junior right-hander Jahmon Taylor earned the win for Coppin, allowing just one earned run on four hits over seven innings while striking out nine. In a comeback victory against University of Maryland, Baltimore County on Wednesday, head coach Sherman Reed notched his 84th career win, breaking Jason Booker’s school record. … Washington College saw two of its players land on the Centennial Conference’s first team. Senior outfielder Ryan Donnelly and junior second baseman Luke D’Ostilio became the first pair of Shoremen to earn first-team honors in the same season in six years. … Despite its record, UMES (12-39 overall, 7-16 conference) fought its way into the MEAC playoffs. The Hawks stole the MEAC North’s final playoff spot away from Delaware State after sweeping the Hornets in a three-game series.
Matchup to watch
Top-seeded Salisbury squares off against Penn State, Harrisburg, on Friday in the CAC Championship series. The Gulls are looking for their third straight conference title and 15th all-time. Salisbury is 2-0 against Penn State, Harrisburg, on the year.
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