Tag Archive | "John Szefc"

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Magical season ends for Maryland with loss to Virginia

Posted on 09 June 2014 by WNST Staff

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Maryland baseball team’s magical postseason run came to a close Monday evening as it fell to Virginia, 11-2, in game three of its NCAA Super Regional series at Davenport Field.

The 2014 campaign featured a number of marquee moments for the Terrapin baseball program, including a trip to the ACC Tournament title game for the first time since 1976, a regional title in South Carolina, a first-ever trip to a NCAA Super Regional and a single-season program record 40 victories.

“We’re obviously not really pleased with the outcome, but I really can’t sit here and lament a whole lot about what these guys have accomplished this season and certainly in the last 40 percent of the season,” said head coach John Szefc. “I really haven’t been around a better group of young guys in a long time, probably not since my days at Marist.

“As we continue to build this program, this group will really be one that is looked back on as a cornerstone of that process. I think every Maryland baseball team will look back at this one and try to aim to get where this team ended up and slightly further. This will be a hard group of guys to duplicate. We’re lucky enough to have a lot of guys coming back, but the guys we lose will be very difficult to replace. Although the result isn’t exactly heartwarming, I really have no regrets or negative things to say whatsoever.”

Junior Charlie White and senior Blake Schmit led the Terrapins with two hits each, as Cavalier starter Josh Sborz kept the Terrapin offense at bay striking out nine batters in seven shutout innings.

Maryland (40-23) threatened in the top of the first inning with a pair of walks by White and Brandon Lowe, but Sborz got out of the jam and forced an inning-ending double play to keep the Terps from taking an early lead.

Virginia (49-14) touched up Maryland starter Bobby Ruse early, scoring three runs with two outs in the bottom of the first to grab a 3-0 lead. Derek Fisher knocked in the first run with an RBI single to center, before Kenny Towns crushed a triple to left field that scored a pair of runners from first and second.

The Cavaliers doubled their lead two innings later, sparked by a pair of singles from Daniel Pinero and Joe McCarthy. After Fisher walked to load the bases, Towns continued his torrid hitting night with a two-RBI single to left field. Branden Downes laced an RBI single up the middle to cap the inning giving UVA a 6-0 advantage.

LaMonte Wade and Jose Cuas managed to jumpstart the Terrapin offense with a pair of singles in the eighth, and Schmit followed by ripping a double down the left field line to bring Maryland within four runs at 6-2.

Virginia closer Nick Howard entered for Austin Young and shut the door ending any thought of a Maryland comeback. In the bottom of the inning, the Cavs scored five insurance runs to increase their lead to 11-2 and secure the victory.

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Maryland two seed in first NCAA Baseball Tournament in 43 years

Posted on 26 May 2014 by WNST Staff

COLLEGE PARK, Md.  Following a 43-year absence, the Maryland baseball team is headed back to the NCAA Tournament. The Terps are the No. 2 seed in the Columbia Regional and will face third-seeded Old Dominion Friday at1 p.m. on ESPN3 at South Carolina’s Carolina Stadium.

The 2013 NCAA Tournament pairings were announced Monday afternoon. South Carolina is the top seed in the regional bracket and will face fourth-seeded Campbell at 7 p.m. The winner of the four-team double-elimination regional faces the winner of the Charlottesville Regional in Super Regional play, June 6-9.

“I am just happy for the players, [Maryland] supporters, people that have wanted this for a long time,” said head coach John Szefc. “Personally, I have been through this before and this never gets old for a coach. I am happy for our guys that they get to experience what we’ve been, as a coaching staff, talking about for a long time, that this can happen as long as you do things the right way.”

Columbia Regional Schedule

Friday, May 30
Game 1: 1 p.m. ET – #2 Maryland vs. #3 Old Dominion (ESPN3)
Game 2: 7 p.m. ET – #1 South Carolina vs. #4 Campbell (ESPN3)

Saturday, May 31
Game 3: 1 p.m. ET – Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2 (ESPNU/ESPN3)
Game 4: 7 p.m. ET – Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2 (ESPNU/ESPN3)

Sunday, June 1
Game 5: 1 p.m. ET – Winner Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4 (ESPNU/ESPN3)
Game 6: 7 p.m. ET – Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 5 (ESPNU/ESPN3)

Monday, June 2
Game 7: 7 p.m. ET – If Necessary (TBA)

Maryland will be making its fourth all-time NCAA Tournament appearance and its first since 1971. The Terps enter tournament play as one of the hottest teams in the country with a record of 11-2 in the month of May that helped them reach the ACC Tournament final for the first time since 1976.

“We won 11 straight after a pretty bad stretch going 1-6,” said Szefc. “To our guy’s credit, they went out against Notre Dame and got it going and they have never backed off since.”

Maryland is 9-9 all-time against Old Dominion and has never faced the Monarchs in postseason play. Maryland and ODU have not played each other since 2010. The Terps have won five of the last six matchups against the Monarchs including both meetings in 2010. Maryland has never faced South Carolina in the postseason, but holds a 24-15 advantage all-time. The two teams have not played since a single regular-season matchup in 1980.

About Old Dominion

Old Dominion finished the season 36-24 with a 17-13 mark in Conference USA, which was good for fifth place in the league. The Monarchs are led by two all-conference players in Nick Walker and Josiah Burney. Walker leads the Monarchs in hitting at .329 with four homers, 24 RBI and a team-best 42 runs scored. He ranks fifth in C-USA in slugging at .482, third in on base percentage at .420. Burney is hitting .303 with a team best six homers and 41 RBI. Burney ranks third in C-USA in slugging at .526, fourth in on base percentage at .414, fifth in RBI and homers.

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Maryland falls to Georgia Tech in ACC baseball championship game

Posted on 25 May 2014 by WNST Staff

GREENSBORO, N.C.  Georgia Tech scored six runs over the final three innings including a three-run eighth to defeat Maryland, 8-4, Sunday afternoon in the Atlantic Coast Conference Championship game at NewBridge Bank Park.

The Terps, who were making their first ACC tournament final appearance since 1976, finished 2-2 at the event with wins over third-ranked Virginia and fourth-ranked Florida State. Maryland will learn its NCAA postseason fate on Monday when the field of 64 is announced on ESPNU at noon.

“Obviously, not the result we were looking for and it’s kind of a pretty disappointing day in general for our guys and for the program,” said head coach John Szefc. “Tough one to deal with, but, you know, the other side of the coin as I tried to explain to our guys, as tough as this one is, tomorrow we will be sitting in a restaurant in College Park hopefully getting a good feel as to where we might be playing next weekend in the NCAA Tournament. That’s been kind of a goal for us for a long time, since I got here. Certainly since a lot of these other guys have been here well before I got here.

“Hopefully, we will get something out of this, and I think we have a chance to do well in the NCAA Regional coming out of this tournament.”

Maryland (36-21) ran into a hot Yellow Jacket (36-25) lineup that totaled 13 hits including seven doubles, which tied a season high for Georgia Tech. The number three, four and five hitters in the Tech lineup were a combined 10-for-13 and drove in five of the Yellow Jacket’s runs.

For the Terps, Blake Schmit hit his first home run of the season and scored three times, while Anthony Papio finished 2-for-4 with two, two-out RBI.

Three Terps were named to the all-tournament team. Kevin Martir earned all-tournament honors at catcher, LaMonte Wade earned the honor at first and Schmit took all-tournament honors at shortstop.

Georgia Tech opened the game up in the eighth scoring three runs on three hits. A leadoff double by Daniel Spingola and a bunt single that resulted in a throwing error on reliever Kevin Mooney scored the first run of the inning. A two-RBI single from Connor Justus put the game away for Tech.

The Jackets struck first posting the first two runs of the contest on back-to-back doubles by Thomas Smith and A.J. Murray. Maryland starter Jake Drossner retired the first two batters of the inning on ground balls, but Matt Gonzalez tallied the first hit of the afternoon on a single through the right side. Thomas Smith’s run-scoring double put Georgia Tech in front. A.J. Murray then followed with a double to center and the Jackets had a 2-0 lead after a half of an inning.

Maryland cut the deficit to one in the home half of the second. Schmit led off the inning with his first home run of the season. The blast hit the top of the wall and bounced over trimming the Jacket lead to 2-1.

Tech answered in the fourth and regained a two-run advantage. Smith hit his second double of the afternoon to start the inning and scored one batter later on a single by Murray. Drossner settled down and got the next three batters including the final two on strikes to keep the deficit at two.

The Terps got it right back in the bottom of the inning. After a one-out walk to Schmit, Nick Cieri delivered a two-out single to center moving Schmit to third. Papio picked the Terps up with a flair to right scoring Schmit to cut the deficit back to one.

After two shutout innings from Drossner and reliever Bobby Ruse, the Terps grabbed the lead in the bottom of the sixth. A walk and back-to-back singles by Lewis and Cieri loaded the bases. Papio once again came through for the Terps with a run-scoring single, this time to center to tie the game. The Yellow Jackets got a double play on the next at-bat, but it brought Cieri in as the go-ahead run.

The Yellow Jackets tied it right back up in the seventh and took the lead with a three-run eighth. A leadoff double for the second straight inning came back to bite Maryland in the seventh. A sacrifice bunt moved Brandon Gold to third later scoring on a sacrifice fly by Mitch Earnest.

Justus brought two runs home in the eighth with a single to center capping a three-run inning. The Yellow Jackets added a run in the ninth on a run-scoring double by Gonzalez.

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Former Terp Reed selected by Cardinals in MLB Draft

Posted on 09 June 2013 by WNST Staff

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - University of Maryland senior lefthander Jimmy Reed was selected Friday in the sixth round (185th overall) of the 2013 MLB First-Year Player Draft by the St. Louis Cardinals.

Reed is the ninth Terp to be drafted over the last three years and is the highest-selected Terrapin since Brett Cecil was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the first round (38th overall pick) of the 2007 draft.

“I’m pretty ecstatic right now,” said Reed. “When my name was called, I screamed. It is really awesome to be picked in the sixth round by the Cardinals. The Cardinals are an amazing organization with a proven track record of developing pitchers. It’s honestly the best situation for me.”

In his first full season in the weekend rotation, Reed served as the Terps’ Friday night starter. The Gaithersburg, Md., native posted a 6-4 record with a career-high 74 strikeouts. He finished the 2013 season with a 2.33 ERA, which ranks eighth in the ACC, en route to earning second team All-ACC honors and finished his career with 70 appearances, the ninth-highest total in program history.

Reed was at his best in the final month of the season. In three starts, Reed posted a 1.42 ERA and tossed at least eight innings in all three starts. He struck out a career-best 11 at then-No. 18 Clemson on May 6 and followed that performance up by tying the total in his final start on May 16 against Boston College.

In 2013, Reed is one of six ACC pitchers to throw two or more complete games and one of six pitchers to throw a complete-game shutout.

The lefthander tossed his first career complete game shutout in a 1-0 win at Duke on April 26 en route to his first of two ACC Pitcher of the Week awards becoming the first Terrapin pitcher to accomplish the feat. Reed won the award again on May 6 after a 7-2 win against the Tigers.

“It speaks volumes for the work Jimmy put in following his junior season,” said head coach John Szefc. “Obviously, he had a very good junior year. He put a plan in place to come back to school for his senior year and wanted to get into the single-digit rounds so that he would have a better opportunity to move through the system, and that is what he did.”

Reed was drafted in the 21st round by the New York Yankees in 2012, but chose to return to Maryland for his final season of eligibility.

The 2013 MLB First-Year Player Draft continues through Saturday. Friday’s selections will conclude at the end of the 10th round. Rounds 11-40 will be held on Saturday.

 

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Maryland hires Szefc as baseball coach

Posted on 19 July 2012 by WNST Staff

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Kansas State associate head coach John Szefc has been hired as the new head baseball coach at the University of Maryland, director of athletics Kevin Anderson announced Wednesday.

Szefc (pronounced CHEF), who is the seventh head coach in the 120-year history of the program, comes to Maryland with a proven track record as a recruiter and hitting coach. The Middletown, N.Y., native has served as recruiting coordinator at his last three stops and owns ties to the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast corridors.

Szefc also brings head coaching experience, having led Marist College to four conference championships and three NCAA Regional appearances in a seven-year stint from 1996-2002.

“I’m excited about this wonderful opportunity to lead the Maryland baseball program,” said Szefc. “I’d like to thank Kevin Anderson and the search committee for their confidence in me. We have a strong core group of players already in place at Maryland and I see great things for the future of our program.”

“John has been successful in every position he’s held during his 22-year coaching career,” said Anderson. “He has proven himself as a successful head coach and a recruiter and developer of top talent. I have no doubt that John will do an outstanding job leading our baseball program.”

Szefc, who has coached 69 players that have been drafted or signed professional contracts since 1997, brings an aggressive offensive style. He helped lead Kansas State to a NCAA Regional in 2011, when the Wildcats led the Big 12 in stolen bases with 123 while placing 10th in school history with 564 hits on the year.

Szefc came to Manhattan after a two-year stint at the University of Kansas where he was the team’s hitting coach and recruiting coordinator. While in Lawrence, Szefc helped lead the Jayhawks to two Big 12 Championship appearances and a NCAA Regional berth during his first season in 2009.

With Szefc’s guidance, the Jayhawks made a 17-point improvement in overall team batting average from .287 in 2008 to .304 in 2010. In Big 12 games in 2010, Kansas hit .305, which ranked second in the conference, while it led the league in base hits (304), and finished second in runs scored (195) and walks (115) during league play.

Prior to his position at Kansas, Szefc was the head assistant coach at Louisiana-Lafayette from 2003-08, running an aggressive-style Ragin’ Cajun offense that saw a dramatic 60-point jump in batting average during his first three years. Three of his team’s batting averages still rank in the top five of Louisiana history and his 2005 squad set a school record for hits and finished second in school history in runs scored and RBI. The 2002 team tied the school record with 145 stolen bases.

Szefc posted a 212-137-1 record as the skipper for Marist, leading the Red Foxes to their first baseball title as a member of the Northeast Conference in 1997. He also guided Marist to three more NCAA Tournament appearances in 2000, 2001 and 2002, including a 41-14 record during his final year at the school. The 2002 squad claimed a victory over Southwest Missouri State in the NCAA Lincoln Regional, while five of Szefc’s players on that team went on to be selected in the MLB Draft.

Szefc won multiple awards as a head coach as he was named the 1997 NEC Coach of the year, while he earned American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) Northeast Region Coach of the Year honors in 2001.

In his career, he has coached in 24 NCAA Regional games, coached and developed 13 All-Americans, and accumulated a 571-382 overall record as an assistant and head coach.

Before his arrival at Marist, Szefc spent one season with Sacred Heart University and four years as an assistant coach with his alma mater, Drexel, from 1990-94.

Szefc managed the New York Generals in the Atlantic College Baseball League (ACBL) during the summers of 1995 and 1996, guiding the club to a 47-28 record in two seasons, two consecutive Kaiser Division championships and the ACBL championship game in 1996.

Szefc played collegiately for two years at Connecticut before transferring in 1987 to Drexel. During his senior campaign for the Dragons, he was tabbed an All-East Coast Conference outfielder.

Szefc graduated from Drexel University with a degree in corporate communications in 1989. He also holds a master’s degree in sports administration from Temple University.

He and his wife, Barbara, have a daughter, Anna, and two sons, John Michael and Sam.

The Szefc File

Coaching history
2011-12 – associate head coach, Kansas State University
2009-10 – assistant coach/recruiting coordinator, University of Kansas
2003-08 – assistant coach/recruiting coordinator, Louisiana-Lafayette
1996-2002 – head coach, Marist College
1995 – assistant coach, Sacred Heart University
1990-94 – assistant coach, Drexel University

Playing history
1988-89 – Drexel University (All-East Coast Conference in ’89)
1986-87 – University of Connecticut

Education 
1989 – Bachelor of Science, Corporate Communications, Drexel University
1992 – Master of Physical Education, concentration in sport management, Temple University

Family
Wife, Barbara, and children: Anna, John Michael and Sam.

 

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