Hollywood, MD – The sports that seem to matter most to fans did not enjoy a banner year in Maryland during 2017. Take baseball—please. Yes, the Baltimore Orioles socked a total of 232 home runs during Season 2017. Their opponents hit 242. The O’s hit a collective .260 while the opposition batted .269. The Birds were outscored 841 runs to 743. The club struck out 1,412 times. Orioles’ pitchers yielded nearly 5 runs a game. Even Dylan Bundy, a bright spot with a 13-9 record had a mediocre earned run average of 4.24. Finishing with 75 wins and 87 losses, the Orioles were last in the American League East. There were only two teams in the American League with worse records. The year ended with talk that the club might trade its stellar third baseman, Manny Machado, whose contract runs out after the 2018 season.

The University of Maryland’s men’s and women’s basketball teams had great regular seasons; the post season—not so much. The Gentlemen Terps’ star player, Melo Trimble, decided to bolt for the pros, forgoing his senior year. Trimble is now a member of the Iowa Wolves. Don’t bother looking for them in the National Basketball Association (NBA) standings, they aren’t there. The Wolves are a NBA G team. Melo has a better chance of selling storm windows than lacing them up in the NBA. The Maryland Terrapins Football team was 4-8 with a dismal 2-7 record in the Big East. The Terps opened the 2017 season on an encouraging note with a 51-41 win on the road against Texas. That was before injuries depleted the team’s quarterback depth chart. Navy started out fast and finished extremely slow, losing a very winnable game to archrival Army.

The Old Line State’s biggest sporting event, The Preakness, drew over 140,000 spectators—many wearing great hats—to the ancient ruins known as Pimlico. Again, rumors swirled that the middle jewel of horseracing’s Triple Crown might be headed out of Baltimore and possibly out of Maryland for future runnings. Cloud Computing found the track ideal for victory in only its fourth start. The colt defeated the much more regarded Classic Empire by a head.

So, what did Maryland sports fans have to cheer about in 2017? College lacrosse remains a sport where teams shine. This year the state was home to not one, not two, but three national champions. The University of Maryland men’s and women’s lacrosse teams made it a clean sweep in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division 1. The men’s team downed Ohio State 9-6 at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA to win the national title for the first time in 42 years. The Terps have played in the past three championship games. The Maryland Lady Terps Lacrosse team topped off a perfect 23-0 season with a thrilling 16-13 win over Boston College. As for that third national champ—Salisbury University’s Men’s Lacrosse team won the NCAA Division 3 Men’s Lacrosse national title for the second straight year and 12th time in program history. The Seagulls beat Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) 15-7 to cap a 22-1 season.

In NCAA Division 1 Men’s Lacrosse, teams from the Free State that also had outstanding seasons included Towson University, Loyola University of Baltimore and Johns Hopkins University.

All sports, indoors and outdoors—win, lose or draw—gave us some thrills in 2017. If your favorite team in your favorite sport didn’t fare so well in 2017, it’s one more reason to look hopefully toward the new year and next season.

Contact Marty Madden at marty.madden@thebaynet.com