Maryland baseball honoring former athletes before final regular season series


Maryland pitcher Jimmy Reed. (University of Maryland photo)

Former Ravens standout O.J. Brigance, a key special teams contributor on the Super Bowl XXXV squad and currently Baltimore’s senior adviser to player development, will serve as an honorary captain Thursday night before the Maryland baseball team begins a season-ending three-game series against Boston College.

In 2007, Brigance was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as ALS or Lou Gherig’s disease. A champion in both the Candian Football League and NFL, Brigance created the Brigance Brigade Fund alongside his wife Chanda, raising funds for ALS patients and their families, while also campaigning for ALS awareness

During warmups, a press release said, the Terps and Eagles will wear Brigance Brigade t-shirts. Both Brigance and Peter Frates, a former Boston College baseball player recently diagnosed with ALS, will bring out the line-up cards and soak in the action from the dugouts.

The 28-year-old Frates now serves as Boston College’s director of baseball operations.

The Terps (28-24, 9-18 ACC) enter their three-game set against bottom-feeding Boston College (11-38, 3-23) on a three-game losing streak and tied for fouth place with Wake Forest in the Atlantic Division, but will send ace Jimmy Reed to the bump for Thursday’s opener at 6:30 p.m.

Eight teams advance to next week’s ACC tournament in Durham. Maryland’s .333 in-conference winning percentage is tied for ninth, three full games behind Miami.

Reed was named Terp of the Week after striking out a career-best 11 Clemson hitters in Maryland’s 7-2 win over then-No. 18 Clemson on May 4. Reed parlayed his performance on the mound to his second straight ACC pitcher of the week honor, becoming the first Maryland pitcher to win the award in the back-to-back weeks since the conference began awarding the honor in 1992.

Alex Prewitt covers the Washington Capitals. Follow him on Twitter @alex_prewitt or email him at alex.prewitt@washpost.com.

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Matt Bonesteel · May 15, 2013