by: Matt Present
One reason for Mike Shawaryn’s dominance this season is his ability to throw strikes. He had walked just two batters though 20 innings of work coming into Saturday. However with the wind blowing out in Wilmington, the strike throwing backfired; Shawaryn issued three homers, including back-to-back homers to Gavin Stupienski, and Corey Dick in the fourth inning, as UNC Wilmington (8-3) took game one of the series 8-6.
The Terps (7-3) went back to back themselves in the sixth inning as Kevin Martir and Anthony Papio went yard to tie the game at six, but it was a disappointing finish to the frame as Jose Cuas struck out with the bases loaded, and the Terps missed out on a big opportunity to blow the game open.
The Seahawk bats were relentless, and immediately responded to the Terps rally, reclaiming the lead 7-6 in the bottom of the 6th, with a Steven Linkous RBI groundout, and then extended their lead in the eighth when Kennard McDowell beat the Terps infield on their movement towards the second base bag, singling to left center and driving in Luke Dunlap.
The Seahawks worked the bases full with no outs in the inning, but a combination of Tayler Stiles and Andrew Selmer shut the door and gave the Terps one last shot.
After nearly every Seahawks score the Terps came back to tie, an offensive resilience we’ve seen many times already this season. However the only time Maryland led was 2-1. It came in the fourth after Papio, laid down a perfect suicide squeeze to plate Cuas.
In the ninth however there was no comeback left in the tank, as hard throwing Seahawks closer Jordan Ramsey retired the Terps in order to secure the victory.
The series at UNC Wilmington will continue with game two of the twin bill at 4pm today. Maryland freshman Willie Rios will make his first career start against junior Ryan Foster (1-0, 3.75) for the Seahawks. Listen here.