By Jimmy Perrino
The #12 Maryland Terrapins (7-4) were defeated by the UNC Wilmington Seahawks (9-3) 11-7, losing both ends of today’s doubleheader. In this very sloppy game, both starters pitched very well until the fifth inning. In the top half of the frame a Jose Cuas single drove in Brandon Lowe, who had doubled, and LaMonte Wade, who had walked. The following batter, Tim Lewis, doubled to dead center, which drove in Cuas and ended Ryan Foster’s day.
The bottom half of the inning was also eventful. Steven Linkous singled to lead off the inning. Lowe made an error on what could have been a double play ball off the bat of Terence Connelly. A passed ball moved the runners to second and third and Stupienski drove in Linkous with a single. A monstrous Corey Dick double, which missed being a home run by inches, plated Connelly and Stupienski, putting the Seahawks on top 5-4 after five, and chased Willie Rios from the game.
Defense was an issue for both teams in this game. The Terps, who had committed three errors coming into this weekend and led the country in fielding percentage, committed six this game and seven on the day. UNCW also had four errors this game.
The hectic baseball continued in the top of the sixth. Anthony Papio walked to lead off the inning and moved to second on a wild pitch. Justin Morris reached on a error putting runners on the corners. In quintessential John Szefc fashion, the squeeze was on and executed perfectly by Kevin Smith. Stupienski threw the ball away in an attempt to get Smith at first, allowing Morris to score and Smith to reach third base. Smith was immediately driven in by a Lowe sac-fly and making the score 7-5 in Maryland’s favor.
A single, an error, a defensive miscommunication, a wild pitch and a sac-fly started off the Seahawks half of eighth inning. That, combined with an unearned run in the seventh gave UNCW an 8-7 lead, a lead they would not relinquish. By the end of the eighth the deficit was 11-7, and the Terps had committed another error in the process.
The Maryland bullpen was hard done by defense today. Ryan Selmer, Zach Morris, Jared Price and Alex Robinson combined to give up six runs in three and two third innings, but none of them were earned.
The series finale will be tomorrow at 1pm. Maryland freshman Brian Shaffer (1-0, 6.00) will get the nod against UNCW’s Evan Phillips (1-0, 7.88) as the Terps try to salvage one game of this weekend set.