by John Vittas
Brandon Lowe and Nick Cieri’s line drive doubles to left center combined to plate four runs in the ninth inning as No. 14 Maryland rallied to beat Elon 7-3 Wednesday.
Lowe set up the game-tying run in the seventh when he ripped a triple to the right field corner. In the two games against Elon, Lowe combined to go 7-for-10 with two doubles, a triple, home run, six runs scored and four RBIs. The sophomore second baseman is now boasting a .412 batting average to lead the Terrapins.
Cieri’s double was his third hit of Wednesday’s game. He took Elon starting pitcher Mike Krill deep to left in the second inning, giving Maryland a 2-0 lead.
“I felt really good today, everything was slowing down for me,” Cieri said. “I tried to just keep it really simple and be confident and I saw the ball really well. I got some pitches to hit and was able to capitalize.”
“Nick’s one of our better hitters,” head coach John Szefc said. “A week like this will help him out because he’s getting regular at bats. When you get regular at bats, your timing is better, your swings are better, your approach is better.”
In a 2-2 game in the fourth, Elon took the lead on an RBI groundout by Wil Leathers. They would hold that lead until Kevin Martir singled home Lowe in the seventh.
Maryland’s bullpen pitched six and one-third hitless innings Wednesday, and have now put up zeroes in 25 of the last 26 innings. Zach Morris, Jared Price, Tayler Stiles, Alex Robinson and Kevin Mooney combined to keep Elon off the board Wednesday.
“The bullpen right now is the strength of our team,” Szefc said. “They have allowed us to get back in games.”
Stiles entered a tie game in the eighth and stranded the go-ahead runner at third when he got Chris King to strike out looking.
Maryland (14-4) will return to College Park to take on Minnesota (7-10) Friday, with first pitch scheduled for 6:30pm. It will be the first Big Ten game in Maryland baseball history, and MBN will be there to broadcast the action beginning at 6:15.
“They’ll be good just like every other Big Ten team,” Szefc said. “We’ll have a light workout tomorrow and get ready to have a home series.”
John Szefc spoke with MBN’s Matt Present after the game:
Nick Cieri’s interview after a 3-hit, 4-RBI day: