The Terrapins lost their second Big Ten series of the year Sunday, falling to 2-1 to the Iowa Hawkeyes.
Joel Booker led off the 2nd inning for the Hawkeyes with a walk, and moved to third base after an error—an errant pickoff attempt—from Terps starter Kevin Mooney. The righthander walked three of the next four batters to force in the game’s first run.
Shortly thereafter, Junior Rob Galligan came on in relief, getting outs on a runner’s interference call and a strikeout to escape the bases loaded jam. The lefthander took the loss on the day, finishing with 5.2 innings pitched, allowing three hits, one run and striking out 5.
Brandon Lowe continued his hot hitting, sending one out of the park to lead off the 5th inning and tie the game at one. The solo shot was the sophomore’s ninth of the season, extending his conference lead. The ball snuck over the wall in right field for the Terps only run of the game.
“I might be a little biased, but I think he’s the best hitter in the country,” Galligan said about Lowe. “He’s unbelievable—he doesn’t swing at balls. He’s one of the most disciplined hitters I’ve seen.”
Calvin Matthews got a no-decision for the Hawkeyes, pitching five innings and striking out one. The only run he allowed was Lowe’s home run. Ryan Erickson was awarded the win and Luke Vandermaten the save, his second of the year. The two relievers combined for four shutout innings and six strikeouts.
The Terps had their opportunities on the day, but couldn’t connect with runners on base. The team stranded 11 for the game, including five through the first two innings.
The second Terps error led to the Hawkeyes second run. In the 7th, shortstop Kevin Smith scooped up a groundball but threw wide of first base, allowing Hawkeyes third baseman Nick Day to reach safely. Day moved to third on a single from senior Eric Toole and subsequently scored on a double play.
“We made two errors, they scored two runs,” coach John Szefc said. “They made none. That was the difference in the game.”
With the loss, the Terps fall to 24-10 on the season, 8-4 in Big Ten play, good for fourth place in the conference. They trail Iowa, Illinois and Ohio State with 22 games left to play.
On Tuesday, the Terps will travel to Lynchburg, V.A. to take on Liberty at 4:00 p.m.