By Jimmy Perrino
Maryland (27-10) topped Cal State Fullerton (19-18) 9-5 on a subdued day in College Park. On the second pitch of the game, Maryland’s Tayler Stiles was hit on the left side of the face with a comeback line drive off the bat of Dustin Vaught. After over ten minutes in which he was conscious but could do no more than sit up, he was stretchered off the field. Baseball had to continue and Rob Galligan, who earned his first win of the season, took over the pitching duties for Maryland. Vaught eventually came around to score in the first inning on a sac-fly by Jake Jefferies. Galligan, however, held down the fort as well as anyone could have hoped, throwing six strong and only allowing one run while notching six strikeouts.
Maryland’s bats immediately picked up the mood in the stadium, plating three runs in the bottom of the first. Lowe lead off the frame with a double deep down the left field line. A fastball hit the next batter, Kevin Smith, and Kevin Martir followed that with a single to right, plating Lowe. Smith was brought in when Cal State third baseman, Vaught could not handle a ground ball. The third Terps run came across as the Titans chose to execute a 6-4-3 double play on a Jamal Wade ground ball, instead of throwing home. Rob Galligan felt this response was paramount to the team’s win today.”That was the most important thing because if they put up a zero there in the first inning that would have been tough.” said the winning pitcher.
Brandon Lowe and Kevin Martir were the team’s offensive leaders on the day, as they have been so often this season. Lowe, who was two for five, drove in two runs and scored two of his own. Martir did him one better, going three for five, with an identical two RBIs and a run scored himself.
Both Galligan and the Titan’s starter, Justin Garza (3-3) settled down after the hectic first inning. After each allowed one run in the third, nobody cross the plate until the bottom of the sixth inning. A walk, a single and an error loaded the bases for Brandon Lowe and he delivered a two out single to short center field, which brought home Justin Morris and Kengo Kawahara.
Anthony Papio added to the Maryland lead in the bottom of the seventh when he sent a no doubter out of the park in the right field gap. John Szefc credited Papio with taking a leadership role after Stiles went down. “Anthony kind of talked to those guys. He’s a really strong guy, a strong personality.” Zach Jancarski added an eighth run in the eighth inning on a single, following a Morris double. The final insurance run came two batters later on a Kevin Smith double, which scored Brandon Lowe who came all the way around from first base.
Ryan Selmer had a perfect outing, getting six Titans in a row to keep them scoreless in the seventh and eighth innings. Willie Rios finished the day for Maryland but had a tough go. He allowed three runs on four hits before ending the game.
The series will conclude tomorrow at 1pm with freshman LHP Josh Gavin (5-1, 4.53) on the hill for Cal State. The Terps, who are going for the sweep, have not announced their starter for Sunday’s game as of yet.