The Terrapins dropped their third consecutive game Wednesday night, losing 3-1 to VCU. Freshman Taylor Bloom made his first career start as a Terp and took the loss, giving up two runs (one earned) over four innings, striking out two and walking one. For the Rams, Ben Stine made his second start of the season and got the win, pitching five innings of shutout ball and striking out two.
The Terps have struggled offensively in the three losses, a stark contrast to the beginning of the season, when the main weakness was starting pitching. The Terps have score one run of fewer in four of the last six games, and two runs or fewer in five of the last six (they won 2-1 over Cal. St. Fullerton behind Mike Shawaryn’s career performance).
Maryland was shut out by the Titans on Sunday and scored just once in each of the games against the Rams. In the first three-game losing streak of the seasons, the Terrapin bats cooled to hit just .171 with just one extra-base hit, a double by Jose Cuas on Tuesday.
Maryland had a chance in the bottom of the first to do some damage, but couldn’t connect with the key hit. LaMonte Wade, leading off for the first time this season, drew a walk and subsequently stole second base for his seventh steal of the season. The centerfielder is now 7-7 on stolen base attempts. After Kevin Smith flied out to left field, Brandon Lowe, making his first start in the three-hole, followed with a single, pushing Wade to third. Lowe stole a base of his own, putting two on in scoring position for Kevin Martir, who came into the game as the Terps leading hitter. However, Stine got out of his jam with consecutive strikeouts of Martir and Jose Cuas.
The Rams scored in the top of the second, after Shane Dressler hit a one-out double. A fielder’s choice brought the him to third base, and he scored on an infield hit from Daane Barezo. Barezo hit a ground ball up the middle that ricocheted off of Bloom’s glove. Patrick Hisle, making his first start of the season, snagged the deflected ball with bare-headed, but his throw to first was not in time.
The Rams scored their second run as a result of a Hisle error in the fourth inning—he bobbled a ground ball, allowing freshman Ryan Coale to reach safely. Coale would eventually score on a wild pitch from Bloom. VCU pushed across an insurance run in the eighth, as Tuesday night’s hero, Logan Farrar, singled up the middle once more to plate Barezo.
The Terps threatened in the bottom of the eighth, as both Wade and Lowe thrived in their new spots of the order. Wade drew another walk and moved to second on a fielder’s choice, then scored on Lowe’s second single of the night.
With the loss, the Terps fall to 27-13 on the year.
Maryland plays next this weekend, when the team travels to West Lafayette, IN, to face off with Purdue. The Boilermakers are at the bottom of the standings with a 1-11 conference record.