by John Vittas
Maryland scored in each of the first four innings and struck out 16 Tigers to best Towson 9-2 Wednesday night at Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen, Md.
Brandon Lowe recorded three hits (two doubles), three RBIs and two runs scored in the first four innings alone, as the Terps jumped out to a 8-2 lead.
“We had a lot of really good at bats with two outs early.,” Maryland head coach John Szefc said. “Our first four runs were scored with two outs. That’s a back breaker for an opposing pitching staff. That really got us going in the right direction.”
Maryland starting pitcher Brian Shaffer collected his fourth win of the season, striking out seven over five innings while allowing only two runs. The bullpen followed suit, as four different Maryland pitchers combined to silence the Tigers.
Bobby Ruse, Andrew Green, Mike Rescigno and Willie Rios each worked a scoreless inning to finish off Towson.
“I thought they looked great,” junior LaMonte Wade said. “They were effective and came in and threw strikes when we had the big lead. I thought they looked comfortable and we’re going to need that.”
““Bobby might have had his best stuff of the year,” said Szefc. “The night worked out as good as it could have worked out for us.”
In addition to Lowe’s big night, Kevin Martir hit a two-run home run for the Terps and Tim Lewis had an RBI triple and reached base three times.
“He’s just been aggressive and swinging at better pitches,” Szefc said about Lewis. “He told me he’s seeing the ball a little bit better.”
“We know that in order to win games, we have to have contributions from everybody in the lineup,” said Wade.
Wednesday’s win means that the Terps can bring the Ripken Cup back to College Park for the second straight year. The rivalry game began last season when the Terps beat Towson by one.
Maryland (33-16) will now head to Columbus, Ohio to take on Ohio State in what will be the Terrapins’ most important series of the year. Both teams are “on the bubble” to make the NCAA Tournament and are coming off series sweeps at the hands of Big Ten opponents.
“We had a rotten weekend. There’s no other way to say it,” Szefc said. “But we have to be mature enough and professional enough to bounce back from that and keep moving forward. [The Towson win] gets guys feeling good about themselves getting ready for a six-and-a-half hour bus trip. The bottom line is we still control what happens to us. That’s all you can ask for.”