By Jimmy Perrino
The Maryland Terrapins (36-20) defeated the Northwestern Wildcats (18-36) by a score of 4-3 in their regular season finale to avoid a sweep. Ryan Selmer made his first collegiate start for the Terps and pitched fairly well. He lasted six innings, allowing three runs, although only one was earned.
The runs he allowed all came early. In the first inning, a Scott Heelan sac-fly brought in leadoff hitter Kyle Ruchim. In the third, a Justin Morris throwing error allowed Ruchim and Zach Jones to cross the plate, and that is all Maryland would allow.
Reed Mason was on the hill for the Wildcats and was dominant. In seven innings of work he did not allow a run and struck out seven. Only the top three in Maryland’s order were able to get a hit off him. Brandon Lowe got two, and none of them came in the same inning.
Even though the bats started ice cold, in the top of the eighth once Mason had exited the game, Maryland’s order finally strung some hits together and was able to do damage. After a LaMonte Wade walk and a Kevin Smith double, Brandon Lowe brought them both in with a single in the left-centerfield gap. Two batters later, Jose Cuas went yard and brought in Lowe, along with himself, and gave Maryland a much-needed lift, and the lead for good.
Kevin Mooney, who took over for Selmer before the seventh inning, came back out for the eighth and loaded the bases before getting himself out of the jam. In the ninth, Mooney settled down and shut down the Wildcats to earn the win.
Saturday’s win is the 36th of the year for the Terps, setting a regular season school record. They finish the season in a three-way tie with Michigan and Michigan State for the three-seed. All three teams have a 14-10 conference record, but the Terps lose the tiebreaker because of their series loss at Michigan.
Fifth-seeded Maryland (36-20) will take on fourth-seeded Michigan State at 10pm ET in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament on Wednesday. MBN will be live from Target Field in Minneapolis, MN to bring fans all the action.