By Jimmy Perrino
On perfect evening for baseball at the beautiful Jackie Robinson Stadium, the Maryland Terrapins (40-21) defeated Ole Miss Rebels (30-27) in the first game of the Los Angeles regional, 3-1.
The Terps got off to a hot start against Rebels starter Christian Trent (7-7). In the top of the first, the southpaw relinquished three consecutive doubles off the bats of Kevin Smith, Brandon Lowe and Kevin Martir, which plated two runs. Even without suspended head coach John Szefc, Maryland played their typical small ball. In the fourth inning, a squeeze by Kevin Smith extended their lead to three.
Those few runs were all Mike Shawaryn (13-2) needed. The Maryland ace was good again today, although he was plagued with command issues and a tight strike zone, issuing five walks. In five and one third innings of work he allowed one run, and only surrendered two hits. The winningest pitcher in Maryland history also added to his personal accolades tonight. His nine-strikeout performance was also good enough to break Jake Stinnett’s single season strikeout record at Maryland, a record he set just last year.
Maryland Baseball Network’s own John Vittas highlighted the importance of defense in this regional, and was proven correct during this game. Lowe made two sensational grabs for the Terps, stabbing a groundball up the middle and snaring a line drive out of the air to save two runs. LaMonte Wade made his own impact with the glove, robbing a homerun in the eighth inning. Austin Knight was equally as important for the Rebels, throwing out three Maryland base runners in the first four innings. This contributed to the Terrapins stranding ten runners through seven innings.
By the latter innings, both bullpens had taken over the game. Like Rob Galligan, who limited the Ole Miss damage in the sixth, Jacob Waguespack quieted the Terps after Trent exited the game in the seventh. While Waguespack finished the game for the Rebels, Bobby Ruse threw a perfect seventh and eighth for Maryland and Kevin Mooney closed out the game with a three strikeout ninth.
Maryland will face the winner of UCLA and Cal State Bakersfield tomorrow at 11:00pm EST. Maryland’s probable starter is Freshman RHP Brian Shaffer (5-1, 4.73). As always, the game will be broadcast on the Maryland Baseball Network.