Unearned runs the difference in Terps loss to UC Irvine

By Michaela Johnson

Although it looked at times like the Terps would catch up, they lost to the University of California, Irvine Anteaters 9-5 in a single game stand late Wednesday night. 

LHP Tayler Stiles made his first start of the season, and took the loss despite allowing just two earned runs.

The game was scoreless until the bottom of the third inning, when Stiles allowed a leadoff walk. Then, second baseman Nick Dunn committed a two-base error after catching a line drive and attempting to double off the runner at first. The runner, Jonathan Muñoz, was awarded second and third after the ball rolled out of play. A single from CF Keston Hiura, who would be instrumental both offensively and defensively in the Anteaters’ (10-6) victory, put them up by one before the inning ended. The Terps (7-8) answered with a run of their own in the top of the fourth, with a single from Dunn who scored on a sac fly by LF Marty Costes.

The bottom of the fourth proved to be more problematic for the Terps, when RF Madison Nickens dropped a routine fly ball that would lead to three more runs for the Anteaters – one coming off a perfectly executed suicide-squeeze. However, Maryland came back with three runs of their own to tie the game in the next frame. After a pair of singles from 3B Andrew Bechtold and C Justin Morris, Nickens tripled to right field for to bring in two. The, the tables briefly turned, as the Terps capitalized on error by the Anteaters’ second baseman Cole Kreuter, plating Nickens for the third run of the inning to even the score at four in the top of the fifth.

Irvine went on to score two in the bottom half of the fifth, which marked the end of Stiles’ outing. He allowed nine hits and six runs through 4.2 innings, but four of the six runs were unearned. 

The Terps reciprocated with one run in the top of the sixth, reducing the Anteaters’s lead to one, but they didn’t score for the rest of the game. Irvine tacked on two more runs in the sixth, and another in the eighth, winning the game by four.

The Terps will take on Cal State Fullerton this weekend in a three game series starting Friday, at 7 p.m. PST (10 p.m. ET). Listen to the broadcast here: http://mixlr.com/maryland-baseball-network/ and follow our live updates on Twitter @mdbaseballnet.

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