By Ben Harris
For the second straight game, the Terps fought off a sluggish offensive start to walk-off in front of their home fans at Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium. And for the second straight game, a freshman stepped up to play the hero.
Friday evening, it was Zach Jancarski who broke up Ohio State’s no-hit bid in extra innings, singling to center, stealing second, and scoring on Madison Nickens’ game winning single.
Sunday, it was Dan Maynard with the bases loaded in the ninth, breaking a 4-4 tie and earning his club a three-game sweep of the visiting Buckeyes.
After being no-hit for the first 9.1 innings of Game 2 on Friday, Maryland was no-hit through 4.1 innings Sunday. In the fifth, the lone starting senior Anthony Papio laced an RBI double more than halfway up the wall in right to score Kevin Smith, the team’s first run and hit of the day.
In the three game set against Ohio State, Maryland was held hitless in 21 of their 27 innings at the plate.
But, late Sunday afternoon, with a chance to record their first series sweep of 2016, the Terps made their at-bats count, stringing together six quality plate appearances to complete a feverish comeback.
“I have to give our guys credit, every one of those at-bats in the ninth was a tough at-bat,” said head coach John Szefc. “Cieri’s 3-2 walk, Smith’s 3-2 walk, those at-bats are just as big as Papio’s and Danny’s which knocked in three runs.”
“I knew I was getting fastball first pitch and I tried to jump on it and missed it,” Maynard said of his final at bat. Knowing Ohio State had no place to put him, he correctly predicted, and laid off of, a slider down and away. With a 1-1 count, he eyed up a fastball from Yianni Pavlopoulos.
“I knew I was getting a fastball and I was sitting on it,” he said. “I was ready for it.”
— MD Baseball Network (@mdbaseballnet) April 10, 2016
Back in the second inning, Ohio State center fielder Troy Montgomery crashed into the center field padding to rob Kevin Smith of sure extra bases. One frame later, Montgomery broke the scoreless tie with an RBI double that one-hopped the fence in left.
Two batters later, third baseman Nick Sergakis flared a first-pitch single to center, scoring Ohio State’s second run of the inning and third overall in the series. The ball fell into no man’s land between Anthony Papio and Nick Dunn, who each battled the sun and couldn’t come up with the catch.
Dunn and his fellow infielders convened behind the mound and tapped gloves with Shawaryn.
“That type of stuff happens throughout the game,” said starting pitcher Mike Shawaryn on his defense’s inability to corral the blooper. Behind the mound, he told Dunn, “Hey listen, I’m going to get this guy for you, I’m going to pick you up for the countless games [the defense] has picked me up.”
True to his word, Shawaryn struck out Troy Kuhn looking to end the third, the fourth of his season-high ten strikeouts.
Montgomery wasn’t done flashing the leather, however. In the sixth with Dunn on second, the junior outfielder stole a run from the Terps with a sliding catch in shallow center.
On Masters Sunday, Kevin Smith broke out his driver in the seventh, launching a solo homer toward the flagpoles beyond the left field fence.
Five Terrapin relievers held Ohio State hitless in 2.2 innings after Shawaryn’s exit. For the second straight game, Mike Rescigno was tapped to get the final out of the ninth inning and struck out his batter on four pitches. Maryland’s back-to-back walk-off wins netted the junior his first two wins of his career.
Tallying just 11 hits and 10 runs in the series, Maryland swept the Buckeyes to improve to 18-15 on the year, and 4-2 in the Big Ten.
Notes: Maryland pitchers held Big Ten home run leader Jacob Bosiokovic to 1-13 in the series with eight strikeouts (two each Friday from Taylor Bloom and Brian Shaffer and four Sunday: three from Shawaryn and one from Rescigno). The top of Maryland’s order struggled. Hitters one through four went 0-13. However, numbers five through eight in the batting order went 6-13 with all six hits and all five runs scored. Shawaryn moved into second on the school’s all-time strikeout list with 256 in his two-and-a-half year career.