By Chris Rogers
A four-run seventh inning highlighted an offensive outburst for the Terrapins (24-19, 9-6) as they beat Penn State, 8-3, in Game 2 of Saturday’s doubleheader.
After being shutout in Game 1, the Terps banged out 11 hits in the nightcap and took advantage of four Nittany Lion errors. Marty Costes led the way with three hits and two RBI as he finished a homer short of the cycle, and Nick Dunn and Madison Nickens each picked up two hits. Brian Shaffer (5-3) turned in the third solid start of the weekend for the Terps, allowing two runs (one earned) on four hits over seven frames.
Maryland struck early, as Nickens singled to open the game, stole second, advanced to third on a throwing error, and scored on an infield single by Marty Costes. They added to their lead in the second when Andrew Bechtold drove in Nick Cieri on a single to center, giving the Terps a 2-0 lead. Two innings later, Kevin Biondic led off with an infield hit and moved to second after Cieri walked. Zach Jancarski then tried to sacrifice the runners over, but Biondic scored and Jancarski was safe at second after an errant throw. One batter later, Bechtold picked up his second RBI of the game on a sac fly that scored Cieri and extended the lead to 4-0.
The Terps doubled their lead in a four run seventh that began, again, with a Nickens single. After an error, he eventually came around to score on a wild pitch. Dunn and Costes followed with back-to-back RBI hits, and Cieri drove the fourth run of the inning in on a sac fly.
Shaffer, meanwhile, returned to his old form after struggling in his previous start against Purdue, as retired 16 of the first 17 hitters he faced before getting into a jam in the sixth. He surrendered a one-out single before getting a potential inning-ending double play ball. However, Kevin Smith dropped the throw at second base, and Penn State had men on first and second with one out. After Shaffer got a strikeout, Bechtold dropped a pop up at third, allowing a run to score. In the seventh, a pair of doubles netted the Nittany Lions their second run.
Hunter Parsons came on in relief of Shaffer in the eighth and retired the side in order. Mike Rescigno took over in the ninth, and surrendered a run on a double play before closing things out.
With the win, Maryland split the doubleheader with Penn State and clinched a series victory. Their next game is Wednesday in Aberdeen, Md., against Towson.