By Chris Rogers
Not much went right for the (8) Terps Saturday as they were eliminated from the Big Ten Tournament in an 11-0 loss to (8) Iowa.
The Terps were playing their third game in 24 hours, as they fell to (7) Michigan State Friday morning, but defeated (3) Indiana Friday night to avoid elimination. But the short rest proved to be too much Saturday, as the Maryland bullpen faltered late, allowing eight runs in the final two frames.
Maryland’s recent hot streak had been catalyzed by strong starting pitching, and after using Mike Shawaryn, Taylor Bloom, and Brian Shaffer over the past three days, the Terps sent freshman Hunter Parsons to the mound for Saturday’s start. Owner of a 3.06 ERA overall entering play, Parsons had been especially solid in his four starts this season, going 2-1 with a 2.28 ERA and 19 strikeouts. But after a strong first three innings, he struggled in the fourth, walking two men before allowing three runs on back-to-back singles and a sac fly. Another walk spelled the end of the day for Parsons, who went just 3.2 innings before being relieved by Ryan Selmer.
Meanwhile, Maryland’s bats struggled to capitalize early on, as they put men on base in each of the first three frames against starter Shane Ritter, but failed to bring them in. A line drive single by Nick Cieri opening the fourth chased Ritter in favor of reliever Nick Gallagher. After two strikeouts, an infield single by Zach Jancarski gave the Terps another chance with men in scoring position, but Justin Morris struck out to end the inning.
After this, Gallagher (8-3) shut down the already-struggling Terps offense, as he didn’t allow a hit after Jancarski’s fourth inning single. Nick Dunn (error), Anthony Papio (walk), and Andrew Bechtold (error) were the only Terps to reach base for the remainder of the game.
While the Terps bats fell silent in the later innings, the Hawkeye bats were just getting started, scoring five in the eighth inning and three in the ninth. Four Hawkeyes finished with multi-hit games, and Nick Roscetti, Joel Booker, and Robert Neustrom each totaled two RBI.
Selmer pitched out of jams in the fifth, sixth, and seventh to keep the score at 3-0, but was pulled in the eighth after allowing a leadoff double to Eric Schenck-Joblinske and an unearned run on a throwing error. Andrew Miller came on, but provided little relief, walking a man before allowing an RBI single to Roscetti and an RBI double to Booker. Miller was pulled in favor of Andrew Green, who got the first out of the inning but allowed a run-scoring single. He was then replaced by left-hander Rob Galligan, who pitched out of trouble to end the inning. With each run that scored, the Terps’ chances of continuing in the tournament grew dimmer and dimmer.
It was the same story in the ninth: John Murphy took over for Galligan, and walked the first two hitters before being relieved by Cameron Enck. He promptly served up an RBI double to Roscetti and an RBI single to Mason McCoy, but did record two outs before he was replaced by Zach Guth, who gave up the final run on an infield single.
When all was said and done, the Terps had used eight pitchers, including six in the final two frames. Parsons (2-3) was tagged with the loss.
The Terps got a runner on in the ninth when Bechtold reached on a two-out error, but Jancarski was called out on strikes, and with that, the Terps’ Big Ten Tournament run officially ended.