The Maryland Terrapins have gotten tremendous performances from all three of their starting pitchers in their series with the Bryant Bulldogs. Freshman Tyler Blohm continued that trend in the second game of Sunday’s doubleheader.
Blohm threw six innings, allowed just three hits and struck out six without giving up a run in Maryland’s 4-0 victory, a win that secured a sweep of the Bulldogs and eight consecutive wins for the Terps.
It was the first time in his young career that he pitched into the seventh inning, as the 6-foot-3 left-hander was relieved after he faced one batter in the seventh.
“The starters have been getting better each time,” head coach John Szefc said. “I think that was Tyler’s best start too… [I thought] he had his best off-speed stuff today for sure, he made some big pitches when he had to [and] he really used his changeup effectively when he had to.”
Blohm got better as the game went along, and ironically threw his best stuff after he was hit in the hand by a soft line drive in the third inning.
“It hurt obviously,” Blohm said. “It tightened up for a little bit but my few warm-up pitches [looked good], so I decided to stay in the game. And then from there I ended up throwing harder after it, which was kind of weird, and my curveball was biting more so maybe it worked out for the best.”
Similar to the first game of the Terps doubleheader on a chilly March afternoon, the Maryland offense was able to give its starting pitcher an early lead. The Terrapins got on the board in the bottom of the first frame after Brandon Gum lofted a sacrifice fly to left field, scoring leadoff hitter Zach Jancarski.
Jancarski, the junior center fielder, was able to advance to third on a double steal, a play that set the theme of the afternoon. As a team, Maryland stole six bases in the game, increasing its season total to 33. That total already surpasses last season’s total of 28.
“It’s something we constantly work on,” Szefc said. “In particular, [assistant coach Anthony] Papio has done a great job with our base stealers… he has done a really good job imparting some of his experience and knowledge.”
“He just has really good feel over there as far as reading pitchers,” Szefc said, “as far as looks, and holds, and tempo and moves… just baseball lingo-type stuff that he’s very good at picking up after doing it for five years at a college level himself.”
The Terps struck again in the fourth inning, when junior Kevin Smith drove in a pair with a timely two-run double off the wall. After advancing on a passed ball, a dancing Smith was able to distract Bryant starter Vito Morgese and able to force a run-scoring balk. The run extend Maryland’s lead to 4-0 and it held on to win by that score.
After a rough 1-5 start to the season, which included getting swept against LSU in Baton Rouge, the Terrapins have responded exceptionally well. They have won their last eight games and have averaged eight runs per game during that stretch.
“It’s exciting, it’s a really fun lineup to be a part of,” Jancarski said. “It’s just a nightmare, I think, for opposing teams and coaching staffs and pitchers because you don’t know when we’re going to take that base — and it’s coming.”
Maryland will travel to Chapel Hill where it will face North Carolina on Tuesday before returning to Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium to host Princeton in a weekend series.