Maryland attacks early to clinch series victory against Penn State

Less than 24 hours after Maryland salvaged a mainly stagnant offensive performance to steal the series opener, the Terrapin bats came alive early Saturday afternoon.

After a three-hit game last night, Maryland scored four runs on four hits in the first inning, helping beat the Nittany Lions 8-3 to clinch the series victory.

Center fielder Zach Jancarski’s said after last night’s game he hoped to score in the first frame. The junior singled to left field on the first strike he saw, carrying over the momentum from his game-tying home run in the ninth inning Friday night.

After a Marty Costes walk, Jancarski scored on an single by second baseman Nick Dunn, making the outfielder’s wish come true. But the Terps wouldn’t stop there.

Maryland remained aggressive, stealing four bases on five attempts in the first. Will Watson doubled home two and Madison Nickens drove in one more to cap off a four-run first inning for the Terps.

Those runs were all freshman starter Tyler Blohm would need to earn a victory. The southpaw allowed three runs (two earned) in seven innings in his first Saturday start of the season. He tied a career-high in both innings pitched and strikeouts. The freshman struck out eight batters in seven innings earlier this season against Princeton in a 2-0 victory.

Blohm worked out of multiple Penn State scoring threats throughout his start, including the third inning. He loaded the bases on a single, walk and hit-by-pitch, but escaped the inning unscathed.

After Penn State scored three runs in the fourth and fifth innings, the Terrapins answered with three of their own to add insurance. Kevin Smith’s sacrifice fly in the fifth inning increased the lead to 6-3. The Terps took advatage on Penn State’s defensive miscues to add two more in the sixth and ultimately pull away from the Nittany Lions.

Dunn and Watson each recorded three hits in the game and combined for four of the eight RBIs. Maryland’s aggressive offensive approach resulted in seven stolen bases.

Despite Maryland’s tendency to come from behind to win games late, that wasn’t necessary Saturday afternoon. Right-hander Jamal Wade entered the game for the last six outs of the game. The junior held the Nittany Lions scoreless in the final two innings to not only clinch the game, but the series victory.

The Terrapins move to 23-11 overall (8-3 Big Ten), and they will now look for another weekend series sweep tomorrow at 1 p.m. Starting pitchers are unannounced.