Through their first eight midweek games of the 2017 season, the Maryland Terrapins struggled to find a consistent starter and had to piece together spectacular comebacks to steal wins.
Things were different on Wednesday evening, as the Terps got a strong start from junior Ryan Hill and were able to hold the William & Mary Tribe scoreless in a 6-0 victory.
Hill, who made his first start as a Terrapin after 16 appearances out of the bullpen, did not allow a hit through the first three innings of the game. A leadoff walk to shortstop Zach Pearson was Hill’s only blemish on an otherwise perfect night.
“I just went out there and pitched like I have all year,” Hill said. “I basically warmed up like a normal game.”
As Hill retired nine of the 10 Tribe hitters he faced, Maryland’s offense built a slim lead early. In the second inning, back-to-back singles by AJ Lee and Zach Jancarski drove in Kevin Smith, who led off the inning with a trip to first following being hit by a pitch.
Although the lead was small, it was an encouraging sign for Maryland, which had only scored first in a midweek game one time prior to Wednesday’s game.
The first run was important for Jancarski, but he was far from done. The leadoff hitter also notched RBI singles in the fourth and sixth innings as well as a sacrifice fly in the ninth. He wrapped up his evening with a career-high four RBIs. The junior also extended his hitting streak to 11 games, during which he has recorded six multi-hit games.
Jancarski’s offensive heroics was all Maryland needed thanks to stellar outings from Jamal Wade, Jared Price, Andrew Miller and Ryan Selmer out of the bullpen.
“We love putting up goose eggs,” Hill said, “especially if we can do it for the whole game.”
Wade relieved Hill and hurled two scoreless innings, while getting in and out of a jam in the fourth. With just one out and the bases loaded, Wade struck out Charles Ameer before forcing Pearson to ground out to end the frame. All four relievers threw at least one inning of scoreless ball.
Aside from Jancarski, second baseman Nick Dunn and third baseman AJ Lee also picked up multiple hits in the victory. The trio combined for 11 of Maryland’s 16 hits.
“Jancarski had our first three RBIs with two outs… that’s pretty clutch,” head coach John Szefc said. “Every one of those runs was pretty big at the time.”
Maryland would tack on an insurance run after Brandon Gum’s infield single drove in Lee. The scoring opportunity was paved by back-to-back singles by Lee and Jancarski. Then, in the top of the ninth, Maryland’s small ball play paired with poor defensive play by the Tribe helped the Terps extend their lead to 6-0.
The Terps will return to College Park where they will host the Michigan State Spartans in a three-game set at Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium. The Spartans (20-13, 4-4 Big Ten) lost a midweek nonconference bout with the Michigan Wolverines after taking two of three from Ohio State over the weekend.