It took over 24 hours, but Maryland and Indiana finally completed the opening game of their three-game weekend series.
A thunderstorm Friday forced a suspension of the game until Saturday afternoon. When it finally restarted, Indiana wasted no time in taking control.
The Hoosiers scored six runs combined in the third and fourth innings, two coming on a home run from second baseman Tony Butler, en route to 9-2 victory in the series-opener at Bart Kaufman Stadium in Bloomington, Indiana. The loss snapped a seven-game Maryland win streak.
The teams played the first two-and-a-half innings Friday night before lightning in the area stopped the game with the score 0-0. Maryland ace Brian Shaffer pitched two scoreless innings, but Ryan Hill relieved him Saturday afternoon and struggled.
The junior transfer from Grayson College walked the first hitter he faced and hit the second. An attempted sacrifice bunt from Butler turned into a single when he perfectly placed the bunt between Hill and third baseman AJ Lee. Later in the inning, Hill hit a second batter and walked two more to give Indiana (23-16-2, 9-6-1 Big Ten) a 3-0 lead. In all, the reliever threw 41 pitches in his only inning of work without allowing a ball out of the infield.
Hunter Parsons relieved Hill in the fourth, but couldn’t stem the tide. Left-fielder Alex Krupa started with a one-out double to right and Butler followed with his blast to left. It was the second home run of the season for the junior, who is hitting .357 this season with runners in scoring position.
Two more doubles in the inning, including an RBI two-bagger from Craig Dedelow, extended the Maryland deficit to 6-0. Parsons made it through the fifth, but in the sixth, free passes bit the Terps (28-12, 12-4) again. The right-hander walked Butler and Matt Lloyd back-to-back, bringing third baseman Luke Miller to the plate. Miller smacked a hanging breaking ball way over the wall in left for a three-run homer. It was his ninth of the season and Indiana’s 47th, the most in the Big Ten.
While Indiana was piling up runs, the Hoosiers’ Cal Krueger was holding Maryland comeback efforts at bay. The Terrapins scored a pair of runs in the fifth, including one on a ringing triple off the center field wall from Kevin Smith, but Krueger was able to limit further damage. The right-hander retired 13 in a row after Smith’s triple and pitched all six innings on Saturday afternoon. He allowed four hits and struck out five without a walk, picking up the win to run his record to 2-1 in 18 appearances this season.
Miller and Butler were the hitting stars for Indiana, going a combined 7-for-9 with a home run each and five runs scored.
No Indiana hitter had more than one hit, and leadoff hitter Zach Jancarski didn’t have any, snapping a 14-game hit streak for the junior.
One bright spot for the Maryland pitching staff was sophomore Cameron Enck, who pitched two scoreless innings in just his fourth appearance of the season. He needed only 18 pitches to get six outs, despite allowing three hits.