Smith home run not enough as late grand slam sinks Terps

After a pair of blowouts on Saturday, Maryland and Indiana decided to treat those who braved the afternoon rain to some drama in the series finale.

Craig Dedelow launched two home runs, including a seventh inning grand slam, to provide the winning margin in a series-clinching 6-3 victory Sunday at Bart Kaufman Stadium in Bloomington, Indiana. The game was called in the eighth inning because Maryland had to catch a plane back to College Park.

Indiana (24-17-2, 10-7-1 Big Ten) entered the seventh inning trailing 3-2 and Maryland reliever Ryan Selmer got two quick outs on just six pitches. With rain falling steadily, though, Tony Butler singled and Matt Lloyd doubled to put two on. The Terps elected to intentionally walk cleanup hitter Luke Miller to get to Dedelow. The center-fielder cleared the bases with an homer to left, his 11th of the season, a career-high for the two-time all-Big Ten performer.

Before Logan Sowers could bat following Dedelow’s home run, lightning flashed across the sky, putting the game into an immediate delay. Play didn’t resume until 15 minutes before Maryland’s 2:35 travel curfew, giving the Terps just three outs to play with. They went quietly in the eighth against IU closer Lloyd, who picked up the save.

After piling up 13 hits in a 9-2 win Saturday night, Maryland (29-13, 13-5) picked up right where it left off in the first inning of Sunday’s game. Zach Jancarski continued his torrid hitting with  a double to the wall in left-center. He later came around to score on a line drive off the bat of Nick Dunn. Dunn was robbed of what would usually have been a hit because Marty Costes, who had walked, got a bad jump off first and was forced out at second on a rare 9-6 fielder’s choice.

Dedelow responded for Indiana in the bottom of the second. The junior ripped a home run to right field off the light post rising out of the grass beyond the wall.

Maryland went ahead again in the fourth when Danny Maynard, getting his second straight start behind the plate, singled and Kevin Smith followed with a two-run blast. The shortstop’s eighth home run of the season was not cheap, traveling far over the left field wall and putting the Terps in front 3-1.

Maryland starter Taylor Bloom made that lead stand up through the sixth. The junior right-hander looked sharp for the third start in a row, throwing an even 100 pitches and striking out seven. He made just two mistakes, on Dedelow’s home run and on a solo shot given up to freshman Jeremy Houston in the fifth. It was the first home run of Houston’s career at Indiana.

Over his last three starts, Bloom has looked much more like the pitcher that was fourth on the Big Ten’s ERA list last season. He has a 2.61 ERA in 20.2 innings over those three outings, striking out 19 and walking just three.

Selmer, who pitched 2.2 scoreless innings on Saturday, looked sharp again before running into trouble with two out. The grand slam raised his ERA by nearly 1.5 runs to 2.70 and dropped his record to 2-1.

Maryland tallied nine hits, with Costes, Smith and Jancarski each chipping in two. Maynard was on base three times with a single and two walks.

With this series loss, the Terps continue to struggle comparatively on the road. Maryland has won just one true road series, a sweep of Rutgers in early April. The Terps fall to below .500 (11-12) away from home despite a dominant 18-1 mark at Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium.