The Maryland Terrapins offense was quiet for the majority of the front-end of Sunday’s doubleheader against Tennessee. But when the moment called, it came through.
The Terps scored one run in the sixth, one in the seventh, two in the eighth and finally took a lead by putting up a six spot in the ninth to secure a 10-4 victory. After only winning one road series in 2017, Maryland has already matched that mark in 2018.
“We’ve talked from the very beginning,” head coach Rob Vaughn said, “it’s about the way we go about our business, the way we compete and really about the process. I don’t think our guys could’ve embodied that any more than they did this weekend.”
A back-and-forth affair quickly became a battle of bullpen attrition, as both offenses woke up when the ‘pens were called. However, Tennessee struggled with runners on — the Volunteers were 2-for-12 with men on base — and the Terrapins thrived. On four occasions in the final two innings, the Terps drove in a runner with a base hit.
After both starting pitchers, Maryland’s Tyler Blohm and Tennessee’s Garrett Stallings, exited after 5.1 innings, the teams used a committee of pitchers to finish the front-end of a doubleheader.
Stallings’ dominant night was cut short after a line drive ricocheted off his arm, forcing him to leave the game in the sixth inning. Stallings faced the minimum through the first five innings, and threw just 50 pitches in his season debut.
Meanwhile, Blohm’s season got off to a rough start when Jay Charleston lofted one over the right field fence to open the first frame, but he bounced back strong. The 2017 Big Ten Freshman of the Year only allowed one more hit in his debut, but struggled keeping his pitch count down. His 92 pitches through 5.1 forced Vaughn to make the difficult decision to turn to his unproven relief corps.
Elliot Zoellner, nicknamed “The Fuzz,” and freshman Sean Fisher each allowed a run, but limited the damage before the Vols truly separated themselves. Four hits, three walks, two wild pitches and a balk somehow only resulted in two Tennessee runs.
Costes, who led the team in home runs in 2017 but was switched to the leadoff spot by Vaughn, gave Maryland its first lead in the ninth with a two-run double. Jancarski’s at bat that followed was possibly even more impressive — the senior fouled off seven pitches before lacing a double down the third base line to extend the lead.
“Our offense is relentless and that’s what we’ve been preaching since the fall,” Jancarski said. “It’s really tough to get us out 27 times.”
The wild game featured in four lead changes and three ties, and gave Maryland its first series win of 2018. After a brief break, the Terps and Vols will wrap up the doubleheader as Hunter Parsons takes the hill to face Will Neely.