After managing just one hit in Friday night’s loss, the Terrapin bats came alive Saturday, plating 12 runs on a season-high 16 hits en route to a 12-6 Maryland victory over Bryant at home.
Nick Dunn tallied four hits and four RBIs, including a three-run double in the seventh, as the Terps (8-6) snapped their two-game skid and evened the series with the Bulldogs (3-8) at one game apiece. Zach Jancarski, AJ Lee, Kevin Biondic, Ty Friedrich and Justin Morris also turned in multi-hit efforts, as every Terp except Randy Bednar reached base safely in the contest. Tyler Blohm (2-1) picked up his second win of the year after allowing four runs over six innings while striking out five.
“Our approach was much better,” Head Coach Rob Vaughn said of Maryland’s offense after the game. “We talk about really trying to hunt the inside half of the baseball, swinging and creating leverage in our swing. We did a much better job of that today, if you look at a lot of our hits today a lot of them were in the middle of the field. Very few hooked balls, very few hooked ground balls, and that’s something, when we’re going good, that’s what the offense looks like.”
Down by one in the bottom of the third, Maryland’s offense broke out, scoring five times and sending all nine batters to the plate. They loaded the bases with no out in the inning on three straight singles, including Friedrich’s first career hit. Dunn tied the game up with a single through the right side and one batter later, Marty Costes gave Maryland its first lead of the series with a sac fly to right. Biondic drove home another with an RBI double into the right-field corner, and Lee made it 5-1 with a two-run single up the middle.
After the Bulldogs cut the Maryland lead to just one run, Friedrich doubled to left center leading off the bottom of the sixth and was lifted for pinch runner Richie Schiekofer. Bryant reliever Jack Ipsen then uncorked back-to-back wild pitches, allowing Schiekofer to score. Jancarski and Dunn then singled, and Biondic’s sharp ground ball single past third scored Jancarski to make it 7-4 Terps.
Maryland broke it open in the seventh when Will Watson, Justin Morris and Jancarski reached to load the bases for Dunn. The Terps’ second baseman continued his early season tear, just missing a grand slam with a fly ball off the fence in left center field. All three runners scored, and Dunn pulled into second with a double, giving Maryland a 10-4 advantage. With his four driven in today, he extended his team lead to 16 RBIs.
“It was a little warmer today, that made it a little easier, but just staying patient and sticking to my approach is probably the biggest thing,” Dunn said about his performance at the plate Saturday.
“The beautiful thing about Nick right now is that even his outs are pretty loud,” Vaughn said of Dunn’s success early on this season. “The only out he made today was his first at bat, and it was a laser to left field. He’s just running off a really good plan, doing a good job of owning the strike zone, and if you look, most of his hits are flying to the middle of the field.”
After his double, Dunn moved up to third on a wild pitch, and after Costes walked, Dunn crossed the plate on an errant throw to second by Bryant catcher Mickey Gasper. In the next frame, Lee singled – his third hit of the game – to lead off the bottom of the eighth, and came around to score on Morris’s RBI single to center for the Terps’ twelfth run of the afternoon.
Blohm was hit hard, surrendering nine hits in his six innings of work, but was able to minimize damage. Bryant stole a run off the left-hander in the first, but he then settled down, blanking the Bulldogs until the fourth inning. After the Terps plated five in the third, Blohm had a lead to work with for the rest of his time on the mound.
“[Bryant has] a very good team, they put a lot of good at bats together,” Blohm said after the game. “But on top of the defense that played flawless behind me and the offense giving me that support, that’s something that I needed today.”
In the first, Bryant had two on and two out when Tyler Panno, the runner on first, broke for second, and Terps’ catcher Ty Friedrich threw down, allowing Nick Angelini to dash home while Panno was caught in a rundown.
Shane Kelly cashed in on a two-out opportunity in the fourth, lacing an RBI single to left center. The Bulldogs cut the Maryland lead to one run off Blohm in the top of the sixth, when Panno hit a solo home run and Shane Kelly later drove in a run on an RBI double. Kelly homered off reliever Sean Fisher in the eighth, finishing the day with three hits and four RBIs. James Ciliento also tallied three hits for Bryant.
Fisher tossed the seventh and eighth innings for Maryland, pitching out of a jam in the seventh before allowing the two-run shot to Kelly in the eighth. The freshman southpaw picked off two runners in his outing, and struck out two Bulldogs. John Murphy pitched a scoreless ninth to close out the victory.
Maryland will look to take the rubber game against Bryant Sunday at 1 p.m. in College Park. Hunter Parsons (1-1, 7.07 ERA) gets the ball for the Terps against Vito Morgese (1-1, 8.10 ERA) for the Bulldogs.