Maryland struggles again in 18-4 loss to East Carolina

Maryland baseball got five leadoff hitters on base in its nine trips to the plate, but similar to struggles from the series opener, the Terps couldn’t string together enough hits before No. 18 East Carolina garnered a sizable lead.

The Pirates registered just five hits Friday night against right-hander Taylor Bloom, but exploded for 16 hits Saturday—including 10 with runners in scoring position—to pull away from Maryland in an 18-4 series-clinching win.

The Terps (9-9) have lost three in a row and drop back down to .500 this season. During the losing streak, Maryland is 5-for-52 with runners on base.

Left-handed starting pitcher Tyler Blohm got through the first frame without allowing a hit, but for the rest of his four-inning outing, he struggled to generate swing and misses against a good East Carolina offense. He didn’t strike out a single hitter.

The reigning Big Ten Freshman of the Year allowed a single and two walks in the second inning to load the bases with just one out. The southpaw, though, worked through control issues to induce what appeared to be an inning-ending double play. Second baseman Nick Dunn bobbled the exchange and was forced to settle for a single out. A run scored, and Blohm got the following hitter to line out.

The sophomore settled down in the third, but East Carolina exploded for 16 runs in the next five innings to pull away from the Terps. Blohm allowed three runs to score in the fourth on an RBI single, a wild pitch and a sacrifice fly. He finished his outing with six hits, five walks and six earned runs.

Blohm, after allowing two more runners to start the bottom of the fifth, was relieved by right-hander Alec Tuohy. The Pirates collected four hits off the redshirt senior, extending their lead to 10-1 through five frames. East Carolina scored at least one run in six of eight trips to the plate en route to an 18-run explosion.

For the second time in as many days, the Terps suffered a loss with double-digit hits. Maryland’s offense, despite another low run total, continued to succeed in getting runners on base, registering 11 hits in the loss. The Terps even got seven hits off Pirates right-hander Chris Holba (5-0, 1.17 ERA), who entered the game holding opposing hitters to a .157 batting average.

But in the early stages in the game when the Terps had the chance to get ahead or keep the game close, hits were too spread out to generate sufficient runs. Maryland showed life immediately after falling behind 4-0 when back-to-back hits from left fielder Marty Costes and catcher Ty Friedrich puts runners in scoring position with no outs. The Terps, though, only managed to plate one run on a groundout.

AJ Lee and Tommy Gardiner, who both collected multiple hits, ripped RBI doubles in consecutive innings. First baseman Kevin Biondic added an RBI sacrifice fly. The Terps scored in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings, but it was too little too late as the Pirates kept scoring at a faster rate.

The Terps will have one last chance this weekend to pick up a ranked win tomorrow at 1 p.m. when Maryland and East Carolina face off for the final game of the series.