The newly named Big Ten Freshman and Player of the Week Maxwell Costes delivered a late-inning RBI single to give the Terps a lead that they never let go of.
In what was a slow moving game after an explosive start by Maryland, Costes broke the curse for the Terps in the seventh after they left seven consecutive runners on base to secure their fifth straight victory, beating VCU by a score of 4-3.
“He just gives us good at-bats.” head coach Rob Vaughn said. “That was a huge two out hit he had. Maxwell’s tough, man. He’s tough.”
Senior captain AJ Lee added to the late-game scoring with an RBI single of his own. With runners at the corners and two outs, the shortstop poked one through the hole to drive in Wright to give the Terps a two-run cushion in the ninth.
“He left one over the plate, [I] put a good swing on it and found a hole,” Lee said.
Sophomore Randy Bednar continued to mash the ball with a two-hit game, beginning in the first inning. After leadoff batter Caleb Walls singled, Bednar shot one to the warning track and jogged into second base with an RBI double. This marked the sixth time in seven games that Maryland scored in the opening frame.
After losing the lead, Taylor Wright delivered a sacrifice fly to bring in Chris Alleyne in the fifth.
Starting pitcher Drew Wilden made his season debut against VCU, yet only pitched for two innings in what was a bullpen heavy day. In his time on the bump, the southpaw recorded two strikeouts and conceded one hit and run. After missing last season due to injury, Wilden eased his way back into the starting rotation for Maryland, and with two innings under his belt, there is now more to come later in the year.
In his last batter faced, Wilden looked like he lost his hitter with a 3-0 count, but stormed back fast, getting the strike out to strand a runner on base.
“Drew’s gonna be a really good one.” Vaughn said. “I saw that guy a lot in high school, he’s a competitive kid. He threw his three pitches for strikes, and lefties that can do that are tough.”
Relievers came up big for Maryland in the game today, where eight different arms came out of the bullpen. In 1.2 innings of work, Mark DiLuia fanned three batters while only allowing one hit. Nick Turnbull pitched the same duration, not giving up a hit while on the mound.
“We got arms, we’re deep.” John Murphy said. “I think every single guy on our staff is a dude and when we can consistently send out guy after guy after guy it makes them uncomfortable over in that dugout.”
Murphy came in for Maryland in the ninth, and secured his third save of the year. After getting himself into a jam, the senior closer worked out of it with the game-winning run looming on first base.
“A win’s a win, it doesn’t have to be pretty.” Murphy said. “We got our fifth W in a row and that’s really all that matters.”
For the Rams, Paul Witt was the batter that Maryland pitchers could not contain. With both of VCU’s runs batted in, Witt kept his team in the game late but was unable to go the extra distance to secure a win.
In their first mid-week game of the season, the Terps started a winning pattern unlike that of last year. With a 5-8 record a season ago in games during the week, Maryland struggled when it faced opponents in one game opportunities. The win against VCU is the first of its kind this year.
Maryland is now 2-0 against VCU this season, with one more game remaining in College Park later in the season. The two teams faced off at the Brittain Resorts Invitational earlier in the month, where the Terps took the win 5-3.
The Terps continue their road trip this weekend as they take Louisiana Lafayette in a three-game series. The Ragin’ Cajuns, out of the Sunbelt Conference, sit at a record of 1-6 on the year.