In a closely contested game versus the Creighton Bluejays, the Maryland bullpen failed to convert when it came to locking down the final two innings as Creighton took advantage of bad control en route to a 5-3 Terrapins loss.
The Saturday matinee appeared nearly identical to last night’s contest through the first few innings with Creighton picking up a trio of runs between the third and fifth innings. The first two runs came from back-to-back RBI singles in the third, while the third run, delivered via a Jack Strunc sacrifice-bunt, gave the Bluejays a 3-0 lead.
At the same time, Creighton’s starter, senior Denson Hull, appeared to be in full control of the game, surrendering only three hits through four-plus shutout innings. For a while, it seemed like the Bluejays’ pitching, between yesterday and today, had figured out Maryland’s lineup.
Then, a quiet first four innings from Maryland’s bats turned into a booming fifth when Justin Vought provided a much-needed offensive spark — or perhaps an explosion when he crushed a Jonah Smith pitch deep behind the left-center outfield wall, tying the game at three runs apiece.
From then on, both offenses would struggle with converting on scoring opportunities as the game progressed through the seventh inning. When the eighth inning arrived, sophomore Mark DiLuia had entered the game looking to hold Creighton to their three runs but ended up walking two of their batters, setting the Bluejays up for an offensive push that would put them ahead for good after a lined single and bunt brought home the two batters DiLuia had walked.
As for the Bluejays bullpen, their relievers got the job done. Junior Jonah Smith made quick work of the Terrapins in the final three innings after their hiccup in the fifth and ended Maryland’s hopes of coming back despite loading the bases in the bottom of the ninth.
The Terps will have one last chance to salvage a win from this home series tomorrow at noon when freshman Trevor Labonte takes to the mound.