Maryland concedes 9 home runs in 20-5 beatdown vs. Indiana

Maryland starting pitcher Zach Thompson was already halfway between the mound and the third-base line, but home plate umpire Mike Cerra still hadn’t budged.

Thompson and the Terps didn’t get the punch-out they needed, one that would’ve ended the third inning with Maryland down four runs but still in striking distance. Instead, the inning continued to the dismay of the home crowd at Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium.

And, of course, baseball’s brutality reared its ugly head after Thompson retreated to deliver another pitch, as Indiana right fielder Grant Richardson smashed the team’s fourth homer in the first three innings.

The power surge never stopped. By the time the Indiana sealed an 20-5 beatdown — Maryland’s largest defeat in eight years  — they had hit nine long balls to set up a decisive rubber match on Sunday.

First baseman Matt Lloyd and designated hitter Scotty Bradley each mashed two home runs, while Richardson hit three.

Indiana’s offense stayed in Bloomington an extra night before finally making its way to College Park for the middle of the three-game set. On Friday, Maryland pitchers Hunter Parsons and John Murphy held the Hoosiers to only two hits in a 2-0 shutout victory.

The Hoosiers eclipsed their Friday hit total before Thompson recorded an out. Center fielder Matt Gorski doubled to leadoff the game, second baseman Drew Ashley followed with a single, and Lloyd homered for the first time of the game to give Indiana a 3-0 lead.

Center fielder Chris Alleyne led off the bottom half of the frame with his fourth homer of the season, putting the Terps on the board. Maryland didn’t score again off Indiana starter Tanner Gordon, who allowed three hits over seven innings.

Even with Thompson over 40 pitches after a four-run first inning for Indiana, the game didn’t seem unsalvageable yet. Only Murphy, Maryland’s closer, had pitched the night before thanks to Parsons’ eight scoreless innings. Head coach Rob Vaughn had his entire bullpen at his disposal if Thompson couldn’t recover and give his team distance.

It didn’t matter, though. Maryland trailed 6-1 after Thompson exited in the top of the fourth after allowing a leadoff single, but the bullpen was just as unsuccessful as its starter.

Freshman Daniel O’Connor and sophomore Billy Phillips each conceded five runs and only recorded two outs apiece. Sophomore Mark DiLuia tossed 3.2 innings, but he also allowed two solo homers. Freshman Kody Milton pitched the final frame, and he allowed a solo homer that pushed Indiana to 20 runs — the first time Maryland has conceded that many runs since 2010.

Indiana scored in each of the first five innings, pulling away in a seven-run fourth and a five-run fifth, and led by 17 midway through the contest. The Hoosiers’ 20 runs on 18 hits were both the most this season, as they improve to 4-1 in conference play.

The Terps scored four runs in the bottom of the ninth, but the game was decided five innings earlier. Maryland’s 20 conceded runs are the most since April 27, 2010 against George Mason and its 15-run loss is the largest since a 16-0 defeat on Feb. 20, 2011 at the hands of Texas.