Maryland surrenders six runs in the eighth against Northwestern, putting the game out of reach

With runners on second and third, a ground ball hit to freshman Ben Cowles threw it to home to prevent the go-ahead run from scoring. In a play that looked like the runner was out, he was called safe, giving the Wildcats a 8-7 lead. 

After the play at the plate, the game got out of hand very quickly. A few batters later, junior Alex Erro belted a three-run homer to extend their lead to 12-7. The Terps let the inning get away from them a bit and were not able to recover.

Maryland’s offense had a tough time getting started as the Wildcats’ starter, freshman Mike Doherty tossed 3 ⅓ innings allowing just one hit and racking up five strikeouts. But once, Doherty was taken out, the Terps offense got going.

In the top of the fifth inning, sophomore Michael Pineiro hit an opposite field solo shot over the left field wall for the Terps’ first run of the game. A few batters later, Bednar crushed one over the left field cutting the deficit to 5-2.

In the sixth inning with a 2-2 count, the pitch from junior Josh Levy just caught a piece of Lee, allowing the tying run to cross the plate. Before this pitch, Levy was brought into the game with bases loaded and no outs. The junior plunked the first batter he faced, walked the next one and then hit Lee.

With the game tied, 5-5, Levy got a big strike out on sophomore Randy Bednar. Levy was then relieved by junior Nick Paciorek. The junior struck out the next two batters he faced and got the Wildcats out of a huge bases loaded jam. Paciorek finished off the game, pitching 3 ⅔ innings, allowing just two runs and tallying seven strikeouts. 

Junior Zach Thompson had a rough couple innings, but was able to settle down late in the game. The junior allowed five combined runs through the first two innings but then went on to pitch four straight scoreless frames. Thompson finished the day with 6 ⅓ innings pitched, allowing five earned runs on five hits, while picking up five strikeouts.  

Freshman Andrew Vail was brought into relief in the seventh, with runners on first and second. Vail struck out the first batter he saw, but freshman Shawn Goosenberg lined a two-run double that went right passed the glove of senior AJ Lee. Two runs came across the plate and Wildcats retook a late 7-5 lead.

The Terps showed off some plate discipline in the first game of the double header, working 9 walks. In addition to these walks, the team also recorded three hit-by-pitches. With these free passes, the Terrapins didn’t capitalize enough.

One of the times Maryland took advantage came after a drawn walk from Bednar. On an 0-2 count, freshman Maxwell Costes belted a two-run homer over the left field wall to tie the game, 7-7.

But the bottom of the eighth spiraled out of control as the Wildcats put up six runs on four hits. With the score at 13-7, it was too far out of reach for the Terps, as they drop the second game of the series.