Maryland Falls To 18-18 In Blowout Loss To James Madison

It was an ugly day on both sides of the ball for Maryland as they were beaten 14-1 by the James Madison Dukes at Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium.

It was a quick start for James Madison’s offense as they quickly got to Terps starter Sean Heine in the first inning for five runs. After a hit batsman and a double, freshman Kyle Novak drove in both runners giving the Dukes a 2-0 lead before Maryland even recorded an out.

From there the inning escalated further. Novak scored the Duke’s third run in the inning on a single from fellow freshman David Willis and JMU would add two more runs after that finishing the inning with five runs on five hits. A commanding lead to begin the game.

Heine would allow one more run in the second before throwing a scoreless third. He was then pulled in the third inning for sophomore Billy Phillips. James Madison continued to threaten though, loading the bases in the inning, but Phillips was able to escape in part due to a key strikeout with one out.

In the sixth inning, the Dukes scored three runs on Phillips pushing their lead to 9-0. Two of those runs came on a monster home run that cleared the scoreboard in left-center field by James Madison’s first baseman Brady Harju. Harju is now second on his team with five home runs on the season, trailing only Trevon Dabney who has six.

Dukes’ right fielder David Willis later hit a home run of his own in the top of the seventh inning, increasing the James Madison lead to 10-0. The homer came off of Maryland sophomore Mike Vasturia who threw a knuckleball that did not fool Willis whatsoever.

Meanwhile, Maryland had no answer for Dukes starter Michael Bechtold who would shut them down through four innings. Bechtold allowed no runs on just two hits with one walk and two strikeouts along the way. He was replaced by sophomore Grayson Jones to begin the fifth inning.

This was a day that it seemed nothing was going right for them and it would continue into the late innings as James Madison would score five more runs in the seventh inning taking the lead to an overwhelming 14-0.

Maryland was able to muster just three hits all day and allowed 14 runs on 13 hits themselves. Their lone run came on an RBI single from second baseman Ben Cowles in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Maryland now drops to a disappointing 6-10 at home and 18-18 overall as they will look to shake this loss off heading into their upcoming road matchup with George Mason. 

The Terps will embrace this road trip as they are far better on the road this season (11-7) than they are at home. The Terps will also look to get back over the .500 mark with a win tomorrow.