After five runners were stranded on base through the first five innings, the Terrapins found a way to use some two-out magic in the sixth to regain a lead they would not again forfeit. In Maryland’s first game of the 2020 season, it was the four Terrapins making their debuts who carried the team to a 11-2 win over Charleston Southern.
The rally began with none other than freshman Tucker Flint, who in his Maryland debut found his way on four out of five times he came up to the plate, including three hits and an RBI. The Terrapins’ designated hitter shot a single into center and was followed by shortstop Ben Cowles, who earned a walk with two outs.
Another newcomer to the Maryland roster, junior transfer Austin Chavis, poked a ball to third that ended up thrown over first baseman Ryan Stoudemire’s head and brought in Flint to tie the game at two.
Maryland third baseman Tommy Gardiner looped a single into the infield grass that couldn’t be picked up in time, bringing in Cowles and giving the Terrapins the lead.
Gardiner, who lacked playing time in his sophomore season due to injury, found his way into the Maryland starting lineup for the season opener.
Freshman left fielder Troy Schreffler used his arm in the beginning of the game to throw out a Buccaneer at home, and then in the ninth joined the offensive onslaught with a two-RBI triple.
The Terrapins finished with 10 hits on the night, compared to Charleston Southern’s four.
Southpaw Sean Fisher started on the mound for Maryland on Friday night, making it his first career start in his junior season. Ace Hunter Parsons left the team after last spring and was drafted by the New York Mets, leaving the weekend opener slot wide open for the taking.
In 5 1/3 innings, Fisher tossed 92 pitches and earned five strikeouts. Two runs crossed the plate with the lefty on the mound, neither of them earned as they both came from Maryland errors in the second inning. Fisher finished the game with his first win of the year.
In relief for Maryland was freshman Sam Bello. In his collegiate debut, the right-hander stranded two Buccaneers on base with a strikeout to end the inning and hold on to the lead in the sixth. He followed his first inning with six more strikeouts in three additional innings of work, including striking out the side in the eighth.
The Terrapins literally started right away as leadoff hitter Chris Alleyne dumped a ball into left field that ended up as a double in what was the first pitch of the season. Two batters later, right fielder Randy Bednar dribbled a ball to the left side of the infield that brought in Alleyne for the game’s first run.
In the back half of the contest, the Terrapins really broke things open in the seventh as three straight players earned free passage to first via hit-by-pitches.
Catcher Justin Vought brought in a run after being pegged on the foot, and was followed by an RBI single from Flint’s third hit of the night. Gardiner drew a walk later in the inning, bringing in his second RBI on the night.
Alleyne finished things off in the inning with his second double of the night that brought in Vought and Flint, increasing the Terrapin lead to six runs.
The dominant start by Fisher followed by the closing by Bello saved Maryland’s bullpen for the remaining two games of the season, both of which will be started by freshmen.