In Maryland’s first at-bat of their Wednesday matchup with Delaware, leadoff hitter Chris Alleyne popped a ball up into shallow right field where it dropped between first baseman Josh Carpenter and right fielder Kyle Baker for a double.
The miscue set the tone for what would be an afternoon filled with Delaware mistakes and Maryland hits, and the Terps recorded 15 hits, including 8 for extra-bases, in a 13-6 win.
While the Terps bats came alive, they were helped along by the many mistakes made by Delaware on the afternoon. The Blue Hens issued seven walks, made two errors, hit six batters, and had five wild pitches and three passed balls. The Terrapins put added pressure on the Delaware defense, stealing four bases in five attempts.
After a Randy Bednar flyout, Maxwell Costes hit a sharp ground ball back up the middle to score Alleyne and put the Terps on top. Maryland doubled its lead in the second, when Bednar ripped a double to left-centerfield, scoring Ben Cowles from second base.
The Terps gave themselves more breathing room in the third, scoring three runs on a solo shot by Tavin Shahidi and an RBI double by Cowles. A bloop single off the left fielder’s glove by Austin Chavis chased starter CJ Schaible from the game and brought on Winston Allen who retired Alleyne before hitting Bednar and Costes with back-to-back pitches to bring in another run and allow the Terps to bat around.
While Schaible scuffled, Maryland starter Zach Thompson’s first trip through the Blue Hens’ order was tremendously efficient, as the redshirt junior set down the first nine men he faced, punching out two and throwing strikes on 20 of his 27 pitches.
“He had really good sink,” said head coach Rob Vaughn. “When Zach’s good the ball just disappears. Our guys have faced him for three years now and the ball looks like it’s down the middle and it ends up at you ankle.”
Delaware got its first base runner when shortstop Vinny Vaccone led off the fourth with a walk. After stealing second and moving to third on a groundout, Vaccone scored on an RBI groundout by Joseph Carpenter. The Hens also registered their first hit in the fourth on a two-out single by Jordan Hutchins. A two-run single by Aidan Riley brought two more runs to cut the Terps lead to 6-3.
The Blue Hens moved to within one in the fifth, scoring on an error by Shahidi and an RBI double by Carpenter off reliever Sean Heine. A solo homer by Cowles in the bottom of the frame brought the Terps lead back to two and two sacrifice flies in the bottom of the sixth made the score 9-5.
Cowles led the Maryland offense, going 2-for-2, with a home run, a double, two walks, and five RBIs.
“I was just trying to find a pitch to hit,” Cowles said of his homer. “I got down 0-2, so I was looking soft and I got a curveball.”
In the seventh, Delaware struck again, this time with a long solo homer by Kyle Baker. The Terps got the run back in the bottom half of the inning when Bednar scored on a passed ball. Maryland loaded the bases with one out, and scored twice more on an RBI walk by Cowles and a wild pitch by Tommy Pomatto.
While it was Delaware’s mistakes that defined the game, the Terps continued to struggle defensively, making two errors to bring their season total to 20 in just 11 games. Maryland also struggled to control the running-game, allowing three stolen bases on three attempts.