Despite Maryland’s best late-game offensive efforts, it wasn’t enough to take game one of the two-game series against the Iowa Hawkeyes. A lack of offensive action came back to haunt the Terps as a few ill-timed home runs from Iowa put the final nail in the coffin in Maryland’s 6-4 loss.
Starting pitcher Sean Burke worked through three scoreless innings before giving up the first run of the game on a solo homer to Iowa’s Ben Norman, a hitter that has been heating up for the Hawkeyes during the past few games. Burke gave up only one more run before being pulled after the sixth, ending his day with nine strikeouts.
The first few innings were quiet for both teams offensively, save for Norman’s home run in the third, and a game that looked to be a one or two-run pitcher’s duel became an offensive battle. The Terps found themselves trailing by two runs going into the bottom sixth.
The Terps couldn’t awaken the bats and give Burke run support through the first five innings of the game until a dropped fly ball from Benjamin Cowles scored two in the bottom of the sixth. Whether it was a miscommunication among the Iowa players, or simply the sun blinding them, the mistake put the Terps on the board and they tied the game.
RHP Sam Bello entered the game for Maryland at the top of the seventh and served a quick 1-2-3 inning to get the Terps right back into the batters box. Iowa made a pitching change of their own, sending in RHP Jackson Payne, a decision that worked out in Maryland third baseman Matt Orlando’s favor as he sent out a go-ahead home run to give the Terps the lead 3-2 for the first time all game.
Iowa was quick to answer as the Hawkeyes’ Peyton Williams sent out a two-run homer to take the lead back in the top of the eighth. Bello made sure to get out of the inning without letting up another run, and his team backed him up as Maryland right fielder Randy Bednar sent out a ball to tie up the game against Iowa newcomer RHP Trace Hoffman.
LHP Ryan Ramsey entered the game for the Terps looking to keep Iowa at bay and get the Terps back in the box quickly, but Iowa’s Zeb Adreon was having none of that and quickly launched the Hawkeyes’ second two-run home run of the game to give Iowa a 6-4 lead going into the bottom of the ninth.
Iowa sent in their third pitcher of the game, RHP Dylan Nedved, to try and put the Terps away and secure Iowa the win. The Terps just couldn’t rally back and fell to the Hawkeyes after an offensive surge that provided hope.
Maryland will have one more chance this weekend to split the two-game series against the Hawkeyes in the first part of Sunday’s double header. Game two against Iowa begins at 12:00 p.m. and will be followed by the first game of the two-game Ohio State series at 4:00 p.m.