Coming off an 11-2 loss earlier in the day against Iowa, Maryland’s offense began to wake up in the second half of Sunday’s two-fer against the Ohio State Buckeyes. Their continuous offensive efforts weren’t enough as they fell to the Buckeyes, 5-4, marking their third loss of the weekend.
The Maryland offense showed promise early after a leadoff home run from Chris Alleyne gave the Terps a one-run lead. Starting pitcher Nick Dean held up the defensive end, serving Ohio State three scoreless innings and allowing just one run off a solo homer from Ohio State’s Zach Dezenzo. Dean was pulled from the game in the bottom of the fourth for Sean Fisher, but finished his time on the mound with three strikeouts and produced a handful of easy grounders for his infield to take care of.
Ohio State’s Jack Neely proved to be a problem on the rubber for the Terps, throwing an impressive five innings and finishing his day tying a career-high 11 strikeouts. With a little help from third baseman Nick Erwin making a few incredible plays, Neely locked the Maryland offense down through the first half of the game.
The Buckeyes began to pull ahead in the fifth inning, as a two-run shot from Colton Bauer brought in Brent Todys, followed up by Dezenzo’s third hit of the game to bring in Erwin and extend Ohio’s lead to two.
The favor was returned to Maryland in the top of the sixth, when Logan Ott’s bullet of a hit bounced away from Ohio state’s Conner Pohl to score Randy Bednar. This was followed by a picture perfect Benjamin Cowles squeeze bunt that — paired with an Ohio State defensive miscommunication — brought in Luke Shliger to tie the game.
The score remained tied through the bottom of the seventh when David Falco entered the game for Maryland. A huge defensive blunder by second baseman Kevin Keister allowed Ohio State to score two more runs, an error that would come back to haunt the Terps.
The Terps were unable to string together enough hits in the top of the eighth either, scoring only one of the two runs needed to tie on a Cowles RBI single. Maryland left the bases loaded, costing them the game as the top of the ninth proved unsuccessful for the Terps.
Maryland will have one last chance to come away from this four-game, two-series weekend with a win Monday afternoon when they face off against the Buckeyes for a second time at 3:00 p.m. The Terps will have to erase their defensive mistakes and figure out how to string together their offensive energy if they want any chance of avenging Sunday night’s game.