What started out as a close one-run game quickly went south for Maryland, as Iowa’s offense found their stride and exploded, producing eight runs in the sixth inning alone and winning the game 11-2. It was neither a pitching meltdown nor a defensive meltdown on Maryland’s part, but simply many strokes of good luck for the Iowa Hawkeyes.
Starting pitcher Connor Staine battled through the first half of the game prior to being pulled in the bottom of the sixth. He struggled to deliver strikeouts early on, instead relying on his defense to have his back and make plays. Staine did deliver three scoreless innings during his time on the mound but was taken out following a two-run double from Iowa’s Brayden Frazier that ended his game against the Hawkeyes.
The sixth inning woes continued for the Terps, as lefty Tyler Blohm was unable to shut down the energized Iowa offense. After walking his first two batters and sending in a bases loaded run, Iowa’s go-to hitter Matthew Sosa clobbered the second two-run double of the inning to increase the Hawkeyes’ lead. Sosa was followed up by Peyton Williams who sent a long ball out for a three-run home run, increasing Iowa’s lead by nine runs heading into the seventh.
A second pitching change was made in the bottom of the sixth, as Sean Heine was sent out to the mound to close out the disastrous inning. Zach Thompson entered the game in the bottom of the seventh, and made quick work Hawkeyes in a three up, three down inning. Sosa scored in the bottom of the eighth off a single from Williams, ending Thompson’s short-lived success on the rubber, but it was too little too late as Maryland entered the ninth with a nine-run deficit.
Maryland’s offense just never woke up. Save for a solo home run from Benjamin Cowles and a RBI single early in the game from Matt Orlando, the Terps barely got any runners on base.
The Terps will have to muster all of their energy and leave this game behind them as they face Ohio State later Sunday. Their offense will need to show up against the Buckeyes or a similar story will face the Terps at the end of the evening.