Maryland slugs three home runs, completes its first series sweep of the season

On the backs of fantastic pitching and timely hitting, the Terps completed the series sweep of the Ohio State Buckeyes Sunday afternoon. The Terps defeated the Buckeyes 9-4, and senior outfielder Chris Alleyne was huge in the final game of the series as well as the entire weekend. Alleyne picked up three hits in four chances with three stolen bases. Five other Maryland players recorded a hit on a high-scoring day for the Terps. 

Freshman starter Jason Savacool started the contest with two scoreless innings, but got beat up in the third with four earned runs on six hits. It didn’t phase the young pitcher as Savacool pitched three consecutive scoreless innings following his slip up in the fourth, and finished the day going 6 ⅓ innings with six strikeouts. 

The Terps couldn’t capitalize on their scoring opportunities early. Maryland had runners in scoring position in both the first and second innings, but in the bottom of the third the Terps did their damage. Sophomore designated hitter Bobby Zmarzlak saw his first plate appearance of the series, and hit a solo homerun to get Maryland on the board still trailing 4-1.

Five batters later Junior first baseman Maxwell Costes hit a three-run homer to left field, and followed it with a well-deserved bat flip to tie the game up at four. Maryland did enough on offense to force the Buckeyes to pull their starter, Jack Neely, in the fourth inning. 

The pitching change didn’t stop the Terps from scoring runs, as Alleyne doubled in the bottom of the fourth to drive in two runs and take a 6-4 lead. Alleyne once again found himself in scoring position after stealing second and third base in the sixth inning. A passed ball from Ohio State led to an easy walk home for Alleyne and a 7-4 lead for Maryland. 

Immediately following the passed ball, Freshman Matt Shaw walked, setting up a golden opportunity for Junior Benjamin Cowles to add on to the Terps’ lead. Cowles launched the Terps third home run of the contest of the center field portion of the wall to put an exclamation on a 9-4 Maryland lead. 

Senior reliever Elliot Zoellner took Savacool’s place on the mound in the seventh and pitched marvelously the rest of the contest. Zoellner threw six strikeouts in the three innings he pitched. Two came in the seventh, one with a runner on third base to end the half inning, and the other four came in the final two frames. 

Maryland now holds a winning record for the first time this season and will travel to Iowa City, Iowa, to wrap up “pod play” for the season, taking on both the Iowa Hawkeyes and the Northwestern Wildcats in the four-game weekend.