Tommy Gardiner just completed all baseball players’ dreams by securing a walk in the bottom of the ninth with the bases loaded, two outs, and a tie ball game to get the win for the Terps, 4-3.
Matthew Shaw, Maxwell Costes and Luke Shliger were all walked in the ninth inning by Minnesota’s Noah DeLuga prior to Gardiner’s walk off walk, an inning that is sure to jack up his already-high ERA for the season.
Today’s game looked very different than last night’s game as Maryland’s offense seemed to sleep through most of the game. Save for Chris Alleyne’s leadoff homer on the very first pitch of the game, Maryland was quiet and suffered through four scoreless innings before managing to tack on a second run in the in the sixth inning off an RBI single from Maxwell Costes.
Despite the win, Maryland’s offense struggled through the game. Last night, Coach Rob Vaughn was proud of his team for managing to score early, often and throughout all innings of the game. But today, the four scoreless innings and lack of offensive energy spelled out a very different story for this Maryland offense.
Perhaps the most disappointing aspect of today’s offensive game was the lack of game coming out of star Senior Benjamin Cowles. Cowles went 0-4 today and dropped his batting average to .318, falling to second on the team behind Shaw’s average of .319. His lack of offensive plays didn’t inhibit the Terps as they still secured the win today, however Cowles is going to need to work himself out of today’s funk for future matchups.
Minnesota took the lead early in the second for the first time all weekend of RBI leader Ronald Sweeny’s two-run shot. The Gophers offense dealt with a problem similar to Maryland as their star offensive player Zach Raabe went 0-3 with a walk, unusual for the junior who leads Minnesota in numerous categories including batting average, hits and runs, among others.
Maryland will face off against Minnesota tomorrow afternoon at noon to close out the series, but changes will need to be made to today’s offensive game. Minnesota is a team that has struggled all year to hold their opponents’ offensive game, but Maryland continues to struggle with scoring opportunities and stringing hits together, a problem that needs to be solved to close out this series and to get Maryland back into the conference and post-season conversation.