There have certainly been prettier games played by the Maryland Terrapins, but even so, today’s game ended in success in the form of a 6-3 win over the Minnesota Golden Gophers and a series sweep.
Today’s game was a stark contrast to the previous two played in this Minnesota series. In nine innings of baseball the Terrapins produced just 12 hits and changed pitchers a total of six times.
Maryland’s pitching staff just couldn’t seem to find their stride today as even consistent starter Sean Burke struggled early in todays game. Burke lasted just three innings and during that time he recorded only two strikeouts. While he may not have given up many runs, he didn’t exactly produce the strong performance that makes him such a standout player among this Maryland Pitching staff.
Logan Ott did not fare much better when he entered the game in the fourth inning, and he was pulled midway through the fifth after giving up two home runs, allowing Minnesota on the board. David Falco closed out the fifth before being replaced by Ryan Ramsey for the sixth, marking four pitching changes in nearly as many innings. Connor Staine and Sam Bello finished off the eighth and ninth innings respectively, and while the Terps did end up victorious in the end, the pitching road that it took to get there was anything but successful.
On the offensive end, Maryland continued to struggle and stray away from the explosive offensive team that showed up in the 12-4 win over the same Minnesota team on Friday. Justin Vought had a standout two-run home run in the second, and the third marked a clutch two-run bases loaded single from Tommy Gardiner to put the Terps ahead by four.
Besides these few highlights, Maryland continued struggling offensively as a continuation from the problems seen in yesterday’s game. Too many runners were left on base, especially considering the Terps had a narrow lead going into the second half of the game. 12 runners were left on base throughout today’s game, and even just two of those runs could have provided the run support and cushion for the struggling pitching staff, and perhaps could have saved one or two pitching changes from needing to happen.
The pitching staff and offensive energy will need to wake up and recognize that there is work that needs to be done. With just four weeks of baseball left, if Maryland wants to become a big conversation in the Big Ten Conference they will need to start working on their consistency, because the team that showed up Friday night is not the same team that showed up yesterday and today.
The Terps will be traveling to Illinois next weekend for a three-game series, and it provides Maryland the chance to play to their abilities and increase that conversation in the conference that is so important as the season starts to come to a close.