Usually when Jason Savacool pitches, Maryland is in a great position to win games. Saturday, that wasn’t the case as Savacool struggled early as Michigan snapped Maryland’s six-game win streak with a 14-3 blowout win.
Just like Maryland did Friday, Michigan got out to a big lead early against Savacool starting in the second inning with a back-to-back double and single before a wild pitch got Michigan on the board. As Savacool struggled to get ahead in counts, Michigan’s Friday night hero Jordan Velazquez made him pay hitting a two-run double to left-center field that made the score 3-0.
Savacool found himself in trouble once again in the third inning, as he continued to struggle throwing strikes. Savacool let up a leadoff single, an error on a pick-off attempt advanced the runner to second, a walk and a hit-by-pitch then loaded the bases with one out for Michigan. With the chance of staying in the game at stake, Savacool struck out Griffin Mazur to get closer to escaping the inning unharmed.
But it wasn’t meant to be as Tito Flores’s RBI single on Savacool’s 64th pitch of the game brought home another run and coach Rob Vaughn came out of the dugout to end Savacool’s night in favor of Sean Heine.
The next batter, Jordon Rodgers, hit the first pitch he saw from Heine for a two-run RBI single to left field to make it 6-0 and close Savacool’s line for the day.
After only going two innings and giving up four runs against Michigan back on April 5, Savacool went 2 2/3 innings, gave up six hits in total for six runs and couldn’t get ahead in counts this time. It was his shortest outing since April 11 against Nebraska where he only went 1 ⅔ innings and gave up five runs for his only loss of the season until Saturday.
[Savacool] didn’t have a very good feel for his secondary stuff which got him in some bad counts,” Vaughn said. “A good team took advantage of it.”
In the next inning, Big Ten Player of the Week Ted Burton put his mark on the game with a three-run homer off of Heine. After being up 8-0 Friday, Maryland found itself in the opposite situation Saturday being down 9-0. But unlike Michigan, Maryland would not rally late as the red-hot offense struggled to get hits off starting pitcher Cameron Weston. Back on April 4, Maryland was able to get four runs off of Weston.
But Weston was much more effective today in shutting down the Maryland lineup going 5 ⅓ innings, only allowing three hits and was never in a stressful situation with the lead his offense gave him early.
“I thought we were passive in some of those counts early,” Vaughn said.
After Michigan tacked on two more runs to hit double digits, one of the lone bright spots on the day was Chris Alleyne who hit a three-run homer to left field in the seventh inning to avoid the shutout. But Michigan’s Benjamin Simms would answer with a final blow on the day with his own three-run-homer off of Logan Ott.
“[Michigan] just came out and beat us in every aspect of the game,” Alleyne said.
Thanks to its well-balanced offense that ranks second in the Big Ten, Michigan now jumps a game ahead of Maryland for second place in the Big Ten standings with only four games left on the season for both teams. That adds more importance to Sunday’s rubber game as Maryland tries again for their sixth-straight series win as both teams are still in the quest for a Big Ten regular-season championship and the NCAA Tournament.
“Sometimes you get punched in the mouth by good teams,” Vaughn said. “The reality is were [tied] 1-1 with a chance to win the series tomorrow.”