The Terps’ 2021 campaign didn’t end the way the team may have wanted — ultimately falling to East Carolina in the NCAA Regional after a valiant effort climbing back from a game one loss to Charlotte.
However, the game prior to the season-ending defeat may have brought out the best of last year’s Terps team. Even more than any victory in Maryland’s 19-6 run to end the season, having to rematch Charlotte in the Greenville Regional in a do-or-die game — just two games after suffering high-scoring heartbreak (13-10 loss to the 49ers) — put the Terps in position to play their best ball of 2021.
Coach Vaughn and his squad had everything to prove after their first loss to the 49ers, and they came ready to fight on June 6 for the rematch.
Having started Jason Savacool and Sean Burke for the Terps’ first pair of Regional games, Vaughn sent then-sophomore Ryan Ramsey to the mound in his first career start with the entire season on the line. It could have been seen as a very bold move to not start Nick Dean, who pitched to a 2.87 ERA in the third-most innings out of all Terps starters, but Dean had been day-to-day with a wrist injury.
Ramsey had to be the “next man up,” and he left it all out on the mound with eight innings of one-run ball against the C-USA’s best team. His performance, which kept the 49ers at bay, was even more dire as his counterpart Matt Brooks nearly replicated Ramsey’s stat line.
For seven innings, Brooks held the Terps’ offense scoreless — giving up three hits and a pair of walks. Then, the eighth inning brought the Terps a little bit of fortune via the Charlotte defense. It began when Troy Schreffler picked up a huge leadoff single against Brooks. A wild pitch in the very next plate appearance landed Schreffler at second base before a throwing error put him in a very opportune position to score at third base.
It may have not been the offense rally the Terps would’ve liked, but a no-out double-play allowed Shreffler to tie the game in the eighth.
Ramsey’s outing was over after eight innings, and a tough-as-nails frame from Elliott Zoellner would set up the heart of Maryland’s order to put on the huge rally the team had needed since first pitch.
Randy Bednar hit a single to lead off the inning. Maxwell Costes hit a single. Bobby Zmarzlak hit a single. Just like that, the Terps loaded the bases for the senior catcher Justin Vought in what would be the biggest plate appearance of 2021.
On the very first pitch from Charlotte’s Andrew Lindsey, Vought lifted the ball against the shift — into the absent right side of the outfield. Bednar jogged home, and celebration ensued as Maryland’s tournament hopes would see another day.