Following Tuesday’s record-setting day at the plate, Maryland flipped the script on Wednesday as the Terps’ pitching staff combined for nine innings of one-run ball.
Left-hander Logan Ott went a season-high five innings, allowing three hits while striking out two. The Terps took advantage of a George Mason lineup missing its top two hitters, freshman Brett Ahalt and junior South Trimble.
Nick Robinson shined in relief for Ott, shutting down the heart of the Patriots’ order and allowing just one hit over two innings.
The Terps opened the scoring in the third, plating Chris Alleyne on a Nick Lorusso groundout. Maxwell Costes and Matt Shaw followed with back-to-back singles. A wild pitch from freshman starter Britt Yount moved both runners up 90 feet before third baseman Danny Hosley made a charging play to throw out Troy Schreffler at first to end the Terps’ threat.
It was an afternoon of missed opportunities for George Mason. Along with their offensive struggles, baserunning blunders plagued the Patriots, who dropped to 8-15 on the season. The miscues started in the third, following George Mason’s first hit of the afternoon. The Patriots had runners on first and second with two outs before a botched double steal ended the inning.
Catcher Connor Dykstra led off the following inning with a double off the wall. The Terps quickly erased Dykstra from the basepaths after the freshman was caught in between second and third on a groundout. George Mason also ran themselves out of the sixth inning when Hosley was caught stealing second base.
After stranding 26 runners in scoring position last weekend against The Citadel, the Patriots continued to struggle with runners on base. Each of the Patriots’ first three hits went for extra bases but none of the hitters came around to score.
While George Mason’s hitters struggled at the plate, reliever Christian Mracna excelled for the Patriots. Mracna came on in relief with the bases loaded and one out in the fourth but escaped the jam without allowing a run.
Typically used for an inning or less, Mracna kept Maryland’s hitters at bay for 3 2/3 innings. The righty did an excellent job getting ahead in the count, throwing a first pitch strike to the first four batters he faced.
With the Terps clinging to a 1-0 lead in the eighth, Matt Shaw welcomed senior Matthew Henson into the game with an opposite-field double. Dancing off of second base, Shaw forced a balk and moved 90 feet closer to an insurance run. Schreffler followed Shaw with an opposite-field double of his own, giving the Terrapins a much-needed insurance run. Bobby Zmarzlak kept the line moving with a RBI single up the middle, pushing the Terrapins’ lead to three.
The Patriots’ bats awoke in the eighth. Second baseman Brett Stallings extended his RBI streak to six games with a RBI single. However, the Patriots squandered a chance to pull closer after Stallings was caught stealing second base.
With Sean Heine seeking his second save of the season, the Patriots put runners on first and second in the ninth. Heine allowed both runners to advance on a throwing error towards first base before giving up a two-out walk to load the bases. With the winning run on first base, Heine closed out the game with a groundout to second.
George Mason dropped its fifth straight home game and host VCU Friday afternoon as they begin conference play.
Winners of two straight, the Terps head home to open Big Ten play against Penn State on Friday night.