Maryland bats and relief pitching secure gutsy win against OSU

The baseball gods must love springtime in College Park because it was as beautiful of a day as it could get for the second game in a row when Maryland took on Ohio State at Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium on Saturday.

Ryan Ramsey toed the rubber for the Terps with a 7-0 record and 2.28 ERA on the season entering the day.

Marcus Ernst and Zach Dezenzo kicked off Ramsey’s afternoon with two singles and Trey Lipsey moved them up with a bunt. Ernst then scored off a Kade Kern fielder’s choice, putting the Buckeyes on the board early. Kevin Keister put an end to the damage with a beautiful play as he charged inward and fired to Maxwell Costes at first for the out.

Luke Shliger stepped to the plate with a cheer from the crowd as the home team came to bat after a clutch walk-off win the night before. On a 2-2 count, he was drilled in the back and trotted to first base. Chris Alleyne and Nick Lorusso then struck out swinging and Matt Shaw – who came back into the lineup in the designated hitter role – lined out to center.

Ramsey bounced back in the second frame after giving up a single, but notching two strikeouts in a quick session on the hill.

Just like last night, Alleyne put his athleticism on display, this time with a deep liner that he tracked down right in front of the batter’s eye in the third.

Brent Todys singled in the fourth and eventually scored after a fielder’s choice and a throwing error by Jacob Orr, giving Ohio State a two-run lead.

Ohio State tacked on another run in the inning as Josh McAlister roped a ball into left, scoring Archer Brookman and making it a 3-0 ballgame.

Nick Robinson came in to relieve Ramsey with one out in the fifth. The junior southpaw finished his day with three runs on six hits and 81 pitches.

“He’s been out around 100 pitches for a couple of consecutive starts and so we kind of knew coming in we didn’t want to give much over 80 today,” Head Coach Rob Vaughn said on Ramsey. “Just try to give him a little bit lighter weight, but at the same time you’re looking at it like ‘hey, we got a chance to win the series today against Ohio State.'”

The Terps got their first hit of the day in the bottom of the fifth as Troy Schreffler slid safely into second with a leadoff double. Bobby Zmarzlak then picked up right where he left off from last night with a two-run blast, slashing the Ohio State lead to 3-2.

“We’d like to come out here and play as hard as we can,” Schreffler said. “Sometimes it catches on a little bit later than we want to but being able to come out here and just keep barreling the ball, putting the ball in play, eventually it’s gonna find a hole and we’re gonna get it rolling.”

Later in the inning, Alleyne placed down a fantastic bunt that scored Keister and the fifth-year outfielder ended up safe at first with a throwing error. Next batter, Lorusso bunted home Shliger, giving Maryland a 4-3 lead.

Wyatt Loncar relieved Isaiah Coupet, who cruised through the first four innings but ran into trouble in the fifth.

“When a guy’s going like that, you’re just trying to get to the bullpen,” Vaughn said. “Loncar’s got good stuff, but we just we wanted anybody else and we were able to set that inning up and punch through.”

In the seventh, Zach Dezenzo crushed a two-run shot off Robinson to give the Buckeyes the lead again at 5-4. Nigel Belgrave came in to relieve Robinson.

Shliger came to bat in the bottom half and smoked a solo home run to tie up the game at five, prompting a loud applause from the packed stadium.

Vaughn stormed out of the dugout after home plate umpire Brian Marine did not allow an appeal to the third base umpire Eric Loveless on an Alleyne check swing.

The disruption was dissolved early as Lorusso smacked another solo home run for Maryland, giving them the lead at 6-5.

Belgrave stayed in the game for the ninth, looking to seal the deal. With two quick outs, Dezenzo launched a ball a few feet shy of the foul pole, nearly tying the game. But Belgrave was able to slam the door shut with a strikeout, helping Maryland earn another victory.

“I think we played great, we played a great ball game,” Belgrave said. “All I really had to do is throw strikes and trust the defense behind me and they did a great job with that.”