After two consecutive days of rainouts, Maryland and Rutgers finally took the field for a weekend series with huge conference implications, splitting Sunday’s double-header and setting up a big rubber match.
Game one was all Maryland, dominating the Scarlet Knights by a score of 16-8.
Multiple Terps had fantastic days in the batter’s box, with almost everyone in the lineup producing in some kind of way.
Five runs in the first two innings knocked out Rutgers starter Jared Kollar and set the stage for a long day for the Scarlet Knights’ pitching staff.
Chris Alleyne hit a pair of two-run home runs into the outfield trees, now at 16 on the season and reclaiming his lead in the Big 10. Matt Shaw, Troy Schreffler Jr. and Ian Petrutz all joined the long ball party, accounting for five of Maryland’s runs with their home runs.
Coming off a perfect game in his last outing, Ryan Ramsey did not look like he had lost any focus, giving the Terps six quality innings and allowing two runs. His only blemish of the game came from a Chris Brito two-run home run in the sixth inning.
Though he only struck out one, the Maryland ace was sharp early, getting ahead of batters quickly and inducing weak contact. With a winning decision today, Ramsey improves to a Big 10 and national best record of 9-0.
A couple Rutgers rallies off Logan Ott in the last two innings brought the Scarlet Knights to within eight, but the Terps would close the door and secure a game one victory and a regular season record 37th win.
Game two was almost a complete mirror opposite of game one, Rutgers winning by a score of 18-7.
It seemed as though the Scarlet Knights had fed off the momentum gained in the late-inning rallies of the first game, barraging the Maryland pitching staff with timely hitting and home runs early on.
The top three of the Rutgers lineup was especially potent in the second game, going eleven for fifteen and driving in nine of the Scarlet Knights’ eighteen runs. Ryan Lasko himself went six for six with two home runs, continuing an amazing week and a half of baseball for the national player of the week.
It was a concerning site entering the second inning as Jason Savacool was replaced by Noah Mrotek after just 33 pitches. He had looked a bit uncomfortable planting his foot on the mound but was allowed to stay in by Rob Vaughn in the first. He finished the day giving up three runs after just an inning of work.
From that point it was a bullpen game for the Terps, seven relievers seeing action after Savacool’s exit. Andrew Johnson seemed to be the only one with an answer for the Rutgers lineup, not allowing a hit in an inning and a third of work.
Most of Maryland’s production at the plate in game two came off the bat of Kevin Keister who hit a grand slam in the second inning, his sixth home run of the season. After early season struggles, he has continued to prove he belongs in this Maryland starting lineup.
After a bit of a comeback effort including RBIs from Shaw and Maxwell Costes, Rutgers quickly responded with four more runs of their own. A scoreless eighth and ninth sealed Maryland’s fate with an eleven-run loss in game two.
With the series split today Maryland exits the field at 37-10, Rutgers at 37-11. The Scarlet Knights hold on to their two and a half game lead in the Big 10 over the Terps as the end of the regular season draws closer.
Maryland and Rutgers will wrap up this three-game series tomorrow afternoon. Nick Dean will get the start for the Terps, looking to build on a solid start last Sunday against Northwestern. Rutgers has not yet announced a starter for tomorrow’s game.