(RECAP COURTESY OF MARYLAND ATHLETICS):
PISCATAWAY, NJ — While No. 17 Maryland baseball held a lead over Rutgers for most of Monday afternoon’s rubber game, the Scarlet Knights continued to keep the score close. Until the Big Ten’s home runs leader extended his total in a big way.
Chris Alleyne smacked a three-run bomb to right field in the top of the ninth inning. The Dirty Terps finally broke the game open with Alleyne’s 17th big fly of the season, securing a 9-4 victory — and a crucial series win.
Maryland improves to 38-10 and 13-5 in the Big Ten, while Rutgers drops to 37-12 and 16-5 in the conference. While the Terps and Scarlet Knights have the same number of losses in the conference now, Maryland has six Big Ten games left and Rutgers has three. The two are ahead of Iowa and Illinois for the top two spots in the conference standings.
Nick Dean started on the mound for the Terrapins. The junior right-hander racked up nine strikeouts over six innings of work, surrendering a pair of runs on three hits. Sean Heine and David Falco Jr. held down the final three innings.
The Terps took the lead early on four solo home runs across the second, third and fourth innings, off the bats of Bobby Zmarzlak, Kevin Keister, Matt Shaw and Maxwell Costes. It was the second straight game in which Keister (2-for-2, two RBIs, two runs and a walk) went yard.
Breaking Down The Action
- Maryland got its offense started with a solo blast by Zmarzlak in the second inning.
- Rutgers answered in the bottom half of the inning with a solo shot of its own off the bat of Chris Brito.
- Keister homered in the third, giving the Terps a 2-1 lead.
- Shaw and Costes both ripped solo homers in the fourth.
- Alleyne hit a sacrifice fly in the fifth to score Keister and give Maryland a 5-1 advantage.
- Rutgers’ Josh Kuroda-Grauer hit a solo homer in the bottom of the fifth to trim its deficit to 5-2.
- Keister scored Costes on an RBI single in the sixth.
- The Scarlet Knights got a couple of runs back on a two-run single in the seventh, making it a 6-4 ballgame.
- Alleyne crushed a three-run home homer in the ninth, breaking the game open to give the Terps a 9-4 lead.
Numbers to Know
- 4: Maryland hitters clobbered four solo homers over the first four innings to take an early lead.
- 7: Keister hit his seventh homer of the season. The sophomore has now homered in back-to-back games.
- 14: Costes hit his 14th home run of the season. That is the fifth-most of anyone in the Big Ten, behind Alleyne’s Big Ten-leading 17 dingers.
- 61: Alleyne now has 61 RBIs this season. That’s second in the Big Ten.
- Maryland is back in action this weekend for another late-season Big Ten series as the Michigan Wolverines come to College Park.
- Friday’s contest starts at 6:30 p.m. It can be seen on Big Ten Plus and heard on the Maryland Baseball Network.