History was made in College Park tonight as No. 15 seed Maryland hosted an NCAA regional game for the first time in program history. In front of a sold out crowd at Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium, the Terps put on a show, defeating Long Island 23-2.
If a scoreless first inning gave anyone the idea that this would be a close game, the Maryland lineup quickly put them to rest, bringing fourteen batters to the plate and scoring nine runs.
The Terps did not let up in the following innings, scoring three in the third and seven more in the fourth. Suddenly, it was 19-0 Maryland before the game had even become official.
Nick Lorusso and Troy Schreffler Jr. both had monster nights at the plate, hitting two doubles and driving four runs each.
“I think it’s safe to say the bats are warmed up and ready to go for tomorrow,” Schreffler said. “Hopefully we can come out with the same mindset we did today.”
Matt Shaw, Luke Shliger and Ian Petrutz supplied the fireworks, hitting home runs in the second, fourth and sixth innings respectively. Petrutz finished the night with five runs driven in, the most he’s had in a game all season.
There was no true weak spot for the Maryland lineup tonight. All nine Terps starters registered a hit, six driving in at least one run. The 23 runs scored by the Terps tonight marks the most Maryland has ever scored in an NCAA Tournament game.
“Obviously, that’s a good way to start the tournament,” Terps Head Coach Rob Vaughn said. “I thought it was just a really relentless effort from our guys. Just a really complete effort offensively.”
On the mound, Ryan Ramsey was completely locked in from the moment he first stepped onto the mound. Shaking off a tough start in the Big Ten tournament against Michigan his last time out, the lefty tossed five shutout innings, allowing just four hits and striking out eleven.
“Seeing them take bad swings on the fastball, I was just trying to pump them with that instead of mixing it up so much,” Ramsey said.
Logan Ott threw four relief innings to finish off the game, providing longevity that will be crucial to keeping the Maryland bullpen fresh for the rest of the weekend.
“Otty was outstanding,” Vaughn said. “He did a really good job just throwing strikes and doing his job.”
One aspect that seemed to have a big impact on the game was the atmosphere. With temporary bleachers set up in the outfield, Maryland drew by far its largest crowd of the season.
“It was definitely pretty cool,” Schreffler said. “We’ve worked hard all year for this, and to come out and see that we have so much support from fans and from the University of Maryland […] was pretty awesome.”
“I thought it was fantastic,” Lorusso said. “How loud and energetic everybody was was something really special.”
With the win, Maryland has secured a matchup tomorrow night against UConn, the winners of this afternoon’s College Park regional game. Jason Savacool will get the start for the Terps.