There was nothing that the Albany outfielders could do in the seventh inning besides stand and watch, as the Terps offense exploded for three runs on three hits, including back-to-back home runs by Eddie Hacopian and Bobby Zmarzlak. The two moonshots extended Maryland’s lead to 8-0, a lead that they would not look back from.
Just when you thought the Terps offense would cool off, in the very next inning the Terps drove 10 more runs across on six hits, extending their lead to 18 runs.
The squad started their weekend series against the Albany Great Danes with an 18-3 win, their sixth straight.
For the second straight game, the Terps offense was firing on all cylinders, finishing the day with 14 hits, which included four home runs and six doubles. The team recorded 17 RBIs, with five players responsible for multiple. The Terps also showed excellent plate discipline, finishing the day with 10 walks.
Third baseman Nick Lorusso and right fielder Matt Woods starred for the Terps, the former going two-for-four in the batter’s box with two doubles and four RBIs. Woods stole the show, going three-for-six in the white stripes with two home runs and four RBIs. The two longshots were his third and fourth in the past three games.
“I think it’s about staying the course and believing in yourself,” Woods said before the game. “There’s gonna be highs and lows in the game of baseball and right now I’m on a little bit of a high…you just gotta be consistent and stay confident in yourself.”
Although the Terps have had no trouble offensively so far this season, their defense has had some struggles, displayed especially in their narrow 13-11 victory over Delaware on Wednesday. Today, the Terps’ defense was substantially better.
“That’s the biggest thing, our defense has to show up every day…as much as I love our offense, you’re not gonna go score 10 runs every night,” head coach Rob Vaughn said. “With the exception of the Tuesday team, we really played pretty good defense consistently, we’ve had some blips here and there…Tuesday was just one of the ugliest displays of defensive baseball that I’ve seen, and fortunately, we were able to overcome it.”
A large part of that excellent turnaround by the defense was due to Maryland’s ace, Jason Savacool, who was lights out all afternoon. He finished the day with a scoreless seven innings pitched. The junior only gave up four hits to go along with one walk and seven strikeouts. When Maryland’s guy on the mound is strong, the rest of the defense tends to follow suit.
“It’s awesome,” Lorusso said of Savacool. “His rhythm and pace is something that throws hitters off and definitely keeps defenders on their toes. I think it sparks the offense, too, when you get a quick inning and are able to get a starter to go seven innings.”
A lot of Maryland’s success comes from the fact that their entire lineup is filled with consistent hitters, who each had an impact on today’s game. Eight of the nine starters for the Terps recorded a hit, and all nine got on base. But it would be foolish to ignore the top of the lineup. Catcher Luke Shliger, along with shortstop Matt Shaw and Lorusso, have been the leaders for the Terps offensively, which should come as no surprise, as all three were ranked in their respective positions coming into the season by D1 Baseball. Perhaps the most surprising part of that is the fact that Shliger, ranked as the preseason No. 1 catcher in the country, is the leadoff man. Very few teams have their catcher start things off.
“We go as Luke goes, he does a great job of setting the tone for the game,” Vaughn said. “For him to be able to catch as many games as great as he has as well as the impact he has offensively…it tells you the special player that he is.”
The Terps will be back in action tomorrow at 2 p.m., looking to take the series win against the Great Danes.