Maryland clinches a series win in Iowa City with a 7-4 victory

In a tie game in the top of the eighth with the bases loaded and one out, Maryland had the right man for the job at the plate: yesterday’s hero, Matt Shaw. Although there would be no 507-foot grand slam on Saturday, Shaw came through again, punching a ground ball that just barely got through the right side of the infield to score two runs and give the Terps the lead. Maryland clinched the series with a 7-4 win over #25 Iowa at Duane Banks Field.

Maryland’s offense picked up right where they left off in the series opener, as Luke Shliger led off the game with a home run to right field. Shortly after, the Terps loaded the bases with one out, and a slow dribbler off the bat of Bobby Zmarzlak went into no man’s land to score another run, making it a 2-0 game. 

In the second inning, Elijah Lambros singled and Nick Lorusso doubled to give the Terps two men in scoring position with one out. A sacrifice fly from Shaw added another run to extend the lead to 3-0.

Nick Dean, who had been struggling of late, was very sharp on Saturday. The senior right-hander did not allow a hit until the fifth inning when Iowa catcher Cade Moss ripped a double down the line with two outs. Dean walked the next batter but got out of the inning unharmed to complete his outing. He finished with five scoreless innings on just one hit.

Iowa got on the board in the bottom of the sixth with an RBI single from Keaton Anthony. Later in the inning, with the bases loaded, Iowa second baseman Sam Hojnar laced a 107 mph line drive that struck Nate Haberthier on the mound. The Maryland right-hander was able to recover and fire home for the forceout, but would have to exit the game. Haberthier walked off under his own power and was replaced by Kenny Lippman, who got the final out of the inning to maintain Maryland’s 3-1 lead.

After a pair of two-out walks by Lippman in the seventh, David Falco Jr. came on in relief in search of the final out of the inning. The first batter he faced, Brennen Dorighi, crushed a three-run homer to right field to give Iowa their first lead of the afternoon. Falco struck out the next batter to end the inning.

Entering the eighth, the Terps trailed 4-3 and had not scored since the second inning. Eddie Hacopian led off with a single up the middle, and Elijah Lambros lined a double in the gap two batters later. Maryland had two runners in scoring position with one out and the top of the order coming up.

Luke Shliger was hit by a pitch to load the bases, and Lorusso followed with a bases-loaded walk to tie the game and bring Shaw to the plate. The Maryland shortstop hit a hard ground ball to the right side that squeaked just past the glove of Hojnar at second base. Two runs would score on the play, putting the Terps back in front with a 6-4 lead.

Tommy Kane got the ball for the eighth inning and worked around two singles to pitch a scoreless frame. In the top of the ninth, the Terps loaded the bases with a pair of walks and a hit batter. With one out, Lorusso hit a ground ball to the left side that appeared to be a potential inning-ending double play, but Iowa shortstop Michael Seegers was unable to handle it and a run scored on the error. After the next two hitters were retired, the Terps took a 7-4 lead into the bottom of the ninth.

Back out for the ninth, Kane retired the leadoff man and then walked Anthony. Any hopes the Hawkeyes had of a late comeback were short-lived, however; the next two batters each flew out to end the ballgame.

The win is Maryland’s fifth straight, and it pushes their record to 17-9. The Terps will go for the sweep Sunday afternoon with Kyle McCoy on the mound, the reigning Big Ten pitcher of the week and Big Ten freshman of the week.