Maryland battled off Rutgers in a 4-3 nailbiter win, improving to 19-11 on the season.
Nick Dean looked wonderful for Maryland to start the afternoon. He retired the first six batters he faced, including two strikeouts in the top of the first. The Terps bats didn’t provide much help, recording zero hits and reaching base just once on a hit-by-pitch through the first two innings.
Rutgers crossed the plate first for the second game in a row with a leadoff triple by Maximus Martin and a sacrifice fly from Jordan Sweeney to bring him in. Dean also surrendered a single and a walk in the top of the third but was able to strike out the next batter to keep the runners stranded.
The Scarlet Knights increased the lead to two runs in the top of the fifth after a Martin lead-off home run, but the Terps knew they had to do something if they wanted to stay in the game.
Jacob Orr was granted the first out in the bottom of the fifth with a groundout back to the pitcher, yet Elijah Lambros was able to follow him up with a single to right field. Batting from the ninth spot and acting as the designated hitter, Zach Martin smacked a 2-0 fastball over the right field fence to give the Terps their first runs of the game.
Nick Lorusso has been Maryland’s best hitter this year and backed up that claim again. Already having blasted a three-run shot the night before, Lorusso was looking to do the same in the bottom of the fifth. Tied at 2-2, Lorusso took the third pitch he saw and sent it over the right-center field wall. This home run was his ninth of the season and helped extend his hitting streak to 29 games.
Dean came out for one last inning, retiring the side in order and ending his day with six innings pitched, five strikeouts and two earned runs on four hits.
“It’s not good news for other guys when Nick Dean gets going,” Maryland head coach Rob Vaughn said.
Kenny Lippman relieved Dean of his duties in the seventh and came out straight dealing. Lippman set down six straight Rutgers batters and tallied two strikeouts while doing so.
Quiet through innings six and seven, Maryland looked to add some insurance runs heading into its final at-bats. A lead-off walk followed by a single put the Terps in a good position to do such. Orr’s sacrifice bunt allowed the Maryland runners to advance into scoring position when Elijah Lambros was able to send a ball into center-field, scoring the runner from third and giving the Terps a two-run lead.
Rutgers junior Evan Sleight roped a ball over the centerfielder’s head to cut their deficit to just one in the top of the ninth. Lippman got one more out before being replaced by David Falco Jr., ending his day with 2.1 innings pitched and 2 strikeouts with an earned run.
Falco needed two outs to secure the Maryland win, and he did just that getting the next two hitters to ground out and fly out.
Maryland improves to 4-1 in conference play and is set to face Rutgers for their third and final game of the series Sunday, April 8th at 12 p.m.