Maryland survives scoring bonzana to get their 23rd win of the year

Thirty-one combined runs and over three hours later, Maryland walks away with a 19-12 win.

The first inning was an eventful one in College Park, to say the least. James Madison took an early three-run lead after a pair of big hits in the top half of the inning. Maryland wasted no time tacking on three runs themselves thanks to an Ian Petrutz bomb. Bobby Zmarzlak blooped a single into right field, but a wild throw from James Madison allowed Eddie Hacopian to score from first. To top off the scoring explosion, Elijah Lambros snuck a ball over the left field wall, giving them their fifth and sixth run of the game.

No different from the first, runs were of abundance. James Madison started the second with a sac fly to left center, scoring a run and removing Andrew Johnson. Once again Maryland had something to say about this, hitting their third home run of the game on a Hacopian blast to center field.

If you thought things were going to change in the third, well they didn’t. James Madison’s catcher, Jason Schiavone, smoked a three-run shot over the batter’s eye in center to put the game back at seven a piece. Nick Lorusso wanted to join the fun, doubling to right center and scoring Kevin Keister all the way from first. Lorusso crossed home the next at-bat after a throwing error from the Dukes, putting Maryland up 9-7.

The Terps achieved their first one-two-three inning of the game in the top of the fourth. A bases-loaded walk from Luke Shliger in the bottom half of the inning increased Maryland’s lead to three. Lorusso, already with an RBI the inning prior, laced a triple into the right-center gap, clearing the bases and raising the Terp’s run total to 13.

James Madison was able to get their eighth run of the game after Trevon Dabney doubled and eventually stole home. Maryland didn’t score in the bottom of the fifth for the first time, yet still lead 13-8.

James Madison kept chipping away at the lead, scoring a run in the top of the sixth to bring the game within four. Six straight outs for Maryland in the bottom half of the inning kept the game at 13-9 with nine outs remaining.

Nigel Belgrave replaced Logan Ott in the seventh, becoming the sixth pitcher to appear out of the Terp’s bullpen. Belgrave made quick work of the Dukes, retiring the side in just eight pitches.

Those who bet the over were probably pretty happy, and Lorusso made them even happier with their decision after logging his fifth RBI of the night and the Terp’s 14th run on a sac fly to left field in the bottom of the seventh. Looking like the first inning, Maryland runs kept on flooding in. Shaw walked, Petrutz singled and advanced Shaw to third, then Hacopian bunted for a single, scoring Shaw while doing so. Lambros probably thought it would be a good idea to hit Maryland’s fourth home run of the night and increase their lead to nine, which is exactly what he did on a 2-0 meatball.

A nine-run lead was clearly not enough for the Terps, as a bases-loaded walk from Lorusso gave them their 10th run of the evening and his sixth RBI.

Just when you thought it was all over, James Madison came up to bat. Freshman Joey Colucci was quickly removed after two straight walks and replaced by another freshman, Eliakim Stowe. The first batter he faced smashed a three-run homer over the left field fence, decreasing the Duke’s deficit to seven. Stowe was able to escape the inning unscathed, with Maryland still leading 19-12.

Nothing happened in the bottom half of the eighth for the Terps, setting up David Falco Jr. to close it out. Maryland’s eighth arm out of the bullpen, and final one, shut it down to give them their 23rd win of the season.

Maryland will stay at home to take on Big 10 opponent Purdue and look for their conference series win of the year.