Maryland wins the series against Purdue after an offensive explosion

It’s a full count, two outs, and a runner on first for Eddie Hacopian in the bottom of the sixth. Hacopian takes a huge swing and lifts it to center field over the head of the Purdue centerfielder. Hacopian’s two-run shot has just ruined all the momentum the Boilermakers had built.

The homer boosted Maryland to a 10-8 win over Purdue and another Big Ten series win.

The Terps were able to strike first when Nick Lorusso hit an RBI single that scored Luke Shliger from second. Lorusso was hurt on the play and had to be taken out of the game.

“[Lorusso] said he felt great out of the box, when he was making the turn that hamstring just grabbed a little bit,” said Rob Vaughn after the game. “Hopefully, it’s just mild, hopefully, it’s something that doesn’t sideline him for too long.”

Purdue was able to answer quickly after an RBI single from Jake Jarvis tied the game at 1-1. This was one of the few mistakes pitcher Kenny Lippman made during his start. Through five innings Lippman allowed just one run on three hits and struck out five.

“That was the story of the game, the guy threw yesterday. He’s just on a pretty high level and in a really big spot when we needed him,” said Vaughn. “Just an outstanding job, unbelievable.”

Once again, Maryland quickly broke the tie after Shliger drew a walk with the bases loaded, giving them a 2-1 headed into the third.

The Terps added some insurance to their lead in the third. With a runner on second and third, Matt Woods put down a sacrifice bunt that scored a run. With two outs, Bobby Zmarzlak laid down a bunt that perfectly rolled down the third base line. Zmarzlak beat out the throw and brought in another run, making the score 4-1.

The Maryland offense did not stop there. Ian Petrutz kicked off the fifth inning with a solo homer to right field that barely stayed fair. A few batters later, Zmarzlak ripped a hard-hit double down the left-field line but Maryland was unable to bring him home.

Purdue would cut into the lead in the sixth with an RBI single from Connor Caskenette. Reliever Tommy Kane was able to strike out two straight batters but would be caught in a jam when a walk loaded the bases with two outs. Jo Stevens ripped a single into center field that would score two runners. Purdue climbed back into the game with the score now sitting at 5-4.

Maryland would answer in the bottom of the sixth. Luke Shliger kicked it off by hitting a groundball that perfectly squeezed between the shift. Shliger would advance to third and later score on a Matt Shaw single, putting the score at 6-4.

After Hacopian’s home run, Purdue would cut into the lead once again in the seventh. Paul Toetz hit a double off the right field wall to score one and get a runner to third. Another run would score on a sacrifice grounder to cut the lead to two, at 8-6.

Elijah Lambros would take that momentum back with a deep solo homer to center. Lambros swung at the first pitch he saw and it was a no-doubter. A couple of batters later, Shliger added another solo homer to center.

Luke Shliger had a great day on both sides. On the offensive side, Shliger filled up the stat sheet. He hit 4-4 with 2 RBIs, a home run, a walk, and a stolen base. Defensively, Shliger caught Jake Jarvis stealing to end the top half of the fourth inning.

The scoring would not stop as Purdue put on two more in the eighth on a double. David Falco would hold the Boilermakers in check for the rest of the game.

With the win the Terps move to 10 games above .500 (25-15). Maryland will head on a road trip this week, starting with UMBC on Tuesday.