Maryland slugs three home runs, completes its first series sweep of the season

On the backs of fantastic pitching and timely hitting, the Terps completed the series sweep of the Ohio State Buckeyes Sunday afternoon. The Terps defeated the Buckeyes 9-4, and senior outfielder Chris Alleyne was huge in the final game of the series as well as the entire weekend. Alleyne picked up three hits in four chances with three stolen bases. Five other Maryland players recorded a hit on a high-scoring day for the Terps. 

Freshman starter Jason Savacool started the contest with two scoreless innings, but got beat up in the third with four earned runs on six hits. It didn’t phase the young pitcher as Savacool pitched three consecutive scoreless innings following his slip up in the fourth, and finished the day going 6 ⅓ innings with six strikeouts. 

The Terps couldn’t capitalize on their scoring opportunities early. Maryland had runners in scoring position in both the first and second innings, but in the bottom of the third the Terps did their damage. Sophomore designated hitter Bobby Zmarzlak saw his first plate appearance of the series, and hit a solo homerun to get Maryland on the board still trailing 4-1.

Five batters later Junior first baseman Maxwell Costes hit a three-run homer to left field, and followed it with a well-deserved bat flip to tie the game up at four. Maryland did enough on offense to force the Buckeyes to pull their starter, Jack Neely, in the fourth inning. 

The pitching change didn’t stop the Terps from scoring runs, as Alleyne doubled in the bottom of the fourth to drive in two runs and take a 6-4 lead. Alleyne once again found himself in scoring position after stealing second and third base in the sixth inning. A passed ball from Ohio State led to an easy walk home for Alleyne and a 7-4 lead for Maryland. 

Immediately following the passed ball, Freshman Matt Shaw walked, setting up a golden opportunity for Junior Benjamin Cowles to add on to the Terps’ lead. Cowles launched the Terps third home run of the contest of the center field portion of the wall to put an exclamation on a 9-4 Maryland lead. 

Senior reliever Elliot Zoellner took Savacool’s place on the mound in the seventh and pitched marvelously the rest of the contest. Zoellner threw six strikeouts in the three innings he pitched. Two came in the seventh, one with a runner on third base to end the half inning, and the other four came in the final two frames. 

Maryland now holds a winning record for the first time this season and will travel to Iowa City, Iowa, to wrap up “pod play” for the season, taking on both the Iowa Hawkeyes and the Northwestern Wildcats in the four-game weekend.

Maryland walks-off Buckeyes in extras, clinches second-straight winning weekend

Four stolen bases and only four hits were enough to lead the Maryland Terrapins to a 5-4 win against the Ohio State Buckeyes. Another solid outing from a Maryland starting pitcher, this time from sophomore Nick Dean, also helped secure the victory. Senior center fielder Chris Alleyne was the catalyst for the Terps’ offense with two walks and three stolen bases. Freshman designated hitter Luke Shliger added two RBI and two walks on the day.

Dean had a phenomenal outing Saturday afternoon. He allowed just one hit through five innings and the only other baserunner Ohio State had up to that point was on a walk. Dean ended the day allowing just four hits through eight innings along with eight strikeouts. 

The Terps had plenty of scoring opportunities early, but were unable to capitalize in two-out situations. With runners on second and third as a result of a walk and two wild pitches, Freshman second baseman Kevin Keister struck out to end the second inning. 

Once again with two outs, the Senior center fielder Alleyne found himself on third base after stealing both second and third bases. This time it was Junior shortstop Benjamin Cowles caught swinging on strike three to bring the third inning to a close.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, Alleyne walked and was looking to steal second. Ohio State starting pitcher Seth Lonsway attempted to pick Alleyne off at first base, but overthrew the first baseman. Alleyne then rounded all the bases and provided the Terps a key 1-0 lead.

Maryland added onto their lead in the sixth following a lead-off double from Junior first baseman Maxwell Costes. Shliger was able to move Costes over to third and a passed ball from the Buckeyes’ allowed Costes to trot home from third and give the Terps a 2-0 advantage.

A big answer from Ohio State came in the top of the seventh as Senior first baseman Conner Pohl hit his second home run in as many days. This one a two-run blast that knotted the game up at two runs.

However, Maryland bounced back as their bats began to show up in the eighth inning. Freshman left fielder Matt Shaw hit a no-doubter to lead off the eighth inning and give Maryland a 3-2 lead. With two outs, Shliger added to the Terps’ lead with a solo shot of his own and a 4-2 advantage. Yet, Maryland’s bullpen couldn’t close out the contest. 

Sophomore reliever Sam Bello dug himself a hole to start the ninth, allowing three straight singles and a walk which yielded one Buckeyes run. A groundout followed resulting in a tie game at four and extra innings.

In the bottom of the tenth inning the Terps loaded the bases and Shliger found himself at the plate again with a change to be the walk-off hero. He did his job and walked, giving Maryland clinching a series win for the Terps at home.

A Sean Burke gem paired with sloppy OSU pitching eases Maryland to a series-opener victory

On just five hits Friday night, the Maryland Terrapins defeated the Ohio State Buckeyes 10-6 and got one game closer to .500 by improving their record to 11-12. A stellar outing from Sophomore Sean Burke and a huge sixth inning from the Maryland offense put the Terps in a great position to secure the win.

The Buckeyes opened the scoring in the top of the second inning with a no-doubter to right field from Senior Conner Pohl. However, Terps starting pitcher Sean Burke shook it off and struck out five of the next six batters he faced. Burke ended the night with nine strikeouts on six innings pitched.

The Terps were able to find offense without many hits. Through five innings, Maryland mustered two runs as a result of two batters being hit and three walks. Sophomore outfielder Tucker Flint picked up an RBI double as the lone hit up to that point.

As the Terps’ bats were still frozen, Burke was cooling off as well. Two wild pitches and a passed ball led to another run for Ohio State and a tie game at two. Even though Burke was shaky down the stretch of his performance, he was able to battle through the fifth and sixth innings while only yielding one run.

With the game knotted at two, Maryland went to work in the bottom of the sixth. After taking a 4-2 lead off of yet another wild pitch and a hit batter, the Terps loaded the bases for Senior Chris Alleyne. Alleyne drove a ball down the third base line for a bases-clearing double to blow the game open. A 7-2 lead swelled to an insurmountable 9-2 lead by the end of the sixth inning. Maryland tacked on another insurance run in the seventh.

Due to the one-sided score, Maryland was able to relieve Burke and handed the game over to the bullpen. A combination of efforts from Sean Heine, Tyler Blohm and Elliot Zoellner from the bullpen sealed the deal for the Terps over the final three innings.

While the result of the game was positive for the home team, Senior outfielder Randy Bednar was injured late, rolling his ankle on the first base bag in the bottom of the eighth inning. Bednar was helped off the field and didn’t return to the game.

Series Preview: Ohio State Buckeyes

An up and down weekend for the Terps resulted in a series loss against the Nebraska Cornhuskers after getting pounded last Sunday, 14-3. The Terps evened the series at 1-1 and entered the final game with a chance to get back to .500 on the season. 

In game one, Senior outfielder Chris Alleyne led the Terps with three hits, but collectively, the team left nine runners on base which led to the 6-2 loss against the Cornhuskers. 

Maryland’s lone win in the series came Saturday, when six different players recorded two hits and the offensive force of Benjamin Cowles had three RBI in the 10-7 victory. 

Following an abundance of hits on Saturday, the Terps couldn’t get anything going in the series finale. The Cornhuskers totaled 16 strikeouts and Junior pitcher Shay Schanaman accounted for 11. 

Earlier in the season, Maryland and Ohio State split a two game slate in Columbus “pod play.” The two teams will be familiar with the opposing teams’ roster, but especially a few starting pitchers that will be taking the mound.

Freshman pitcher Jason Savacool and Sophomore Nick Dean both faced the Buckeyes earlier in the year and are both taking the mound this weekend. As for the Buckeyes, junior Jack Neely is the only starting pitcher for Ohio State that is making a second appearance. 

Ohio State Buckeyes (13-9)

Last Season:

The Buckeyes finished last season with a 6-8 record before the season was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Ohio State This Season:

While Ohio State is ranked fourth in the Big Ten, the Buckeyes are dead last in the conference for batting average, runs scored and in the bottom three for hits. However, it’s the pitching that’s allowed Ohio State to thrive thus far.

Ohio State has a 4.42 earned run average this season, ranked sixth in the Big Ten, compared to Maryland’s 5.81 ERA.

Buckeyes hitters to watch for:

Freshman Kern Kade is ranked 23rd in the Big Ten with a .333 batting average. Sophomore Okuley Mitchell is another name to watch. Mitchell has five home runs this season. 

Pitchers to watch for:

Maryland will be facing a very stellar pitching staff this weekend. Neely and Junior Garrett Burhenn are both top-20 pitchers in the Big Ten when it comes to ERA and strikeouts. Junior Seth Lonsway, who’s taking the mound on Saturday, has accumulated 54 strikeouts this season which ranks second in the conference. 

Starting Pitching Matchups:

Friday: RHP Sean Burke (1-2, 5.06 ERA) vs. RHP Garrett Burhenn (2-1, 4.15 ERA)

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Burke went 5.2 innings with six strikeouts and four earned runs in his contest against Nebraska. Maryland fell 6-2 against the Cornhuskers. 

Burhenn did just enough last week to secure the win over Michigan. While he surrendered four earned runs and gave up 10 hits, the Buckeyes’ offense helped out leading to the 7-4 victory. 

Saturday: RHP Nick Dean (0-0, 5.84 ERA) vs. LHP Seth Lonsway (1-4, 4.45 ERA)

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Dean had a quality start in his matchup against Nebraska with 4 earned runs through 4.1 innings. His effort helped the Terps get back in the win column with a 10-7 win. 

Lonsway had a similar game his last time out with four earned runs through 4.2 innings pitched. Even with a 10 strikeout effort, the Buckeyes were pummeled 7-0 against Michigan. 

Sunday: RHP Jason Savacool (4-1, 5.01 ERA) vs. RHP Jack Neely (1-1, 4.01 ERA)

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Last outing against the Cornhuskers, Savacool only lasted 1.2 innings after giving up seven hits and five earned runs in a 14-3 loss to Nebraska. 

Neely had a tough matchup against the Michigan Wolverines last week, and only got through 2.1 innings with two earned runs before being pulled in the loss.