Maryland’s offense wakes up, secures a win against the Buckeyes

The Terps’ offense finally showed up in the last game of this weekend’s pod series in Columbus, defeating the Buckeyes Monday afternoon, 9-3. The bats came alive for Maryland, and thanks to a struggling Ohio State pitching staff, Maryland was able to come away with their only win of both of the weekend’s series.  

The hitting game and the running game were on point for Maryland today, highlighted by a few key home runs and as well as smart base running. Tommy Gardiner sent one out of the park in the top of the third to get the Terps on the board after trailing by two, and Bobby Zmarzlak sent out a homer of his own to score two and tie the game in the fifth.  

The Terps continued to rake in the fifth inning as Randy Bednar sent out a two-run single to give Maryland the lead for the first time all game. The sixth inning fared no better for Ohio State as their defense was riddled with errors, granting Maryland another two runs. Benjamin Cowles continued his dominant season at the plate with a two-run single that gave the Terps a six-run lead heading into the sixth.  

Bednar contributed in all aspects of the offensive game today, not only bringing in runs but also stealing three bases, doubling his stolen base total prior to Monday’s game.  

Anticipation built around the reigning Big Ten Freshman of the Week Jason Savacool’s start today, but the freshman struggled to throw strikes early to the Buckeyes. What was produced were easy plays for his defense to handle, and he was pulled from the game in the bottom of the sixth to make way for Ryan Ramsey.  

Ramsey had a solid showing against the Buckeyes, locking down their offense and not allowing a single run after his arrival. Maryland’s offense cooled off after the explosive sixth inning, but thanks to the pitching and fielding woes of Ohio State, the Terps were able to secure the win all the same.  

The fateful sixth inning was plagued by numerous errors on the Buckeyes defensive end, including two throwing errors that allowed easy Maryland outs to occupy the bases. Other miscommunications throughout the game resulted in dropped pop fly’s, and the strokes of bad luck continued for the Buckeyes.  

With this win, Maryland will be leaving Columbus with one win out of four from this weekend’s series. The Terps will return home this coming weekend where they will host Northwestern and Michigan in another pod series.

Despite steady offensive efforts, Maryland suffers second loss of the day

Coming off an 11-2 loss earlier in the day against Iowa, Maryland’s offense began to wake up in the second half of Sunday’s two-fer against the Ohio State Buckeyes. Their continuous offensive efforts weren’t enough as they fell to the Buckeyes, 5-4, marking their third loss of the weekend.  

The Maryland offense showed promise early after a leadoff home run from Chris Alleyne gave the Terps a one-run lead. Starting pitcher Nick Dean held up the defensive end, serving Ohio State three scoreless innings and allowing just one run off a solo homer from Ohio State’s Zach Dezenzo. Dean was pulled from the game in the bottom of the fourth for Sean Fisher, but finished his time on the mound with three strikeouts and produced a handful of easy grounders for his infield to take care of.  

Ohio State’s Jack Neely proved to be a problem on the rubber for the Terps, throwing an impressive five innings and finishing his day tying a career-high 11 strikeouts. With a little help from third baseman Nick Erwin making a few incredible plays, Neely locked the Maryland offense down through the first half of the game.   

The Buckeyes began to pull ahead in the fifth inning, as a two-run shot from Colton Bauer brought in Brent Todys, followed up by Dezenzo’s third hit of the game to bring in Erwin and extend Ohio’s lead to two.  

The favor was returned to Maryland in the top of the sixth, when Logan Ott’s bullet of a hit bounced away from Ohio state’s Conner Pohl to score Randy Bednar. This was followed by a picture perfect Benjamin Cowles squeeze bunt that — paired with an Ohio State defensive miscommunication — brought in Luke Shliger to tie the game.  

The score remained tied through the bottom of the seventh when David Falco entered the game for Maryland. A huge defensive blunder by second baseman Kevin Keister allowed Ohio State to score two more runs, an error that would come back to haunt the Terps.  

The Terps were unable to string together enough hits in the top of the eighth either, scoring only one of the two runs needed to tie on a Cowles RBI single. Maryland left the bases loaded, costing them the game as the top of the ninth proved unsuccessful for the Terps.  

Maryland will have one last chance to come away from this four-game, two-series weekend with a win Monday afternoon when they face off against the Buckeyes for a second time at 3:00 p.m. The Terps will have to erase their defensive mistakes and figure out how to string together their offensive energy if they want any chance of avenging Sunday night’s game.     

Iowa’s explosive offense proves to be too much for Maryland

What started out as a close one-run game quickly went south for Maryland, as Iowa’s offense found their stride and exploded, producing eight runs in the sixth inning alone and winning the game 11-2. It was neither a pitching meltdown nor a defensive meltdown on Maryland’s part, but simply many strokes of good luck for the Iowa Hawkeyes.  

Starting pitcher Connor Staine battled through the first half of the game prior to being pulled in the bottom of the sixth. He struggled to deliver strikeouts early on, instead relying on his defense to have his back and make plays. Staine did deliver three scoreless innings during his time on the mound but was taken out following a two-run double from Iowa’s Brayden Frazier that ended his game against the Hawkeyes. 

The sixth inning woes continued for the Terps, as lefty Tyler Blohm was unable to shut down the energized Iowa offense. After walking his first two batters and sending in a bases loaded run, Iowa’s go-to hitter Matthew Sosa clobbered the second two-run double of the inning to increase the Hawkeyes’ lead. Sosa was followed up by Peyton Williams who sent a long ball out for a three-run home run, increasing Iowa’s lead by nine runs heading into the seventh.  

A second pitching change was made in the bottom of the sixth, as Sean Heine was sent out to the mound to close out the disastrous inning. Zach Thompson entered the game in the bottom of the seventh, and made quick work Hawkeyes in a three up, three down inning. Sosa scored in the bottom of the eighth off a single from Williams, ending Thompson’s short-lived success on the rubber, but it was too little too late as Maryland entered the ninth with a nine-run deficit.  

Maryland’s offense just never woke up. Save for a solo home run from Benjamin Cowles and a RBI single early in the game from Matt Orlando, the Terps barely got any runners on base.   

The Terps will have to muster all of their energy and leave this game behind them as they face Ohio State later Sunday. Their offense will need to show up against the Buckeyes or a similar story will face the Terps at the end of the evening.  

Late-game Offensive Surge Isn’t Enough to Secure Maryland the Win 

Despite Maryland’s best late-game offensive efforts, it wasn’t enough to take game one of the two-game series against the Iowa Hawkeyes. A lack of offensive action came back to haunt the Terps as a few ill-timed home runs from Iowa put the final nail in the coffin in Maryland’s 6-4 loss.  

Starting pitcher Sean Burke worked through three scoreless innings before giving up the first run of the game on a solo homer to Iowa’s Ben Norman, a hitter that has been heating up for the Hawkeyes during the past few games. Burke gave up only one more run before being pulled after the sixth, ending his day with nine strikeouts.  

The first few innings were quiet for both teams offensively, save for Norman’s home run in the third, and a game that looked to be a one or two-run pitcher’s duel became an offensive battle. The Terps found themselves trailing by two runs going into the bottom sixth.  

The Terps couldn’t awaken the bats and give Burke run support through the first five innings of the game until a dropped fly ball from Benjamin Cowles scored two in the bottom of the sixth. Whether it was a miscommunication among the Iowa players, or simply the sun blinding them, the mistake put the Terps on the board and they tied the game. 

RHP Sam Bello entered the game for Maryland at the top of the seventh and served a quick 1-2-3 inning to get the Terps right back into the batters box. Iowa made a pitching change of their own, sending in RHP Jackson Payne, a decision that worked out in Maryland third baseman Matt Orlando’s favor as he sent out a go-ahead home run to give the Terps the lead 3-2 for the first time all game.  

Iowa was quick to answer as the Hawkeyes’ Peyton Williams sent out a two-run homer to take the lead back in the top of the eighth. Bello made sure to get out of the inning without letting up another run, and his team backed him up as Maryland right fielder Randy Bednar sent out a ball to tie up the game against Iowa newcomer RHP Trace Hoffman.  

LHP Ryan Ramsey entered the game for the Terps looking to keep Iowa at bay and get the Terps back in the box quickly, but Iowa’s Zeb Adreon was having none of that and quickly launched the Hawkeyes’ second two-run home run of the game to give Iowa a 6-4 lead going into the bottom of the ninth.  

Iowa sent in their third pitcher of the game, RHP Dylan Nedved, to try and put the Terps away and secure Iowa the win. The Terps just couldn’t rally back and fell to the Hawkeyes after an offensive surge that provided hope.  

Maryland will have one more chance this weekend to split the two-game series against the Hawkeyes in the first part of Sunday’s double header. Game two against Iowa begins at 12:00 p.m. and will be followed by the first game of the two-game Ohio State series at 4:00 p.m.

Series Preview: Iowa Hawkeyes and Ohio State Buckeyes

Maryland’s upcoming series this weekend offers both the chance to improve their record and the chance to continue the offensive energy that emerged against Penn State this past weekend.  

The Terps are coming off an explosive offensive series against the Penn State Nittany Lions and are looking to keep that momentum going this weekend as they travel to Columbus, Ohio to take part in a unique two-team, two-game series against the Iowa Hawkeyes and Ohio State Buckeyes.  

The first two games of this weekend will be played against the Hawkeyes, game one kicks off Saturday at 5:00 p.m. and game two against Iowa will be Sunday at 12:00 p.m. Maryland will face Ohio State in the second part of Sunday’s double header at 4:00 p.m. The series will wrap up Monday with one last game against the Buckeyes at 3:00 p.m. 

The Terps put up a collective 31 runs across three games including a 19-run slug fest to take the opening game in last weekend’s successful showing at Penn State. Maryland will be looking to Benjamin Cowles to come out swinging again this series following his impressive work in the box during game one in Happy Valley. The junior raked in five runs with his early two-run RBI single and later a pitch out of the park for a three-run homer.  

The Iowa Hawkeyes are coming off a 1-2 series loss to Nebraska, both losses of the three-game series ending in double digits. Maryland’s successful offensive game will need to make a comeback this weekend against an Iowa team that has been outscored 60-44 if the Terps want to take the series.  

The second half of this weekend’s series will pit the Terps against the Buckeyes, a team that is 6-5 on the season and is coming off a 1-2 series loss to Rutgers (dropping one game to the Scarlet Nights in 11 innings and losing the other without putting a run on the board). Ohio State boasts more of a balanced team than Iowa, only being outscored 53-50 this season. Once again, Maryland’s fate will rest in the batter’s box and whether or not the same offensive energy from this past Penn State series shows up this weekend.  

Iowa Hawkeyes (4-7) 

Last Season 

The Iowa Hawkeyes finished with a 10-5 record before the season abruptly ended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2020 team boasted a .295/.391/.408 slash line accompanied by a pitching staff finishing with a solid 3.39 ERA.  

This Season 

This year, the Hawkeyes have fallen just short of their 2020 success, putting forth a .224/.344/.356 slash line thus far. Iowa’s offense had yet to truly get the ball rolling until their last series against Nebraska, but even then the Hawkeyes dropped two of the games with final scores of 8-10 and 8-13. They will need to wake up their bats to have a chance against the offensive momentum the Terps have been building up.  

Hitters to Watch 

The Hawkeyes offense has been off to a sluggish start this season, but the energy needed to propel them can be found in a pair of redshirt seniors: Matthew Sosa and Ben Norman. Sosa has been reliable all season, and arrives in Columbus with a .324 batting average, the highest on the team. He held a career-long eight-game hitting streak through the first eight games of the season. Norman has been heating up this year and had a four-game hitting streak and a six-game on-base streak going into their Nebraska series. He had two home runs against the Cornhuskers, and boasts a .308 batting average, second on the team only to Sosa.  

Pitchers to Watch  

Iowa’s pitching staff can be described as just average, with the staff putting up a 4.26 ERA so far this year. There is one standout on Iowa that the Terps are lucky to be missing this weekend, and just this past Wednesday he was named Big Ten Pitcher of the Week. Redshirt junior Trevor Wallace boasts a 1.00 ERA and 26 strikeouts on the year. Besides Wallace, redshirt junior Dylan Nedved and senior Trace Hoffman have become strong late-inning options for the Hawkeyes and have a 0.00 and 1.35 ERA respectively. 

Ohio State Buckeyes (6-5) 

Last Season 

The Ohio State Buckeyes are coming off a 6-8 campaign prior to the 2020 season’s cancellation. The 2020 Buckeyes did not get the chance to face a single Big 10 team before their season ended, making this season the first time they’ll be seeing some of their conference rivals in over a year. Last year’s team finished the short season with a .242/.347/.357 slash line, numbers they are likely hoping to improve this season.  

This Season 

The Buckeyes are coming into this weekend’s series with a 6-5 record. Thus far, Ohio State has produced a .228/.314/.361 slash line, similar numbers to last year yet with better results in terms of record. The Buckeyes are coming off of a 1-2 series loss to Rutgers, three games that resulted in little offensive action from either side as the final scores for either team never exceeded six runs.  

Hitters to Watch 

True freshman Kade Kern is the head of this Ohio State offense, boasting an impressive .390/.479/.610 slash line for the season. He had a successful showing against Rutgers, contributing three hits in the final game of the series. His two-run homer against Nebraska not only tied the game for the Buckeyes, but it marked his first career homerun in his eighth collegiate game. Other notable offensive contributors are senior Sam Wilson, junior Nick Erwin, and redshirt senior Conner Pohl, each of whom played a part in last weekend’s win against Rutgers.  

Pitchers to Watch 

Ohio State’s pitching is similar to the first of the Terp’s opponents this weekend in that they are just average. The pitching staff has secured a 4.39 ERA thus far, with two notable pitchers being juniors Bayden Root and TJ Brock, boasting a 1.23 and 1.35 ERA respectively. Maryland will dodge yet another bullet this weekend and avoid meeting either pitcher, and will instead face two players with slightly higher ERA’s but notable performances in the past few games.  

Starting Pitching Matchups  

Saturday vs Iowa – RHP Sean Burke (1-1, 6.46 ERA) vs. RHP Drew Irvine (0-2, 6.55 ERA) 

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Burke’s last game against Penn State turned into an all-out slugfest, and while Burke got the start, he was pulled after 4 2/3 innings. He allowed four runs while striking out eight batters, and the game jacked up his ERA from his previous 3.68.  

Irvine will arrive in Columbus with a bad taste in his mouth following his most recent 10-8 loss to Nebraska in which he allowed six runs on five hits during his 2 1/3 innings pitched. His previous game against Nebraska didn’t exactly go as planned either, with Irvine giving up another four runs on just six hits, a detriment that couldn’t be countered by his eight strikeouts on the day.  

Sunday vs Iowa – RHP Connor Staine (0-1, 6.19 ERA) vs. RHP Duncan Davitt (1-1, 8.18 ERA) 

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Staine is coming off a disappointing loss to Penn State last weekend, managing to hold the Lion’s off for three scoreless innings. That and his three strikeouts across his five innings pitched weren’t enough to save the Terps as he allowed eight hits, two walks and three wild pitches before being pulled from the game.  

A strong performance against Nebraska last Sunday could provide momentum for Davitt heading into Sunday’s game. Davitt held down a no-hitter through 5 1/3 innings before giving up just two hits during his time on the mound. Six strikeouts for the starter secured him a tie for his career-best performance, and the Hawkeye will be coming out of the gates strong when he faces the Terps.  

Sunday vs OSU – RHP Nick Dean (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs RHP Jack Neely (1-0, 4.26 ERA) 

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Dean will be making his season debut for the Terps in the second half of Sunday’s double header. Coming off of a shortened season and finishing with a 3.98 ERA, Dean will look to start the Terps off on the right note against Big Ten rival Ohio State. Listed as one of the top draft prospects in the class of 2022, this sophomore has a lot to prove and a lot to bring to the mound.  

Neely’s most recent game secured the Buckeyes a much-needed win over Rutgers, a game which saw the pitcher finish his time on the mound with five strikeouts and allowing just three hits over 4 1/3 innings. This is a similar story to his previous outing against Iowa, in which Neely finished with seven strikeouts, one hit and one run allowed. The Terps offense will need to wake up if the same Neely from the Rutgers and Iowa games decides to show up in Columbus.  

Monday vs OSU – RHP Jason Savacool (3-0, 2.28 ERA) vs RHP Will Pfennig (0-1, 7.71 ERA) 

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Who better to close out the Terps time in Columbus than the most recent Big Ten Freshman of the Week. Savacool will be taking the mound Monday afternoon, and if his second career complete game in just three collegiate showings against Penn State is any indication of the performance than can be expected, the Buckeyes better be ready. Savacool’s most recent performance against the Nittany Lion’s saw him throw only 92 pitches, yet still secured the win for the Terps 7-1.  

Pfennig’s last showing played a role in Ohio State’s recent win against Nebraska, a game in which the junior posted six strikeouts, five hits, and two earned runs. He will be facing off against one of the strongest freshman pitchers in the conference, and will need to pull out a similar performance against the Terps in order to help his team secure a win.