Maryland’s bats went ice cold in a loss to Minnesota in the rubber match of a crucial three game series in late-May Big Ten play. On the day, the Terps lineup went 4-29 from the plate in the 2-1 loss.
Coming into Sunday’s game, Maryland sat at eighth place in conference standings. After the loss, the Terps drop to 10th and have a big hill to climb if they want to reach the postseason.
In what was a pitcher’s duel for most of the contest, Maryland junior Tyler Blohm made his fourth start of the season and threw a scoreless three before surrendering two runs, one earned, in the fourth, his last inning on the mound. In 72 pitches, the southpaw fanned four batters and walked two in his first outing since May 1.
The Terps’ usual Sunday starter, freshman Trevor LaBonte, came out of the bullpen in a big way and kept his team in the game, with 4.2 innings of scoreless work.
With Blohm on a short pitch-count coming off an injury, LaBonte expected to be called upon and did not disappoint in his tenure on the bump. After letting up a hit to his second batter faced in the fourth, the righty sat down 13 straight into the ninth inning.
Minnesota’s starter, Joshua Culliver, tossed 5.2 innings in dominating fashion, conceding only two hits and no runs. The Terrapins could not figure out the Gopher starter and failed to get a hit until the fourth inning.
The Terps almost made a comeback in the final inning of the game when Randy Bednar led off with a home run to center field, his ninth of the season. Third baseman Taylor Wright followed Bednar with a double into the gap, putting the tying run on second with no outs.
With two on and none out, left fielder Michael Pineiro struck out, followed by catcher Justin Vought’s strike out of his own. Freshman Josh Maguire grounded to short to end spoil the comeback and end the game.
On a day where virtually nothing went their way at the plate, the Terps now look to next weekend’s Big Ten finale against Iowa to push them to the postseason. With the top eight teams in the conference making the tournament, Maryland needs multiple wins at home against a top team in the conference for a shot to play another day.