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.

Nebraska throttles Maryland in Game 3

After winning a high scoring affair on Saturday, Maryland looked to take the series from the first place Cornhuskers on Sunday at HeyMarket Park in Lincoln. The Terps gave the ball to freshman Jason Savacool in hopes of taking the series.

Nebraska broke the game open very early in the second inning. Savacool gave up a leadoff single, got the first out of the inning, and then the game began to unravel. The next five Huskers all reached via hit. The inning was blown open when Nebraska catcher Griffin Everitt launched a ball deep to right that barely stayed in the park, but scored two runs and made the score 4-0. Nebraska would add one more thanks to an RBI hit from right fielder Joe Acker. Savacool was pulled after recording the second out of the inning, with the score at 5-0.

“Jason was great in the first inning,” said head coach Rob Vaughn. “We felt like once that inning ended, it was gonna be one of those days where he was locked in. He left a lot of pitches up in the second inning and that’s what really hurt him.”

Chris Alleyne was able to get a run back in the top of the third for the Terps as he launched a solo home run with two out to right field.

The Cornhuskers were able to strike for two more runs in the fourth inning off of Terps reliever Connor Staine. The inning was highlighted by back-to-back RBI singles from Joe Acker and Jaxon Hallmark to make the score 7-1.

Shay Schanaman was brilliant for Nebraska through the first 6 innings. He gave up just the one home run to Alleyne through six innings. In the 7th, he gave up a single and then hit three consecutive Terrapins. The third one, which was Ben Cowles, was not liked at all by Nebraska head coach Will Bolt, and he was thrown out of the game. Maryland scored one more after Schanaman was taken out after Tucker Flint hit into a fielder’s choice. That made the score 7-3.

“I think Will thought that Ben did not make an effort to get out of the way. In college baseball, you can start your swing and if you get hit by the pitch, you go to first base,” said Vaughn. Will was pretty heated about that.”

Schanaman’s final line does not indicate how good he was on the hill for Nebraska. He went six innings, gave up only two hits, allowed three runs, and set a new career-high in strikeouts with 11.

“I was frustrated with our approach at the plate,” said Vaughn. “We knew he was going to throw the slider with two strikes, and it felt like we were surprised when the slider came.”

Gavin Stellpflug came into the game in the 8th inning for Maryland and got two out of the first three hitters and was then taken out for Sean Fisher. Fisher walked three consecutive hitters while throwing two wild pitches, which made the score 10-3. Zach Thompson then came into the game and gave up a walk which loaded the bases. That was followed by Brice Matthews hitting a grand slam which made the score 14-3, which was the final.

Maryland uses three home runs to beat Nebraska 10-7, evens series at one

Maryland looked to even the series at a game a piece on a beautiful Saturday afternoon in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Unlike Friday, Maryland was able to get on the board first in the second inning. Ben Cowles stroked a one-out double down the left field line, and was driven in by Tucker Flint who singled up the middle to give Maryland a 1-0 lead. Tommy Gardiner would get a hit and advance him to third, but Chris Alleyne flew out to end the inning, limiting the damage for Nebraska.

The Terps threatened to score in the third after putting two men out with two out, but a Cowles strikeout ended the inning.

Nebraska was able to put a big third inning together off of Nick Dean. After a sac bunt to record the first out of the inning, the Cornhuskers had five straight men reach base. Joe Acker tied the game with a double, and Cam Chick laced a single to left that scored two and gave Nebraska the lead. Following that, Dean hit a batter and then gave up a sac-fly to make the score 4-1. A bizzare play following a double steal where Matt Shaw had the ball knocked away from him made the score 5-1.

Maryland would respond in the fifth inning. Following singles from Randy Bednar and Shaw, Maxwell Costes came through with an RBI single to make it 5-2. Unfortunately for the Terps, Matt Shaw was picked off of second base as he wandered too far off the bag. Following a Luke Shliger single, Ben Cowles launched his tenth home run of the year to tie the game at 5.

Nick Dean’s day ended for Maryland after getting the first out of the fifth inning. His final line was four and a thirds innings, four hits, five runs (four earned), two walks and a strikeout.

“I thought Dean wasn’t as sharp today,” said head coach Rob Vaughn. “Usually he gets a lot of swings and misses and he only had one strikeout today. Nebraska was very good when they fell behind in the count, as well.”

Nebraska was able to take the lead back in the bottom of the sixth after freshman Max Anderson launched a solo home run.

The Terps would respond quickly in the seventh thanks to a leadoff solo home run from freshman Matt Shaw to tie the game at 6. The other freshman in the starting lineup for Maryland, Luke Shliger, came through after a Maxwell Costes single and hit his first career home run to put the Terps up 8-6.

“I want us to be aggressive at the plate,” said Vaughn. “We want to make sure that we swing at the pitches in the zone, and Nebraska did a good job of throwing strikes. We did a good job of being ready for those strikes.”

“I never go up to the plate thinking about hitting a homer,” said Shliger. “The only thing I was trying to do was to get in scoring position.”

The Huskers were able to get one in the bottom half of the seventh back after a ball popped out of Justin Vought’s glove with two out and allowed Joe Acker to score.

Nebraska put together a rally in the bottom of the eighth, as they put two on with one out. But Sam Bello came on from the bullpen and struck out the next two Cornhuskers to end the inning.

Maryland was able to load the bases in the top of the ninth thanks to a hit by pitch, and two walks. Maryland was able to get some insurance after a wild pitch and an error which plated two runs, making the score 10-7.

Sam Bello came back out in the ninth and retired the side in order to lock up the win, evening the series at a game a piece.

“I thought we played with a lot of grit today,” said Vaughn. “We would prefer not to play from behind, but because we have come from behind to win so many times, we do not get phased when we fall into a hole.”

Defense cost Terps in game one, fall to Nebraska 6-2

After weather forced Friday’s game to be moved up two hours, Maryland and Nebraska began their series-opener at 5:00 ET. Here is how the game went:

After Chris Alleyne was hit with a two strike pitch in the first inning, he was caught stealing in the first inning which took away any chance for the Terps to score in the first.

Nebraska was able to score in the first following a leadoff double from Joe Acker. Acker was advanced to third from a fly out, and would score following an RBI groundout from Spencer Schwellenbach.

The teams would lock in their pitching and defense very nicely as Sean Burke settled in for the Terps. Burke struck out the side in the bottom of the third, while Nebraska pitcher Cade Povich did not allow a hit until the top of the fourth inning.

“I think what made Povich so effective was his mixing off speeds, as well as his breaking ball was terrific,” said head coach Rob Vaughn. “We have seen higher velocity from other pitchers but he did a great job of mixing up his stuff.”

Maryland was able to tie the game in the fourth inning. After a two-out double from Luke Shliger, Ben Cowles was walked intentionally which set the stage for a bases loaded situation with two out for Tucker Flint. Flint was able to draw a walk to tie the game. Justin Vought would strikeout to end the inning.

Nebraska took the lead back in the bottom of the fifth thanks to a two-run single from shortstop Spencer Schwellenbach. Schwellenbach drove in Griffin Everitt, who led off the inning with a walk, and Acker, who doubled down the third base line. The Huskers were able to add another run after Schwellenbach took off for third, and Vought’s throw to third was above the head of Matt Shaw, which allowed Schwellenbach to score.

In the bottom of the sixth, a home run from Brice Matthews, which just snuck over the glove of Chris Alleyne, made the score 5-1, and ended the day for Burke. Burke’s final line was 5.2 IP, four hits, five runs (four earned), three walks, and six strikeouts.

“I thought Burke was dominant,” said catcher Justin Vought. “I thought other than the slash double in the fifth inning, that this was his best start.

“The original plan was to take Burke out after the first two hitters, and we should have done that,” said Vaughn. “Going back on it we should have put Heine in to face Matthews.”

In the top of the seventh, senior catcher Justin Vought launched a long home run which cut the lead to 5-2, and also ended the day for Huskers starter Cade Povich. Povich was terrific going 6 1/3 innings, giving up four hits, two earned runs, walking three, and striking out five. Maryland was able to get Shaw up as the tying run against Cam Wynne, but Shaw grounded out to end the inning.

Brice Matthews came through again for the Huskers in the eighth, as he laced a single up the middle to plate Nebraska’s sixth run of the game, which came off of Terps freshman pitcher David Falco.

Spencer Schwellenbach came in from shortstop to pitch the ninth, and recorded the final three outs for Nebraska.

“I thought the atmosphere was good for our guys to play in,” said Vaughn. “But I told them if you thought that was something, wait until Saturday and Sunday.”

“I loved going out there and playing in front of all those people,” Alleyne said. “We have to embrace playing on the road and it was fun to see people in the crowd.”

Maryland makes a statement in its first winning weekend of the season, mauls Michigan 17-7

After seven straight losses against Michigan to open his coaching career in College Park, Rob Vaughn got his first win against the Wolverines in style today at the Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium. Maryland’s offense was an uncontrollable monster in the middle innings as they scored 14 runs without response between the fourth and seventh frames to coast to a 17-7 win.

Chris Alleyne was a standout amid a sea of great individual Maryland performances. Bubba batted 4-for-5 and drove in five runs. Two of those five were the eventual game-winners off a two-RBI single he dropped into shallow right field, giving Maryland an 8-6 lead in the bottom of the fifth.

The Terps would bust the game wide open in the sixth as they scored seven runs and forced three pitching changes in the bottom of the frame. Maryland left 11 on base yesterday in a 6-5 defeat that was tough to swallow, so it was even sweeter for Vaughn that they exacted their revenge in such a convincing fashion today.

Maryland students were allowed to join the limited number of fans in the Bob for the first time in over a year and they were loud and proud throughout as Maryland put on a show and scored well into double digits.

The game started out as a battle between new blood and old guard on the bump as freshman RHP Jason Savacool took the mound against Michigan’s senior RHP Blake Beers. What Savacool lacks in experience to Beers, he made up for with pure speed and skill.

Maryland needed to have a smooth start on the mound, as Sean Fisher could not contain the Wolverines and was pulled after just 2 1/3 innings pitched. But that was simply not meant to be.

Jordon Rogers led-off for the Wolverines and battled out of a 1-2 count, fouling off three pitches with two strikes against him and eventually working a nine-pitch walk. It didn’t amount to anything but from the very first at-bat, Michigan made it clear they were going to battle at the plate and make life difficult on the mound for the freshman sensation Jason Savacool.

The difficulty level cranked up several notches in the second, as it turned into a frame to forget for Savacool. Jimmy Obertop would take a fastball for a ride over the right-field wall and Maryland’s early lead was erased immediately. That seemed to unsettle Savacool, as he started to struggle to find the strike zone. The Michigan dugout did their part to rattle the freshman, hooting and hollering with every ball call and check to the runners.

The bases quickly filled off the back of the homer and the Baldwinsville, NY native had his day end early. Savacool’s pitch count ballooned to over 60 within the second inning and he struggled to find the strike zone. He hit two batters with a pitch and then gave Ted Burton an easy 90-foot run to home plate with a wild pitch. After walking the leadoff batter in the top of his third, Sean Heine was the one favored to take his place.

It felt as though the game was getting away from Maryland in a hurry after just an inning and a half. But with two out in the bottom of the second, Tommy Gardiner crushed his second two-run home run of the series. He would score Benjamin Cowles and bring Maryland right back into the game at 4-3. Gardiner’s goner was a carbon copy of the one he hit in their second win over Northwestern Saturday, as he got it all the way over the batter’s eye in center field and onto the football practice fields beyond.

Christian Molfetta would respond in kind with a two-run jack that also cleared the catcher’s eye to restore the three-run lead and make it 6-3.

The back-and-forth battle early turned into a game of tactics as both coaching staffs chose to go to their bullpen nine times combined by the end of the sixth. Michigan had a slightly more active bullpen, changing their mound martial five different times with four of those switches occurring between the fifth and sixth frames.

It was for good reason, as Maryland’s offense exploded in the middle innings. Maryland got a solo shot out of Cowles in the fourth. In the fifth and sixth, they drove in four and seven runs respectively – and it was all catalyzed by a series of Wolverine errors.

No one could take command on the mound for Michigan, and the Wolverines unraveled as Junior LHP Jack White was the first to falter, firing a wild throw over to first trying to check Matthew Shaw. Shaw stole two bases and then scored as the first baseman, Jake Marti, took his eye off the ball on a slow-rolling grounder.

White’s replacement, RHP Isaiah Paige, picked up where White left off. Paige hit back-to-back batters, driving in the tying run at 6-6. Then, Alleyne looped his fly ball into shallow right, scoring Cowles and Ott, and the Terps took a lead they would never relinquish.

None of the mound moves Michigan made could stop Maryland after that point. The Terrapin batters faced eight different pitchers but could not be contained. Tucker Flint and Luke Shliger quickly doubled the lead to 10-6 with back-to-back RBI base hits. Bubba would get another RBI single, and Maxwell Costes and Shaw both smacked RBI doubles all within the bottom of the sixth and the margin ballooned to nine runs.

Bubba would rub salt in Wolverine wounds with his third RBI base hit in as many innings, sending a deep drive to center cannoning off the batter’s eye. Ultimately, it was a two-RBI triple that scored Cowles and Flint, and Maryland settled for a modest 17 runs.

Although Maryland had their own pitching problems to start, RHP Sean Heine and graduate LHP Tyler Blohm did well to see the Terps through the middle innings. Then reliever Sam Bello slammed the door on Michigan as he built off the confidence his offense exuded and was excellent to close out the afternoon. In 3 2/3 innings pitched, Bello allowed just one hit, a solo shot by Brandon Lawrence to give some consolation to the Wolverines in the top of the ninth.

Maryland moves to 9-10 and will hit the road next weekend for a series with the Nebraska Cornhuskers in Lincoln, Nebraska. On the other hand, Michigan is now 13-6 and will head home to take on Ohio State after breaking even in this series.

Zimmerman’s solo shot in the ninth inning sinks Maryland, 6-5

Michigan’s leadoff hitter Jordon Rogers and LHP Jack White were having a little fun with a shadowboxing session in the pregame as they got ready for their second game of the day. But by the end, pinch hitter Danny Zimmerman would be the one to deliver the knockout punch with a solo home run in the top of the ninth as the No. 25 Wolverines clawed past Maryland, 6-5, on Easter Sunday to improve to 13-5.

Matthew Shaw and Randy Bednar both hit two-run bombs but Maryland missed too many opportunities. They left ten runners on base and came up short in a bid for their fourth straight come-from-behind win. The Terps came back from deficits of 4-2 and 5-4, but could not muster up a third equalizing effort in the final frame and are now 0-5 when Sean Fisher has taken the mound.

“We’ve kind of shown since day one that we can fight from behind,” the third baseman Shaw said. “We’re able to play from behind, we put together good at-bats.”

Aside from the power hitting on display, Maryland hung around with the help of its fielders. After hitting leadoff batter Jordon Rogers with a pitch, Fisher’s infield collected two grounders and turned a double play to get the veteran LHP out of the top of the first.

Then, in the second with two runners in scoring position, Benjamin Cowles made another key play in the field, scooping a grounder up. Rather than getting the force out at first, he honed in on Clark Elliott, who was heading for home. Cowles hummed in a throw to catcher Justin Vought to trap Elliott in a pickle and the Terps got the tag out, keeping Michigan off the board.

The Terps have been used to going behind 2-0 after one inning over the past two days. But this time, Matt Shaw sent a fastball opposite-field and over the wall in right centerfield for a two-run homer, scoring Costes, and Maryland was now the team taking the early 2-0 advantage. Shaw wants Maryland to be able to step on the gas more when they get ahead like this going forward.

“I honestly just want to see us fight better when we’re ahead,” Shaw said. “I hope that we start to have some of those games where we get up big and it keeps getting bigger.”

Despite the help of his defenders, Fisher couldn’t get settled and Maryland would come undone in the top of the third. After loading the bases with a seven-pitch walk to Griffin Mazur, Rob Vaughn replaced the senior with sophomore RHP Connor Staine.

Staine was put in a tough spot and Jimmy Obertop pounced, cranking a 2-2 pitch over the left field wall for a grand slam. Mazur, Rogers, and Christian Molfetta would all score and in an instant, Michigan flipped a two-run deficit into a two-run lead of 4-2. Staine couldn’t take command of the mound at first either as the bases loaded up again with two outs. But Bubba Alleyne caught a fly ball in deep center field to get Maryland out of the inning.

Michigan struggled to plate runners as well throughout the course of the day. The Wolverines had 8 hits in game one against Northwestern but couldn’t get those runners home on many occasions, falling 4-1. Michigan continued to falter against the Terrapins in that department in spite of the Obertop slam, leaving nine on base.

But Maryland’s difficulty getting around the diamond superseded that of their opposition as they would strand two runners on base for three innings a row – between the third and fifth.

However, before Michigan got out of the bottom of that fifth inning, Bednar would bomb a fastball just over the wall in left centerfield for Maryland’s second two-run shot of the day.

Michigan starting pitcher Cameron Weston got the nod over projected starter Jacob Denner, as Denner pitched 3.2 innings and gave up six hits in game one against the Wildcats. Weston notched four strikeouts through four innings pitched but also gave up four runs on those two homers. Once Bednar tied the game at four, Michigan would turn to their bullpen and favor the graduate student Joe Pace.

From then on, the bullpen would stay busy all afternoon long. Pace had a good performance but was pulled after 2.1 IP, and his replacement, junior RHP Will Proctor, would not even last a full inning before getting pulled himself. Michigan settled on fellow junior RHP Willie Weiss to close out the affair.

Maryland’s bullpen got a huge boost from Staine, who settled in nicely after getting out of that costly third inning. Staine stayed in for 5.2 innings, struck out five and held to Michigan to two earned runs. He would eventually hand the ball off to David Falco, who earned his second appearance in relief this weekend, for the final inning.

Unfortunately, the sailing was not as smooth for Falco this afternoon as it was against Northwestern on Friday. With two down in the top of the ninth, the pinch hitter Zimmerman would deliver the decisive blow and Falco fell to 1-1 on the season. On the other hand, Weiss picked up his third win in this campaign for the Wolverines.

“[Staine] threw the ball awesome,” head coach Rob Vaughn said. “Obviously as soon as that ball goes out of the yard, you’re like, ‘Man, I wish I would’ve left him in,” you know? But the bottom line is I trust Dave 1,000 times out of 1,000.”

The Terps drop to 8-10 and will seek revenge tomorrow as they rematch with the Wolverines to close out pod play. If Maryland pulls it off, it will be their first winning weekend of the season. First pitch is currently scheduled for 3 p.m.

Terps best Northwestern in back-and-forth battle, 8-4

The weather warmed up a bit for the continuation of pod play Saturday and so did Maryland’s offense as they knocked off Northwestern for the second time in two days, 8-4. The Terps won their third straight in a topsy-turvy matchup, as they again looked comfortable playing from behind at the Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium.

The middle innings made all the difference for the Terps as they outscored the Wildcats 5-2. Maryland trailed at 2-0 and 4-3, but they eventually retook the lead in the bottom of the sixth through a two-RBI single by Maxwell Costes and did not look back.

Costes continued to be productive for the Maryland offense all day, as he went four-for-five from the plate and drove in four runs overall. But the bottom of the order did some business too. Tommy Gardiner, who bats ninth in the lineup, played a pivotal part for the Terps as he went two-for-three with three RBIs.

The Northwestern Wildcats (9-7) popped in their purple jerseys and their hitting power was on display with three homers accounting for all four of their runs. It was another hot hitting start for the Wildcats, as they would take the lead in the top of the first on a two-run shot torched over the right-field wall by Michael Trautwein.

In the early innings, this game had an eerily similar feel to yesterday’s in that Northwestern took the early lead but could not build on their strong start for a while and Maryland would settle in nicely from a defensive perspective.

Junior RHP Nick Dean made his first appearance since coming down with mono, but there was no sign of that affecting his play. Bar the couple of homers he conceded, Dean was exceptional at finding the zone and getting ahead in the count. He would finish with five strikeouts and five hits allowed in five innings pitched.

Offensively, it was better for Maryland as they got some guys on base. But in the first few innings, they couldn’t finish the job and bring those runners home. The Terps halved their deficit through an RBI double from Matt Shaw, scoring Bednar. But Shliger would ground out and strand two runners in scoring position. Maryland ultimately left five runners on base through three innings.

That would change in a hurry and Maryland’s offensive execution would come, in part, from an unlikely source. In the bottom of the fourth, Tommy Gardiner hammered a two-run homer right back where it came from – all the way over the batter’s eye in center field – to score Flint and give the Terps their first lead of the day. After a pair of solo shots by Northwestern put Maryland behind again, Gardiner would be back for more. With two on and one out in the bottom of the sixth, the senior out of Mount Laurel, NJ sent Benjamin Cowles home with an RBI single.

A few batters later, Maryland had the lead as Costes drove in Alleyne and Vought with a base hit into left field to make it 6-4. In the bottom of the eighth, Costes went opposite field to double his RBI tally, dropping a fly ball into shallow right that got Gardiner home and scored Bubba once more.

On the defensive side of things, Ryan Ramsey was excellent in relief, playing out the final four innings after stepping in for Dean. The sophomore lefty struck out six batters and only gave up one hit – a solo homer by Wildcats second baseman Vincent Bianchina.

The Terps closed out the ninth with a sensational double play from Matt Shaw, who caught a line drive from Kaplan and zipped it over to first to turn two. Fittingly, Ramsey would follow up that effort and finish the afternoon as he struck out pinch hitter Luke Tanner for Maryland’s final out.

Maryland improves to 8-9 and will be back in action at the Bob tomorrow. The Terps will be seeking a third win in as many days as they matchup against a ranked Michigan team at 3:30 p.m, following game two between the Wildcats and the Wolverines.

Terps’ bats get hot late, come from behind to top Northwestern 4-3 in series opener

It was a bright but blustery day at the Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium as Maryland opened “College Park Pod” play against a Northwestern Wildcats team which came in wielding one of the best offenses in the country. Maxwell Costes separated himself from the rest of his teammates, knelt and said a prayer shortly before first pitch. Whether he was wishing for a win or not, his prayers were answered on the field.

Costes played very well on both sides of the ball – starting out two-for-two and making several standout plays in the field – and Maryland came from behind to stun Northwestern, 4-3, in game one of the twinbill series. Maryland trailed from the very beginning until the bottom of the seventh when a two-out, two-run double from Chris Alleyne scored Bobby Zmarzlak and Justin Vought, putting the game on level terms at three a piece. The breakthrough moment came an inning later, as Benjamin Cowles’ sac fly brought in Matthew Shaw from third for the winning run.

“They’re not afraid to come from behind, they’re not afraid to play behind,” head coach Rob Vaughn said of his Terps. “Obviously we want to play with the lead and step on it, but they don’t panic.”

On the mound, Sean Burke struggled to get going against that high-powered Northwestern offense, walking three batters in the top of the first and sending the opening run home. A fielding error by Matthew Shaw at third on a driven ground ball would score Leo Kaplan and quickly double the Wildcats lead.

Burke racked up five strikeouts through two innings, but also gave up a solo shot to Shawn Goosenberg and the Terps were behind 3-0.

Over time, the defense would grow into the affair and the Terps made some clutch defensive plays to stay in the contest. In the third, a really nice hustle play from Burke to grab an infield fly behind the plate was followed by first baseman Costes snagging a line drive with a diving effort. After four defensive innings, Maryland had only given up two hits.

Offensively, Maryland was nullified by starting pitcher Mike Doherty and the Northwestern fielders for long stretches. But those fielding efforts for Maryland would parlay into some offensive success, as the bats started to come alive in the bottom of the fourth. Costes hit one right back where it came from, skipping past the shortstop and second baseman into centerfield and scoring Randy Bednar to get one back.

“[Coach Vaughn] calls our offense ‘the pack’,” Cowles said. “In a wolfpack, no one person is solely doing anything. If somebody is struggling one day, then somebody else is going to pick them up. I guess today was my day to pick up the offense.”

Burke would leave the game after five innings pitched. Despite the early flurry, he got stronger in his performance as he saw the Northwestern lineup for a second and third time. He would finish with eight strikeouts and just three hits allowed, turning over his duties to Medford, NJ native and junior RHP Sean Heine.

Heine, in conjunction with fellow relievers David Falco and Sam Bello, stranded several batters in key situations to keep Northwestern off the scoreboard in the in later innings.

“I was just trying to keep the game close,” Heine said. “Just keep putting up zeroes and let our offense do the work.”

Maryland would ultimately put in that work, as their best chance to get back into the game came off the back of the seventh inning stretch and they capitalized. After a clean start to the game, the Northwestern fielders got sloppy with short stop Shawn Goosenberg unable to collect a groundball from Vought. Two batters later, left fielder Stephen Hrustich dropped that high fly ball hit deep into left field by Chris Alleyne.

Maryland rode the momentum into the eighth inning when Doherty eventually exited the mound, getting runners on the corners with one out before Benjamin Cowles clobbered the sac fly deep into right centerfield in the eighth. The rest was history.

The Terps will look to repeat this result tomorrow (without trailing for the duration again, perhaps) in a midday tilt against the Wildcats. First pitch is scheduled for noon, to be followed by game one between Northwestern and Michigan.