Backed by strong offensive showing, Maryland defeats James Madison, 12-2

Up by a run entering the third, No. 15 Maryland looked to add on to its slim lead over the James Madison Dukes.

Chris Alleyne and Nick Lorusso did just that in big ways — hitting back-to-back home runs to give the Terps a three-run lead.

Maryland led from the very first inning and never looked back, downing James Madison, 12-2, for the Terps’ 42nd victory of the season — tying the program record.

In the final regular season game at Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium, the Terps got out to an early lead.

Luke Shliger led off Maryland’s bats with a first-pitch single in the bottom of the first, and two batters later, scored on a base right into right off the bat of Lorusso.

Two innings later, the Terps’ power showed. After retiring the first couple Terps in the inning with relative ease, CJ Czerwinski struggled to find the third out of the frame.

On a 1-0 pitch, Alleyne crushed a blast into left center. Fenwick Trimble leaped at the wall but was unable to bring back Alleyne’s shot as it fell over the wall for a solo home run.

The very next batter, Lorusso, sent a towering blast into dead center. As soon as Lorusso made contact, Czerwinski looked down and sighed as he knew the outcome — a blast over the batter’s eye for the back-to-back jack.

Alleyne and Lorusso’s third inning home runs gave the Terps a 3-0 lead.

After firing three scoreless innings, Andrew Johnson was replaced on the mound by Matt Cunningham.

Cunningham immediately gave up a single and a two-run blast to right by Ryan Dooley, ending his outing after only two batters as Coach Rob Vaughn removed him on the mound for Logan Ott.

Ott got through the rest of the fourth without more damage being done, keeping Maryland’s lead at 3-2 entering the bottom of the inning.

With Troy Schreffler on base and a 1-2 count in the bottom of the fourth, Maxwell Costes sent one deep into right center. Grant Painter leaped at the wall but couldn’t bring Costes’ blast back as it landed over the fence for a home run, extending the Terps’ lead back up to three, 5-2.

Matt Kleinfelter entered in relief to start the fifth for the Dukes, and his first pitch was blasted over the fence in left center for a long home run off the bat of Lorusso. Lorusso’s second home run of the game upped Maryland’s lead to 6-2.

In the bottom of the sixth, Michael Stewart entered to pitch for the Dukes. Ian Petrutz gave Stewart a rude awakening as he hit a blast over the wall in left for a solo home run, putting Maryland ahead 7-2.

Later in the inning, the Terps threatened with the bases loaded and no one out — sending Stewart back to the dugout in a short outing. Stewart was replaced on the mound by Lliam Grubbs. Grubbs allowed a walk to his first batter faced, bringing home the eighth run of the game for the Terps.

Matt Shaw followed with an infield grounder mishandled for an error, sending home another run while keeping the bases loaded with no outs. Two batters later, Costes roped one down the left field line to score two, giving Maryland an 11-2 lead.

The Terps added another run in the eighth on a Bobby Zmarzlak run-scoring single.

Gavin Stellpflug fired a scoreless ninth, clinching the 12-2 win for the Terps.

Six Home Runs Lead Maryland Past Michigan on Senior Day

The stage was set for No. 17 Maryland on Sunday: celebrating senior day on a beautiful afternoon for baseball, the Terps came in with a chance to sweep Michigan and gain more ground in a crowded top of the Big 10 standings.

The Terps took full advantage, defeating the Wolverines 15-10.

It was all Michigan to start, scoring quickly in the first and taking a 3-0 lead halfway through the fifth inning. The Terps had plenty of early chances to score, but couldn’t take advantage, going 0-5 with runners in scoring position in the first four innings.

After looking lethargic early on, the Terps lineup finally came alive in the fifth with four home runs.

Nick Lorusso got it started with a two-run shot, immediately followed by Matt Shaw’s fifth home run of the weekend. Three batters later, Ian Petrutz launched a three-run home run over the right field wall, giving Maryland its first lead of the game.

“I went up in the count early and I knew he was going to throw a lot of changeups,” Petrutz said. “3-1 I was just banking on a fastball. He threw a fastball belt high that I could drive and I drove it.”

Number four came off the bat of Chris Alleyne, just barely pushing one over the fence to bring two more runs across. After trailing the entire game, Maryland was now fully in control.

“Bubba’s our captain. He’s tough as nails,” Head Coach Rob Vaughn said of the fifth-year senior. “There’s not enough adjectives I could use to describe his importance to this program.”

A Luke Shliger three-run shot in the sixth and another Shaw home run in the seventh made the Maryland lead ten and put the game fully out of reach.

With his two home runs today, Matt Shaw finished off a historic weekend, hitting six home runs and driving in twelve runs across three games. He also now finds himself ahead of Chris Alleyne for the conference lead in longballs with nineteen on the season.

“You’ll get a few days where you see the ball well,” Shaw said. “I’m hoping to stay consistent with this through the end of the season.”

It was a mixed bag start of sorts for Nick Dean today, giving up four runs on eight hits in five and 2/3 innings of work.

There were points where the Maryland starter looked as dominant as he did at the start of the season, striking out six Wolverines, but he also showed the same signs of struggle from late March and April, allowing eleven batters to reach base.

After a Michigan rally in the ninth that brought home four runs, Lorusso came on and got the final out, securing another conference win and a sweep over the Wolverines.

The win today capped off a senior day celebration that saw recognition for Maryland’s six graduating seniors.

“This group, they’ve turned in the best year in school history up to this point in the regular season,” Vaughn said. “When you get that, you have to have special people.”

With the win, Maryland improves to 41-10 and 16-5 in the Big 10, now tied atop the conference standings with Rutgers as the schedule enters its final week. Michigan falls to 10-11 in conference play, still having work to do next weekend to secure a spot in the Big 10 tournament.

The Terps will look to extend their winning streak to five games on Tuesday against James Madison in the team’s final regular season home game of the year. The starting pitching matchup is still to be determined.

Shaw, Maryland offense make history in 20-6 win over Michigan

Despite an uncharacteristically rough outing from Ryan Ramsey, Matt Shaw and the No. 17 Maryland offense tallied a Big Ten record 20 runs in its 20-6 defeat of Michigan on Saturday night. 

Shaw came into the day tied for fourth in the conference in home runs. By the end of the night, Shaw was tied for first.

The sophomore capped off a career-night with a grand slam for his third homer of the game and tied the school record with 8 RBIs. 

“He’s incredible. I’ve seen that from day one,” Head Coach Rob Vaughn said. “He’s worked his tail off to get himself right.” 

While starter Ryan Ramsey was coming off a historic night himself with a perfect game during his last home start, his shaky opening frame was a sign of things to come for the left-hander. 

After loading the bases three times on Friday, the Wolverines filled the bases in the first inning on Saturday. Catcher Jimmy Obertop doubled home two runners to open the scoring. One inning later, second baseman Ted Burton cleared the left center field wall to put Michigan ahead 3-0.

But the Terps offense was quick to pick up Ramsey. The Terps plated seven runs in the second inning, beginning with a Bobby Zmarzlak RBI single. Three hitters later, Luke Shliger hit a two-run double off the batter’s eye to tie the score at 3-3. 

Chris Alleyne welcomed junior Cameron Weston to the game with an RBI double down the third base line. After a Nick Lorusso walk, Matt Shaw connected on a three-run shot to give Maryland a 7-3 lead.

The Wolverines answered right back in the third. After hitting the game-tying three-run homer yesterday, Matt Frey hit a two-run shot to center field to cut Maryland’s lead to two.

The back-and-forth affair continued into the bottom frame as freshman Ian Petrutz delivered with a two-run single down the first-base line. In the following inning, Matt Shaw hit his second blast of the game just over the outstretched arm of right fielder Clark Elliott to extend the Terps’ lead to 10-5.

Michigan tacked on one in the fifth on an RBI single from Riley Bertram. Ramsey’s outing ended at the conclusion of the fifth inning. The lefty gave up six earned runs on four hits and walked six over 108 pitches.

After using five pitchers last night, freshman Noah Mrotek gave the Terps some much needed relief innings. The righty went three innings, allowed just one hit and struck out two.

Vaughn was pleased with Mrotek’s performance and is looking forward to his future at Maryland. 

“Noah’s going to pitch major, major impact innings throughout his career,” Vaughn said. “Major ones down the stretch as we move into postseason baseball, so for him to go out and have a really good night tonight is good for us and a good step for him in his career development.”

After relinquishing a 7-0 lead on Friday night, Maryland made sure there would be no Michigan comeback on Saturday night. The club added five more in the seventh, highlighted by Shaw’s grand slam, giving him eight RBIs on the night. The last Terrapin with an eight RBI game was Will Watson back in May 2018. 

Saturday night’s performance raised the shortstop’s average 14 points. After going through a midseason slump, Shaw is happy to have regained his swing.

“I’m just glad that the pieces are coming together,” he said. “I’m just glad to be in the right direction.”  

The Terps added two more in the eighth thanks to RBI singles from Ian Petrutz and Luke Shliger. Both Petrutz and Shliger had 3 RBIs apiece. 

After scoring 17 runs on 16 hits, Maryland’s offense was not done. Nick Lorusso capped off the team’s prolific night at the plate with a three-run blast to right-center field.

One of the keys to this year’s offensive success has been the depth of Maryland’s lineup, Vaughn said.  

“That’s what’s been fun about this offense. It’s been somebody different throughout the year. We’ve had the top carry us, we’ve had the middle carry us, we’ve had the bottom carry us, and I think that’s what makes this team good,” the fifth-year head coach said. “There’s just no let up. If you make mistakes, they can hammer baseballs.” 

Right-hander Will Glock worked a perfect ninth, closing out the game on a strikeout of pinch-hitter Casey Buckley. 

The Terps look for their second weekend sweep of the season tomorrow at noon. Nick Dean is set to start for Maryland while Chase Allen is slated to take the mound for Michigan.

SERIES WIN! NO. 17 TERPS TAKE RUBBER GAME AT RUTGERS IN 9-4 VICTORY

(RECAP COURTESY OF MARYLAND ATHLETICS):

PISCATAWAY, NJ — While No. 17 Maryland baseball held a lead over Rutgers for most of Monday afternoon’s rubber game, the Scarlet Knights continued to keep the score close. Until the Big Ten’s home runs leader extended his total in a big way.

Chris Alleyne smacked a three-run bomb to right field in the top of the ninth inning. The Dirty Terps finally broke the game open with Alleyne’s 17th big fly of the season, securing a 9-4 victory — and a crucial series win.

Maryland improves to 38-10 and 13-5 in the Big Ten, while Rutgers drops to 37-12 and 16-5 in the conference. While the Terps and Scarlet Knights have the same number of losses in the conference now, Maryland has six Big Ten games left and Rutgers has three. The two are ahead of Iowa and Illinois for the top two spots in the conference standings.

Nick Dean started on the mound for the Terrapins. The junior right-hander racked up nine strikeouts over six innings of work, surrendering a pair of runs on three hits. Sean Heine and David Falco Jr. held down the final three innings.

The Terps took the lead early on four solo home runs across the second, third and fourth innings, off the bats of Bobby ZmarzlakKevin KeisterMatt Shaw and Maxwell Costes. It was the second straight game in which Keister (2-for-2, two RBIs, two runs and a walk) went yard.

Breaking Down The Action

  • Maryland got its offense started with a solo blast by Zmarzlak in the second inning.
  • Rutgers answered in the bottom half of the inning with a solo shot of its own off the bat of Chris Brito.
  • Keister homered in the third, giving the Terps a 2-1 lead.
  • Shaw and Costes both ripped solo homers in the fourth.
  • Alleyne hit a sacrifice fly in the fifth to score Keister and give Maryland a 5-1 advantage.
  • Rutgers’ Josh Kuroda-Grauer hit a solo homer in the bottom of the fifth to trim its deficit to 5-2.
  • Keister scored Costes on an RBI single in the sixth.
  • The Scarlet Knights got a couple of runs back on a two-run single in the seventh, making it a 6-4 ballgame.
  • Alleyne crushed a three-run home homer in the ninth, breaking the game open to give the Terps a 9-4 lead.

Numbers to Know

  • 4: Maryland hitters clobbered four solo homers over the first four innings to take an early lead.
  • 7: Keister hit his seventh homer of the season. The sophomore has now homered in back-to-back games.
  • 14: Costes hit his 14th home run of the season. That is the fifth-most of anyone in the Big Ten, behind Alleyne’s Big Ten-leading 17 dingers. 
  • 61: Alleyne now has 61 RBIs this season. That’s second in the Big Ten. 

Up Next

  • Maryland is back in action this weekend for another late-season Big Ten series as the Michigan Wolverines come to College Park.
  • Friday’s contest starts at 6:30 p.m. It can be seen on Big Ten Plus and heard on the Maryland Baseball Network.

Maryland Splits Double-Header with Rutgers, Keeping Position in the Big 10

After two consecutive days of rainouts, Maryland and Rutgers finally took the field for a weekend series with huge conference implications, splitting Sunday’s double-header and setting up a big rubber match.

Game one was all Maryland, dominating the Scarlet Knights by a score of 16-8.

Multiple Terps had fantastic days in the batter’s box, with almost everyone in the lineup producing in some kind of way.

Five runs in the first two innings knocked out Rutgers starter Jared Kollar and set the stage for a long day for the Scarlet Knights’ pitching staff.

Chris Alleyne hit a pair of two-run home runs into the outfield trees, now at 16 on the season and reclaiming his lead in the Big 10. Matt Shaw, Troy Schreffler Jr. and Ian Petrutz all joined the long ball party, accounting for five of Maryland’s runs with their home runs.

Coming off a perfect game in his last outing, Ryan Ramsey did not look like he had lost any focus, giving the Terps six quality innings and allowing two runs. His only blemish of the game came from a Chris Brito two-run home run in the sixth inning.

Though he only struck out one, the Maryland ace was sharp early, getting ahead of batters quickly and inducing weak contact. With a winning decision today, Ramsey improves to a Big 10 and national best record of 9-0.

A couple Rutgers rallies off Logan Ott in the last two innings brought the Scarlet Knights to within eight, but the Terps would close the door and secure a game one victory and a regular season record 37th win.

Game two was almost a complete mirror opposite of game one, Rutgers winning by a score of 18-7.

It seemed as though the Scarlet Knights had fed off the momentum gained in the late-inning rallies of the first game, barraging the Maryland pitching staff with timely hitting and home runs early on.

The top three of the Rutgers lineup was especially potent in the second game, going eleven for fifteen and driving in nine of the Scarlet Knights’ eighteen runs. Ryan Lasko himself went six for six with two home runs, continuing an amazing week and a half of baseball for the national player of the week.

It was a concerning site entering the second inning as Jason Savacool was replaced by Noah Mrotek after just 33 pitches. He had looked a bit uncomfortable planting his foot on the mound but was allowed to stay in by Rob Vaughn in the first. He finished the day giving up three runs after just an inning of work.

From that point it was a bullpen game for the Terps, seven relievers seeing action after Savacool’s exit. Andrew Johnson seemed to be the only one with an answer for the Rutgers lineup, not allowing a hit in an inning and a third of work.

Most of Maryland’s production at the plate in game two came off the bat of Kevin Keister who hit a grand slam in the second inning, his sixth home run of the season. After early season struggles, he has continued to prove he belongs in this Maryland starting lineup.

After a bit of a comeback effort including RBIs from Shaw and Maxwell Costes, Rutgers quickly responded with four more runs of their own. A scoreless eighth and ninth sealed Maryland’s fate with an eleven-run loss in game two.

With the series split today Maryland exits the field at 37-10, Rutgers at 37-11. The Scarlet Knights hold on to their two and a half game lead in the Big 10 over the Terps as the end of the regular season draws closer.

Maryland and Rutgers will wrap up this three-game series tomorrow afternoon. Nick Dean will get the start for the Terps, looking to build on a solid start last Sunday against Northwestern. Rutgers has not yet announced a starter for tomorrow’s game.

NO. 17 TERPS DOMINATE GEORGETOWN, 19-1

(RECAP COURTESY OF MARYLAND ATHLETICS)

COLLEGE PARK, MD — No. 17 Maryland baseball’s offense fired on all cylinders on Tuesday, seven pitchers limited Georgetown to just three hits, and the Terps rolled to a dominant 19-1 victory over their local rival.

Maryland tied the second-most runs scored it has scored in a game this season. It was the 16th time this year that the Terps scored 10 or more runs. And with its 36th win of the season, Maryland (36-9) tied its record for most regular season victories.

Kevin Keister continued his breakout season with a 4-for-5 day at the plate.

Breaking Down The Action

  • Maryland put up a four-spot in the bottom of the first inning. Luke Shliger came home on a Nick Lorusso sacrifice fly, and Troy Schreffler Jr. drove in Chris Alleyne with an RBI single.
  • Kevin Keister ripped a two-run single to left, which scored Schreffler and Maxwell Costes to give the Terps a 4-0 lead early.
  • Georgetown center-fielder Nolan Matsko worked a bases-loaded walk in the second inning to cut the deficit to 4-1.
  • Fourteen hitters came to bat in the fourth inning. Eight of them scored.
  • After Keister scored on an error, Alleyne, Lorusso and Matt Shaw recorded back-to-back-to-back RBI singles to open an 8-1 Maryland lead. Lorusso came home on a wild pitch, Keister hit an RBI single, Langerman worked a bases-loaded walk and Shliger got hit by a pitch to force in a run. The Terps held a 12-1 advantage after just four innings.
  • They added five more in the sixth, with a Lorusso RBI double and a Schreffler bases-loaded walk setting Costes up to clear the bases with a three-run double as Maryland took a 17-1 lead.
  • Maryland added a couple of solo blasts in the seventh, as James Heffley and Zach Martin went yard.

Numbers to Know

  • 1: Heffley and Martin hit their first career home runs in a Maryland uniform.
  • 1Matt Cunningham made his collegiate debut on the mound in the eighth inning, where he struck out the side. 
  • 3: It was Keister’s third four-hit game of the year, which ties his career high.
  • 3: It was also Keiser’s third game with three RBIs.
  • 16: Tuesday was the 16th time this season that the Terps scored 10 or more runs.

Ramsey’s perfect game propels Maryland to 13-0 win over Northwestern

Most perfect games and no hitters feature a signature defensive play, a masterpiece put on in the late innings that keeps intact whatever it is the pitcher is chasing, gives onlookers a quick scare and gets remembered. 

That came with two outs in the eighth. Maryland starter Ryan Ramsey had sent 23 straight Northwestern hitters down without any reaching base. After a questionable call kept the at bat alive, a ball was stung over the head of right fielder Troy Schreffler. Tracking back, he leaped with his glove extended above him and found the sailing baseball. 

Twenty-four down, three to go. 

Entering the ninth, Ramsey could sense the energy. The fans who remained late Friday night grew quiet. His teammates and defense that surrounded him had stayed clear of the junior left hander. 

“He was sitting right next to me and I wasn’t going to say a word to him,” Chris Alleyne said.

“Nobody said a word about it,” head coach Rob Vaughn said. “If they would have, I’d have sent them home or cut their scholarship or something.” 

Ramsey started the inning with a fly ball to right field caught by Schreffler. Then, a strikeout, his 10th of the game. To end it, a ground ball to third base. Ramsey turned to watch Nick Lorusso field it and throw to Maxwell Costes.

Seconds later, teammates spilled out of the dugout and rushed in from the outfield to meet him for celebration at the mound, a moment Alleyne said there’s nothing comparable to. Costes made sure to find and secure the ball, which now laid on the turf, that was featured in the final out of Maryland’s first perfect game since 1959.

“Overwhelming,” Ramsey said, noting that his cleat slipped off during the moment of excitement. 

For one night, Ryan Ramsey was perfect. Alongside an offense that went nuclear, Maryland took down Northwestern in the weekend series opener, 13-0. 

The Maryland offense, which led the Big Ten in home runs entering the night, added to its lead with four long balls. They were all solo shots, and the first came from the conference’s home run leader Alleyne in his first plate appearance. An inning later, Costes and Bobby Zmarzlak went back-to-back. 

Around this time, Ramsey did something he never does and hates doing. He checked his stat line. 

In the third, Maryland’s offense pounced on the Wildcats’ young pitching staff. Five hits, two walks and a wild pitch allowed the Terps to grow their lead by five runs, now leading by nine. After a quiet fourth, Maryland added three more on another solo home run, this one from Lorusso, then two two-out doubles from Schreffler and Costes along with a Zmarzlak triple to make it 12-0. 

Quickly, the Terps held a lead that Ramsey held at bay. He collected whiffs on his offspeed pitches and weak contact to cruise through the Wildcats’ offense. 

“A lot of changeups,” Ramsey said. “Mostly fastballs and changeups then mixing in… a slider.” 

Through three innings, he collected three strikeouts on 32 pitches. After four, five punchouts on 43 pitches. Through six, Ramsey’s pitch count sat at 70. A 16 pitch seventh inning had him at 86 before the final two innings. 

Vaughn told a reliever to get up and warm in the bullpen in the event Ramsey’s perfect game bid came to a premature end. 

“Well, if something happens, should we go to [Will] Glock?,” pitching coach Mike Morrison asked Vaughn, dancing around the word the team was avoiding all night. 

“Yes,” Vaughn replied, scared to use the word himself. “That was the end of the conversation.”

There were some scares: a few hard hit balls to the outfield, some ground balls that forced infielders to range far to their lefts and rights and complete difficult throws and a couple of counts that reached three balls.

Still, Ramsey remained perfect. Pitching on Friday night for the first time this season after Vaughn reconfigured the order of his weekend rotation, Ramsey used the confidence his coaches showed in him to his advantage. He acknowledged pitching under the lights felt different than the Saturday afternoon sun. 

With a 13-run lead, Ramsey entered the ninth prepared to do what he’d done so easily all night. He worked quickly, fooled hitters and induced weak contact. Even quicker than Ramsey could retire an opposing batter, the dugout and defense jolted to join Ramsey near the mound after the final out. 

“A night like tonight, you don’t ever dream of nights like that,” Vaughn said. “I might coach the rest of my career and not have another one.”

Maryland Sweeps a Wild Double Header Over Illinois, Improving its Big 10 Positioning

With the Sunday forecast in Champaign Illinois looking bleak, Maryland was suddenly in a position to play in a double header on Saturday against an Illinois team that had just beaten them 19-1 the night before.

That did not seem to phase this Terps squad, taking both games and winning the overall weekend series against the Illini.

Game one was a nail-biter that went back and forth the whole way, Maryland coming out on top by a score of 13-9 in ten innings.

The matinee featured late-game heroics from Luke Shliger. Having already hit a home run in the first inning, the Terps catcher came through again, blasting a go-ahead two-run double that gave Maryland the lead in the extra frame.

Home runs were the main source of offense for the Terps, starting with Shliger’s shot in the first at-bat of the game. Troy Schreffler, Bobby Zmarzlak, Kevin Keister and Chris Alleyne each had home runs as well, giving Maryland five total in.

This was a game of comebacks, the biggest one coming in the bottom of the ninth. Down three runs and only one out to work with, the Illini scored three runs off of David Falco, sending the game into extra innings. Even in the bottom of the tenth, Illinois loaded the bases before a double play finally closed the book on an extremely hot Illini lineup.

Ian Petrutz was very impressive in the designated hitter role in game one, reaching base in all five plate appearances and delivering an RBI base hit in the fourth inning. He tallied two RBIs across the double header today.

Justin Janas continued to tear apart Maryland pitching, hitting a three-run game-tying home run in the seventh inning off of Sean Heine. He finished the game with four runs batted in.

Ryan Ramsey was touched up a few times early on by the Illini lineup, allowing three runs in the first three innings. For the rest of his outing though, the lefty was almost untouchable, only allowing two Illinois hitters to reach base over the next three frames.

The final line for Ramsey today: three earned runs and seven hits in six innings of work. He finishes the day with a no-decision, remaining 7-0 on the season.

Game two picked up right where game one left off, both teams exchanging blows early. Maryland eventually took control, winning 7-4 and sweeping the doubleheader.

Illinois got off to a hot start, scoring three quick runs off of starter Jason Savacool in the first inning.

Maryland quickly responded with a Maxwell Costes home run, his twelfth of the season. After three more runs in the third, the Terps had their first lead of the game.

As was routine today, Illinois immediately retaliated, tying the game on a solo home run from Jacob Campbell… which was responded to in kind by a Matt Shaw RBI that put Maryland back on top.

Savacool has his share of troubles early on, getting into dicey situations and allowing four runs in the first three innings.

The sophomore looked much more settled in as the game went on though. Even after loading the bases with no outs in the fifth, he immediately got a strikeout and induced a double play to prevent any damage. He was visibly fired up walking off the mound after getting a strikeout in his final inning of work.

Savacool’s final line on the night: four earned runs, ten hits and nine strikeouts across eight innings. He earns the win tonight, improving his record to 7-2 on the season and tying him with Ryan Ramsey for the Big 10 lead in wins.

After a few more insurance runs of the bats of Petrutz and Schreffler, Nigel Belgrave picked up the save after throwing a perfect ninth inning and secured the series win for the Terps.

With the double header sweep today Maryland improves to 32-8 and 9-3 in the Big 10. Meanwhile Illinois falls to 20-17 and 11-4 in conference play. The Terps now sit just half a game back of the Illini in the conference standings as the postseason picture starts to clear up.

Maryland will head back to College Park for a five-game homestand starting on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. against Navy. Pitchers for the game are still to be determined.

Terps Lineup Stifled in Blowout Loss to Illinois

No. 24 Maryland had zero answers on the mound or at the plate for the Illinois Fighting Illini on Friday night, losing 19-1 in the first game of this weekend series.

It was a dominant outing for Illinois starter Cole Kirschieper, only allowing one run on two hits and striking out eight Maryland hitters in six quality innings of work.

Illinois started the scoring in the third off an RBI single from Janas and a three-run home run from Kellen Sarver. After a fielder’s choice and throwing error plated two more in the fifth, the Terps found themselves down five runs early.

The middle of the Illini lineup blew the game wide open with a five-run sixth and four late-inning home runs.

It was a tough outing for Nick Dean tonight, allowing six earned runs to cross the plate in four innings of work. The Terps starter was able to get out of a few jams, stranding the bases loaded in the first, but a four-run third and two more in the fifth were enough to tab him with the loss.

The Maryland bullpen did not fare much better tonight, allowing thirteen more runs over the final five innings of the game.

Troy Schreffler Jr. was the only Terp able to produce a run tonight, picking up a sacrifice fly in the fourth inning.

A three up, three down ninth inning closed the book for Maryland on a night that Coach Rob Vaughn and his team will want to forget sooner rather than later.

With the loss, Maryland falls to 30-8 overall and 7-3 in the Big 10. Illinois improves to 11-2 in conference play and jumps to two and a half games ahead of the Terps in the Big 10 standings.

Maryland and Illinois will be back in action tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. ET and 8:00 p.m. ET for a day-night doubleheader. Ryan Ramsey will take the mound for Maryland in game one and Jason Savacool will get the nod for game two.

Maryland Wins a Nail Biter, Beats Towson 4-3

The Terps stay hot as they defeat the Towson Tigers, 4-3, on a cold afternoon in Towson, Maryland.

Junior left fielder Bobby Zmarzlak was the hero the Terps needed after Towson came back to tie the game in the bottom of the ninth. Zmarzlak hit his eighth home run of the season to begin extra innings and take Maryland’s lead back.

“I was just trying to put a ball in play,” Zmarzlak said. “I rolled over a few balls earlier in the game. I just wanted to hit a ball to right field and I’m glad I got it done.”

Unlike the last time these two teams played, it took a long time for the bats to get going for Maryland. After a 26-8 win against the Tigers in late March, not many people could have expected this game to be close.

However, entering the fifth inning the game was still tied, 0-0.

After sophomore second baseman Kevin Keister hit a RBI single to open the door for the Terps, sophomore designated hitter Luke Shliger busted it open. A two-run home run over the right field wall scored Keister and gave the Terps a three run lead.

While it appeared that Maryland may coast to a 3-0 win, Towson never quit.

The Terps made a change to their pitching staff as Logan Ott did not start the game as he normally does on Tuesday. Instead, Head Coach Rob Vaughn elected to start freshman pitcher Andrew Johnson.

After two scoreless innings, Vaughn turned to sophomore pitcher Logan Ott who was making his first appearance out of the bullpen. Ott pitched well for the Terps, lowering his ERA from 6.67 to 5.94.

“You can throw Logan Ott whenever you want. That guy’s going to roll out of bed throwing strikes with three pitches,” Vaughn said.

Towson threatened in the sixth inning after back-to-back base hits with two outs. Freshman pitcher Ryan Van Buren made his 11th appearance of the season and ended the potential Towson rally.

Falco Jr. got a second chance to end the game for the Terps and did not disappoint. Falco earned the win after a 1-2-3 10th inning to send the Terps home with their 30th win of the season.

“We found a way to get it done,” Vaughn said. “I’d love for all 30 of them to be clean and pretty and perfect [but] that’s just not baseball.”

The Terps will travel to Champaign, Illinois to face the Fighting Illini this weekend. First pitch is scheduled for 9:00 p.m. Friday night. Junior Nick Dean is the probable starter for game one, followed by junior Ryan Ramsey and sophomore Jason Savacool.