Early offense, good Taylor Bloom start help Terps end regular season on high note

After four straight losses, including three in a row by one run, Maryland’s offense said “enough” and left no doubt in a blowout win Saturday over High Point.

The Terps plated eight runs in the first three innings and cruised the rest of the way behind six stellar innings from Taylor Bloom en route to a 9-2 win in the regular season finale at Coy O. Williard Stadium in High Point, N.C.

Maryland (34-19) scored just one run combined in the opening three innings on Thursday and Friday, but equaled that total within two batters Saturday. Leadoff hitter Brandon Gum tripled off the right-field wall to open the game and AJ Lee followed with an RBI groundout to give the Terps a lead they would not relinquish.

That single run is all Maryland got in the first, but in the second inning, the Terps offense broke the game open. With one out, Kevin Smith roped a double to the wall in left-center, his ninth two-bagger of the year. A pair of singles from Madison Nickens and Justin Morris followed, driving in two runs. Later in the inning, Marty Costes chopped a ground ball down the left-field line for a double that scored two more and extended the lead to 5-0.

The Terps poured it on in the third, plating three more runs on two hits, with help from two High Point errors. Will Watson led off with a single and stole second. After stealing, however, he had to leave the game with an injury and Pat Hisle ran for him.

Hisle scored on a single from Smith and Smith came around to score for the second time when Madison Nickens tripled deep to right field. It was Nickens’ second triple of the season and it turned into another run when a relay throw to the infield got past everyone, allowing the senior outfielder to score. When the dust settled Maryland held a commanding 8-0 lead.

While the Terps were piling up runs, Taylor Bloom was befuddling the Panthers (29-21) and shutting down any thoughts of a comeback. The right-hander struck out the side in the second and didn’t allow a runner to reach second base until there were two outs in the fifth inning.

He eventually tossed six innings, allowing just two runs and striking out three without issuing a walk, before ceding the mound to Tayler Stiles in the seventh. Bloom picked up the win to improve to 6-2 on the season, while High Point starter Trevor Holloway took the loss and dropped to 3-6.

The Terps used a balanced offense to put nine runs on the board, as every starter had a hit except for Watson, who walked once in two plate appearances. The bottom of the order in particular did a lot of damage as hitters Nos. 7-9, Smith, Nickens and Morris, each had at least two hits and drove in four runs combined.

Gum, Costes, and Nick Dunn each reached base three times, including three hits for Gum, while AJ Lee went 1-for-6, extending his career-long hit streak to 11 games.

High Point tallied 12 hits, but left 10 runners on base. Hunter Lee and Zach Vandergrift each had multi-hit afternoons for the Panthers.

Stiles pitched three shutout innings to close out the game for the Terps, striking out six and lowering his ERA to 3.72. He picked up his first save of the season in the process.

 

Late rally comes up short as Terps fall to High Point, drop series

For the second time in as many nights, the Maryland Terrapins had the tying run in scoring position in the ninth inning, but couldn’t cash in, as they lost to High Point, 7-4, Friday night. Maryland (33-19, 15-9 Big Ten) has now lost four straight for the first time this season, and falls to 4-6 in the month of May. The Terps have lost four straight series, with their last series victory coming Apr. 21-23 in a sweep of Michigan State at home.

The High Point bullpen held the Terps in check for most of the ballgame, as they managed just three hits through the first seven innings. Maryland’s bats came alive late, plating three in the eighth and one in the ninth, but Will Watson struck out with two men on in the ninth as the Terps couldn’t complete the comeback.

Maryland starter Tyler Blohm struggled for the third straight week, allowing three runs, all earned, over just four innings. The freshman left-hander was in a hole early, as Josh Greene’s RBI groundout gave High Point a 1-0 lead in the first. The Panthers struck again in the second, when Hunter Lee tripled to lead off the frame and scored on a wild pitch. Blohm, looking for his first scoreless frame, retired two in the third on a double play before Carson Jackson drove a pitch deep over the left-field wall to put the Panthers up 3-0.

Ryan Hill, who relieved Blohm, worked a scoreless fifth, but ran into trouble in the sixth after the Terps had cut the deficit to 3-2. The right-hander surrendered a walk and a single, and worked a 2-1 count on the next hitter, Jordan Sergent, before John Murphy replaced Hill. Murphy walked Sergent, but after allowing one run to score on an infield hit, struck out the side.

Murphy struggled opening the seventh, however, allowing two to reach on a walk and an error, and Ryan Selmer came in but provided little relief. The normally reliable right-hander surrendered three runs on a single, a perfectly executed squeeze bunt, and another single as the High Point lead swelled to 7-2.

While Maryland’s pitching struggled throughout, High Point’s dominated early on. Starter Drew Daczkowski baffled Maryland through the first three innings, allowing just one baserunner, Watson, on a hit by pitch. With the Panthers gearing up for the Big South tournament Tuesday, however, the freshman right-hander was pulled after three frames due to an inning limit.

Happy to see Daczkowski gone, the Terps jumped on his replacement, left-hander Cooper Jeffers, in the top of the fourth. Brandon Gum led off the frame with a single to right, and Marty Costes followed with a one-out single, putting a Terp in scoring position for the first time in Friday’s contest. After Nick Dunn flied out, Watson walked to load the bases for Kevin Smith, the team leader in home runs this season. Jeffers promptly uncorked a wild pitch and Gum scampered home, putting Maryland on the board, but Smith struck out, stranding two in scoring position.

Down 3-1 in the fifth, Maryland struck again off Jeffers. Madison Nickens was hit by the first pitch of the frame and Kevin Biondic, making his first start since March, flared a single into shallow right to put runners on the corners. Gum followed with a rocket to deep left that found Austen Zente’s glove for a sacrifice fly, cutting the deficit to just one run. Biondic advanced to second on a balk, but AJ Lee struck out swinging to end the frame.

The High Point bullpen held the Terps silent until the eighth, when, down by five, Gum again led off with a single against Muhammed Eid. AJ Lee followed with a two-run homer to left, his seventh of the season and just the second extra-base hit of the series for the Terps. With the deficit now just three runs, Nick Dunn singled with one out, prompting Eid’s exit. The new pitcher was Rion Murrah, who dominated Maryland for two innings Thursday night. Watson greeted him with a single, the third time the outfielder had reached base in the contest, bringing the tying run to the plate in Kevin Smith. After a fly out, pinch hitter Nick Cieri drove home Dunn to make it 7-5.

Still trailing by two in the ninth, Biondic opened the inning with a single to right and moved up on a wild pitch. Gum popped out, and Lee followed with a rocket to right-center field that Greene made a diving catch on, but Biondic tagged and advanced to third with two outs. A second wild pitch brought him across to cut the Terps’ deficit to just one run. Costes and Dunn both reached, putting the tying run in scoring position, but Watson struck out on three pitches to end the game.

Maryland is back in action Saturday at 1 p.m. against High Point, looking to avoid being swept for the second time this season.

Bats go silent as Terps fall to High Point for third straight loss

In a season marred by shaky pitching, Brian Shaffer has been the one consistent Maryland starter, leading the Big Ten in innings pitched and ERA. The Terrapin ace turned in another strong start Thursday, tossing an eight-inning complete game, but a late rally fell short as Maryland lost 2-1 on the road to the High Point Panthers. The Terps (33-18, 15-9 Big Ten) have now dropped three in a row for the first time since being swept by LSU Feb. 24-26 in Baton Rouge.

Shaffer (7-3) struggled early, surrendering runs in the first and fourth, but settled in, retiring the last 15 hitters he faced and completing eight innings for the third straight start. The junior right-hander struck out seven Panthers, pushing his season total to 98, while allowing five hits and throwing just 93 pitches.

Meanwhile, a Maryland lineup that had scored at least five runs in three of the last four contests was held to one run or less for just the third time this year. The Terps managed just four hits on the day, and plated their lone run of the game in a late ninth-inning rally.

Down 2-0 with just two outs remaining, AJ Lee lined a sharp single to center and Marty Costes followed with a walk. After Nick Dunn flew out, Will Watson put the Terps on the board with an RBI single. With the tying run on third and the go-ahead run on first, Nick Cieri flied out to center to end the game.

The Terps’ only other scoring opportunities came early in the game, as they had a runner in scoring position with less than two outs in each of the first two innings. Brandon Gum, making his first start of the season in the leadoff spot with Zach Jancarski out of the lineup, reached on a hit by pitch to open the game. Lee, moved from sixth in the lineup to the two-hole, then struck out, but the ball got away from High Point catcher Spencer Brown, allowing Gum to advance to second. Costes and Dunn then flied out and grounded out, respectively, to strand Gum at second.

Will Watson led off the second with a line drive double into the left-field corner, putting himself in scoring position with no out. Danny Maynard struck out, but a Kevin Smith groundout moved Watson to third with two out. Madison Nickens came up and tried to drive in his fellow Louisiana native with a bunt, but was thrown out at first to end the inning.

Gum hit a one-out single in the third but was subsequently picked off to end the rally. High Point starter Andrew Gottfried was pulled after just three shutout innings, but the bullpen shut down the Maryland lineup for the next five frames. Matt Hodges, Rion Murrah and Austin Heinz set the Terps down in order for four of the five frames, with the only blemish being Nick Dunn’s one-out walk in the seventh. Heinz was replaced by Garrett Letchworth in the ninth, but he was pulled after walking Costes, and left-hander Jeremy Johnson closed out the game to pick up the save.

Meanwhile, High Point jumped out to an early lead in the first inning. Conner Dunbar lined a double over the first-base bag with one away and moved to third with two out. Josh Greene then hit a ball that Dunn made a diving stop on, but the Maryland second baseman threw to first just too late to get Greene, and the run scored. The Panthers struck again in the fourth, when Green and Carson Jackson led off with back-to-back singles and moved up on catcher Justin Morris’ throwing error. Shaffer retired the next three, however, starting his string of 15 straight, although one was a Jordan Sargent groundout that plated Greene for High Point’s second run.

With the loss, the Terps fall to 4-5 in the month of May, and 8-13 on the road. They take on High Point again Friday at 6 p.m. looking to even the series.

Maryland falls in 11 innings on Senior Day, despite five-run fifth

Fans came to Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium Sunday expecting to see the final nine innings of the Terps’ home slate. Maryland gave them 11, but couldn’t pull out a win.

The Terps scored five runs in the fifth inning, but Alex Erro tallied four hits and homered to left-center in the 11th to lead Northwestern to a 6-5 series-clinching win in College Park.

Erro’s drive in the 11th came on a 3-1 pitch against left-hander Andrew Miller. It was the freshman’s fourth homer of the season and it sent Miller to his second loss of the season, dropping his record to 2-2.

Despite the loss, right-fielder Marty Costes said he enjoyed the atmosphere at the game.

“I thought today was a really fun day, with the [Senior Day] ceremonies and everything,” the sophomore said. “The ballpark was jumping.”

Four scoreless innings to open the game gave way to a flurry of action in the fifth. The Wildcats scored twice in the top half before Maryland’s big inning in the bottom half.

The Terps (33-17, 15-9 in the Big Ten) batted around in that frame, collecting four hits and getting help from a pair of Northwestern errors. The inning started innocently enough with Madison Nickens getting thrown out after a failed attempt at a bunt hit.

The rally started with a walk to catcher Justin Morris, the first of five straight Terps to reach in the inning. Northwestern had a chance to stymie the uprising when Zach Jancarski grounded to shortstop, but the throw to second for the force went into right field, putting two on with one out.

Three straight singles followed, plating a pair of runs to even the score at 2-2. The third of those hits was a long fly ball to right field off the bat of Nick Dunn that backed Northwestern’s Ben Dickey up to the wall. He got a glove on it, but couldn’t pull it in, allowing Dunn to reach, although the runners could only advance one base because they had to see if the ball was caught.

Dunn later scored the fifth run of the inning when AJ Lee bounced a single up the middle. Earlier in the at-bat, Costes, who had singled, stole third and came around to score when the throw to third went into left field.

“We practice dirt ball reads,” said Costes of his decision to try to take third on the play. “It just kicked a little to the left of the plate and I just became aggressive. Good things happen, so I was fortunate.”

Trailing 5-2, the Wildcats wouldn’t concede, and began the comeback in the sixth. A strange play scored one run. With Matt Hopfner on first and Joe Hoscheit on third, starter Taylor Bloom picked Hopfner off first. The Wildcat senior had the presence of mind of mind to get in a rundown, allowing Hoscheit to break for home. The throw went there and it was late, allowing Northwestern to get a run and Hopfner to reach third safely. A sacrifice fly off the bat of Connor Lind brought in Northwestern’s fourth run, closing the gap to one.

The Wildcats (21-28, 10-11) evened the score in the eighth. Ryan Selmer had relieved Bloom in the seventh and got through that frame. In the next one, however, he surrendered a single to Hopfner and a double off the right-field wall to Lind that brought Hopfner in with the tying run.

“Hats off to them, they got hits right when they needed them” Costes said of Northwestern. “It took a lot of guts for them [to come back].”

Despite allowing the tying run across, Selmer was the MVP on the mound for the Terps, as he held Northwestern to one run in four innings, while saving a depleted bullpen from further taxation. He escaped a bases-loaded jam in the top of the ninth, and survived the 10th, before ceding to Miller for the 11th.

Maryland did not have an extra-base hit in the game. Costes and Brandon Gum each had a pair of singles, while Costes’ RBI single inched him in front of Kevin Smith for the team RBI lead. It was the sophomore’s 37th run knocked in. Lee also had two singles, giving him seven hits in the series and raising his season average to .336, second on the team.

“We left a lot of guys on base too, we had our opportunities,” head coach John Szefc said of his team, which left nine runners stranded. “We have opportunities, we have to take advantage of them. They did, we didn’t.”

The game completes the Big Ten and home schedules for Maryland. The Terps finished 21-3 at home, but lost their final three conference series.

Zach Jancarski said after the game the team is not down on itself and it feels it’s ready to break out again.

“I think it takes one inning with this team,” the leadoff hitter said. “We go out our next game and put up a three-spot in the first, it’s like ‘Boom’ it’s back and no one’s even thinking about anything else. This team is very good and we know we’re very good.

“I promise you not one of our guys after this is going to be going into next weekend like, ‘Oh we’re in a slump right now.’ It’s just like, ‘Let’s go.’ Like we’re ready to throw down right now if we could.”

 

 

 

Rough fifth inning costs Maryland in loss to Northwestern

Ryan Hill struck out the first Northwestern hitter in the fifth inning. Nine hitters later, there was still one out in the inning.

Three Maryland pitchers combined to surrender five hits and four free passes in the inning, allowing Northwestern (20-28, 9-11 in the Big Ten) to plate seven runs and break open what had been a tight game.

A two-run triple for the Wildcats’ Joe Hoscheit opened the scoring in the inning and was one of three hits for the left-fielder as he led Northwestern to a 11-3 win Saturday at Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium in College Park.

Maryland starter Tyler Blohm got through the first two innings unscathed, but it was a rough day after that for the Terps’ pitching staff. With one out in the third, No. 9 hitter Jack Paciorek ripped a home run over the high wall in center field to open the scoring. The catcher entered the game hitting just .134 and it was his first career home run.

The Terps (33-16, 15-8) briefly went in front in the bottom of the inning. Catcher Justin Morris led off the inning and matched his counterpart Paciorek with a home run to even the score at 1. Later in the inning, Brandon Gum singled and came in to score on a ground ball Marty Costes chopped to shortstop. It was Costes’ 36th RBI of the season, tying him with Kevin Smith for the team lead.

Maryland went hitless over the next four innings, though, while Northwestern’s offense exploded. Two runs came in in the fourth off Blohm, ending his day with the Wildcats in front 3-2. It was the second straight start the freshman hasn’t been at his best as he’s given up seven earned runs in 6.2 innings over those two appearances.

Hill opened the fifth with a strikeout of Paciorek, but it would be the only out he’d record. The next five hitters reached against the junior right-hander, including Hoscheit’s triple, which banged off the “Regional Champions” sign on the right-center field wall.

Jamal Wade relieved Hill, but he couldn’t stop the bleeding as he surrendered a single and three walks before exiting without having gotten an out. Jared Price became the third Maryland hurler in the inning and finished the frame, but not before allowing a fielder’s choice that plated the seventh run to make it 10-2. 12 Northwestern batters came to the plate in the inning and all nine players in the lineup reached base at least once.

Wildcat starter Hank Christie made sure the outcome was never in doubt as he held Maryland to just six hits in eight innings, striking out three and walking one. He picked up the win to move to 4-4 on the season. Blohm took the loss to drop to 8-5; he’s gotten a decision in each of the 13 starts he’s made this season.

Hoscheit was the hitting star for the Wildcats, going 3-for-5 with two RBI and scoring a pair of runs. He’s working on an eight-game hit streak. Connor Lind, Paciorek, and Jake Schieber also drove in two runs each for the Wildcats.

One bright spot for the Terps was the Hunter Parsons, who entered the game in the seventh and pitched 2.1 innings. He retired the first six hitters he faced, striking out four of them, before struggling in the ninth and ceding the final two outs to Cameron Enck.

Nick Dunn completed the scoring for Maryland with his third home run of the season, pulling a line drive off a right-field light pole in the eighth inning.

The loss was just Maryland’s second at home this season, running its record to 20-2 at Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium. It sets up a series rubber match Sunday on the Terps’ Senior Day.

Maryland wins 20th home game behind dominant Brian Shaffer start, two Kevin Smith home runs

It’s tough to keep up with Brian Shaffer.

Northwestern pitcher Cooper Wetherbee tried on Friday and matched zeroes with the Maryland ace for four innings, but the Terps offense broke through and Shaffer just kept rolling along with another in a string of shutdown performances.

The junior right-hander Shaffer threw eight innings of one-run ball, striking out a eight, and giving up just six hits to lead the Terps to a series-opening 7-1 win over Northwestern Friday at Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium in College Park.

“[Shaffer] holds them at bay and gives our guys time to get on the board,” head coach John Szefc said. “That’s what responsible Friday night starters do. [Mike] Shawaryn did it for a long time, Jake Stinnett did it here, Jimmy Reed did it here. We’ve been really fortunate to have what I would call very responsible Friday night starters. Every college program needs one.”

It was Shaffer’s seventh win of the season—against two losses—and the 20th of his career, tying him with John Rayne for second on the all-time Maryland list behind only Mike Shawaryn, who finished his collegiate career with 30 victories. Shaffer lowered his Big Ten-leading ERA to a minuscule 1.72 and added to the single-season career-high in strikeouts he set last week against Illinois. The Pylesville native has punched out 91 hitters this season.

Wetherbee was sharp to open the game and the two teams were locked in a scoreless tie through four innings. Shaffer and Wetherbee needed just 89 combined pitches as they zipped through those first four frames.

“They’re throwing who they think is their best guy out there,” Szefc said of Friday games. “Regardless of how good he is, he’s going to give them a good start and he’s going to make it difficult for your team to score runs. That’s the typical Friday night right there for four innings.”

In the fifth, though, Maryland’s offense woke up. AJ Lee singled to left center and Kevin Smith followed with a grounder to short that got through for another hit. Later in the inning, Zach Jancarski roped a single to left to score the first run of the game, plating Lee. Then, facing Brandon Gum, Wetherbee let loose a wild pitch that allowed Smith to scamper home, making it 2-0.

After Northwestern (19-28, 8-11 in the Big Ten) went quietly in the top of the sixth, the Terps broke the game open in the bottom half. It didn’t look like they would after Nick Dunn got picked off second with one out, leaving just Will Watson on first with two away. But Watson stole second and then came home on another hit for Lee, his third of the day.

Smith was up next and, after hitting a long, loud foul ball down the left field line, deposited a 3-2 pitch far over the wall in left-center for his ninth homer of the season. He knew the blast, which put his team in front 5-0, was gone off the bat and began trotting right out of the batter’s box.

The home run also leapfrogged Smith past Marty Costes and into the team lead with 35 RBIs on the season. Costes pulled even in the seventh when he drove a single to right to make it 6-0.

“We’ve talked about it [the RBI lead] a few times, I mean it’s all fun and games,” Smith said. “When he gets he’ll point over to me to let me know and vice-versa. So, you know, it’s fun just because a lot of them come with two outs or big hits, so RBIs are always fun to get. It’s kind of a tribute to all the guys getting on in front of you.”

Smith retook the team RBI lead in the eighth when he hit what looked like a deep fly to left. The ball kept carrying and eventually landed beyond the wall just to the right of the sign marking the Terps’ trips to the NCAA Super Regionals. It was his 10th home run of the season, extending a career-high he’d set earlier in the game.

“It was a hanging slider, maybe a little in,” Smith said of the pitch he hit for his second home run. “I was out in front a little bit, but I got a little barrel on it.”

With Lee, who went 3-4 with an RBI single, Smith, who now leads the team in home runs and RBIs, hitting in the second half of the lineup, respectively, the Terps’ lineup is longer than most other teams.

“I think we’re dangerous because we can score in any inning,” Smith. “You can’t get through our first three batters and then cruise through the rest of our lineup until you get back to the top. We take pride in that, we don’t care where we hit in the order, we take pride in trying to score wherever we are and contribute to the team.”

Shaffer gave up his only run in the eighth when pinch-hitter Grant Peikert drove a double off the wall in left and Connor Lind scored from first. Shaffer needed just 89 pitches to get through eight innings.

Szefc said Shaffer could have gone back out to pitch the ninth if needed.

“He would have been fine [if he had pitched the ninth], but anytime you can protect an arm like that you try to protect him as much as you can,” Szefc said. “I’d like to think our bullpen can get three outs with a six-run lead at home in the ninth and they did.”

Outside of Smith, Maryland’s offensive star was Lee, who went 3-for-4 and scored twice. He’s now hitting .326 for the season, the third-best mark on the team.

“I think a lot of it was just taking the borderline pitches that are balls, taking the ball below the knee that a lot of people like to swing at and just getting into hitters’ counts,” Lee said. “And then you can really work in your approach and get into 2-0 counts and hit balls hard.”

Jancarski and Costes tallied multi-hit games, as well.

The win was Maryland’s 20th at home this season, running the Terps’ record at Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium to 20-1, good for the best home winning percentage in the country. It was also the team’s 15th conference victory, equaling a program record for conference wins in a single-season last achieved in 2013.

John Murphy finished the game for Maryland (33-15, 15-7), pitching a scoreless, hitless ninth. He lowered his ERA to 1.33 in 20.1 innings.

Wetherbee worked six innings for the Wildcats, allowing five runs on eight hits. He only walked one, but didn’t strike out anyone. He falls to 2-3 on the season.

Crumbs—Maryland’s resident rally squirrel—keys four-run frame as Terps defeat UMBC at home

In the sixth inning of a tie game, Crumbs, the rally squirrel, climbed up the netting behind home plate. Moments later, Zach Jancarski stole third, and subsequently scored on Brandon Gum’s single to left field, giving the Terrapins a 3-2 lead. The Terps added two more in the frame and another in the eighth en route to a 6-2 victory over the UMBC Retrievers Tuesday in College Park.

For most of the season, the Terps’ midweek starting pitching has been their downfall, but Tuesday, left-hander Tayler Stiles turned in a gem. In the senior’s final career start in College Park, he tossed five shutout innings, allowing just four hits and striking out four. It was the first time this season that Maryland’s midweek starter pitched long enough to qualify for the win.

“This was the best I’d felt all season long,” Stiles said. “Basically everything was working. Fastball was locating in, locating out, changeup was down, slider was good, so luckily everything felt really good today.”

Maryland struck early against UMBC starter Jacob Christian, who entered the contest with a 6.29 ERA in 44.1 innings. Gum drew a one-out walk, and after advancing to second on an error, scored on Nick Dunn’s sharp single to center to put the Terps up 1-0. They had a chance to strike for more in the frame, as Will Watson came to the plate with men on first and second with one away, but the junior grounded into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.

Christian (3-3) shut the Terps down over the next four frames, as they didn’t get another man into scoring position until the sixth inning. He traded zeroes with Stiles, who set the Retrievers down quickly in the first two frames. Stiles surrendered a hit leading off the third, but a strikeout-caught stealing double play erased the runner. This proved important for the Terps as the next Retriever to the plate, leadoff man Andrew Casali, roped a two-out triple to right, but Stiles worked out of the jam to keep the game scoreless.

“He threw a lot of strikes and was getting ahead of hitters,” Head Coach John Szefc said of Stiles. “He did a great job for us. We needed a good midweek start and he gave it to us. It was a very well-pitched and defended game.”

After five shutout frames, Ryan Hill (4-1) came on in relief of Stiles, with Maryland clinging to a 1-0 lead. The right-hander allowed a leadoff single to Casali, but appeared to settle down, retiring the next two, bringing him one out away from getting out of the frame with the lead intact. The next hitter, however, Hunter Dolshun, cranked a two-run homer over the wall in left-center field for his team-best seventh long ball of the year, and the Terps now trailed 2-1.

But the Terps are no strangers to trailing in the latter half of midweek contests. Down one run in the sixth, Madison Nickens lined an 0-2 pitch into left field for a leadoff single. Jancarski followed with a rocket to left, just missing his fourth homer of the year as the ball hit high off the wall. Nickens scored all the way from first and Jancarski trotted into second with an RBI double. Now, with the score tied 2-2, Crumbs appeared on the netting next to the visiting first-base dugout, and right on cue, Gum’s ground ball single between short and third put the Terps ahead, 3-2.

After Marty Costes was hit by a pitch, the runners moved up on a groundout, and AJ Lee lined a two-run single to left, extending the lead to 5-2. It was a script similar to so many other midweek games this season: rallying back after the opposing team took the lead.

“When a team scores on us, we want to hit them right back,” Nickens said. “We want to let them know that we’re not going to go down easy, we’re gonna come right back at you, and that makes them uncomfortable.”

Maryland added another run in the eighth on Dunn’s second home run of the season, a solo shot to the right of the center field batter’s eye. John Murphy pitched a scoreless eighth and ninth, allowing just one walk, to pick up his first save of the season. Dunn, Jancarski and Nickens all finished with two hits, and Dunn and Lee both drove in two.

The win, which improves the Terps to 19-1 at home this season and 32-15 overall, comes after they lost two of three at Illinois over the weekend, including a walkoff loss Sunday.

“Getting back out here and getting another win gets us going in the positive direction again,” Nickens said of the victory to open the homestand. ” We’ve got a big series this weekend, but you don’t want to look past any games. An immature team… would come out here and not really give it their all, but we were able to focus and get a good win. It just gets us rolling.”