Terps’ Bats Falter in Final Game of Homestand

On a day where the college sports world was shaken by announcements regarding games and championships in the coming weeks, Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium remained a bubble of normalcy as Maryland and James Madison battled out a close-fought midweek game. 

After beating up on opposing pitchers through the first four games of their homestand, the Terps were stymied by the Dukes’ hurlers, as they were shut out through the final eight innings in a 4-2 loss. 

The Terps struck first, scoring twice in the first inning on a single by Maxwell Costes and a Ben Cowles hit by pitch. James Madison struck right back in the top of the second, as back-to-back homers by Fox Semones and Josh Jones put the Dukes up 3-2. JMU added to their lead with a run scored on a wild pitch later in the inning. 

While the score remained fairly low, neither starter reached the fifth inning, as JMU’s Liam McDonnell was lifted after 3 innings and Maryland’s Zach Thompson made it through 4. Thompson allowed just four hits and one walk, but the free pass was costly as the runner came in to score on Semones’ home run. 

Both bullpens kept their opponents off the board and for the most part off the bases. The Dukes mounted a threat in the sixth inning when they drew two walks off reliever Connor Staine. After Staine was relieved by Sam Bello, a wild pitch moved the runners to scoring position with two outs, but Bello punched out DaVonn Griffin to keep the Terps’ deficit at just two. 

After removing their starter, the Dukes turned the ball over to Grayson Jones. The senior right hander shut the Terps down, going three innings, allowing only one hit and fanning two while facing the minimum thanks to a pick-off of Randy Bednar at second base in the fifth. 

The Terps finally threatened in the seventh, when reliever Andrew Weight loaded the bases with two outs for designated hitter Bobby Zmarzlak. After Weight was taken out in favor of Lliam Grubbs, Zmarzlak lined a ball deep into the left field corner, but left fielder Chase DeLauter tracked it down to end the inning. 

The Dukes put together another solid inning in the eighth, using a single, a hit batsman, and a double steal to put runners on second and third with one out against Elliot Zoellner. Zoellner escaped the jam unscathed, sandwiching a walk between a strikeout and a force out that ended the inning. 

After scoring 48 runs in the previous four home games, the Terps’ bats were all but silent on the afternoon, recording just four hits, and going 2-for-14 with runners on base and recorded just one hit after the fifth inning. 

Costes, Burke lead Terps to first series sweep

Maryland scored in double digits on Sunday for the third time in its past four games, taking down the Bryant Bulldogs 13-3 for a series sweep in College Park. 

Unlike the past two days, Bryant got on the board first in the series finale. Maryland allowed the first three Bryant batters to reach base to start the inning, after an error, a single, and a double. With the double the Bulldogs plated their first run of the game, taking the least 1-0.

But Terrapin starter Sean Burke proceeded to strikeout the next three batters to work out of the jam, minimizing the damage. 

Maryland struck back in the bottom of the first on a Maxwell Costes home run to left field, after which Costes chucked the bat toward the home dugout, Tim Anderson-style. A Bobby Zmarzlak walk and Tucker Flint’s ninth hit-by-pitch of the year kept the rally going. (Flint was hit by two more pitches before the day was over).

Catcher Tavan Shahidi then smoked a single to right field to score Zmarzlak and give the Terps the one-run advantage.

“I feel like we have a complete lineup here,” Costes said. “If I don’t [get a hit], somebody else will.”

Bryant tied the game in the top of the second on a sky-high RBI triple just out of the reach of Terps left fielder Flint, but the Bulldogs’ lead didn’t last long. 

Maryland’s offense continued the back-and-forth scoring in the bottom of the inning, putting up a two-spot after capitalizing on Bryant errors and free bases, heading into the third up 4-2, helped by a successful double-steal from Randy Bednar and Costes. 

“When you are playing with the lead you can up your tempo a little bit and try to force guys to make mistakes,” head coach Rob Vaughn said, regarding the double-steal attempt. 

A long ball to right-center field in the top of the third gave Bryant its third run of the day, but Maryland’s defense kept the Bulldogs from tacking on any more, while the Terps’ offense continued to dominate.

Shortstop Ben Cowles continued his hot streak with an RBI-double through the left-center field gap, putting Maryland ahead 5-3 heading to the fourth. The junior finished the day two-for-five with a double and three RBI.

On the mound Burke fully settled down in the fourth inning, with help from catcher Shahidi; after Burke walked the leadoff batter, Shahidi eliminated the baserunner with a successful throw down to second–then Burke struck out the next two batters to face the minimum. 

Burke allowed runners in the fifth and sixth innings but both times the Maryland infield picked him up, turning two nifty double plays to keep his pitch count low enough to finish out the sixth inning with a strikeout. It was his 11th strikeout of the game, the most by any Maryland pitcher this year.

“In the past and this preseason when I struggled a little bit I was trying to do too much,” Burke said. “So now I have a real simple pinch-plan and make adjustments along the way if I need to.”

The Terps added three insurance runs in the fifth inning, plus four runs in the seventh and a run in the eighth; the late-inning scoring was highlighted by another double-steal and a Bryant error to plate Bednar from third base in the seventh.

Sam Bello came in the game for Maryland in the top of the seventh, relieving Burke, who finished with 11 strikeouts over six innings, allowing only two earned runs on five hits and two walks. Bello, who made his first appearance since February 21, pitched a clean seventh and struck out two batters. 

“Burke is a baller, man… whenever he steps on the mound, the whole vibe of the team becomes different,” said Costes on the presence his freshman-year roommate brings to the diamond.

Austin Chavis had an impactful day for the Terps, going three-for-four with a double and two runs. Costes was two-for-two with a homer, double, two walks and three RBI.

Maryland will be back in action on Wednesday in College Park to take on James Madison at 4 p.m.

Dean dominates on the mound with offensive surge over Bryant

Despite allowing at least one runner in each inning of work, Maryland starting pitcher Nick Dean built off his solid start against Coastal Carolina with a gem Saturday against Bryant. The freshman went six scoreless innings, blanking the Bulldogs for only three hits and six strikeouts in the Terps’ 8-3 win. 

Dean’s dominant performance on the mound earned him the W, the first of his career. On the offensive side of the ball, Maryland helped the freshman cruise, starting things early for the second straight day.

Bryant starting pitcher Tyler Schoff continued the Bulldogs’ trend of allowing free bases, walking two batters in the first inning to help the Terps grab an early lead.

Randy Bednar dribbled an infield single to shortstop, just beating the throw from Tommy DiTullio. Maxwell Costes walked and Bobby Zmarzlak split the left center field gap for his eighth RBI in two days, scoring Bednar and giving the Terps a 1-0 lead.

Left fielder Troy Schreffler walked to load the bases for third baseman Matt Orlando, who slapped a liner to right, scoring Costes. The Terps got another infield hit to shortstop from shortstop Benjamin Cowles to give them a three run cushion in the first.

Maryland got one more across in the bottom of the fourth after Bednar singled through the six-hole and stole second base, followed by a safety squeeze bunt by Schreffler to plate the team’s fourth run. 

Bednar continued to dominate for Maryland in the fifth with a two-run double. The junior has now earned a hit in each of his last five games, three more coming on Saturday.

In relief, freshman Ryan Ramsey came in for Dean in the seventh inning and proceeded to allow three straight singles to DiTullio, Derek Smith, and Gustin to load the bases.

Ramsey was then pulled for Elliot Zoellner, who forfeited just two runs in the inning. 

In the bottom of the inning, catcher Brenton Davis blasted a 1-1 offering from MacDonald over the right field wall for his first hit and home run as a Terp.

Zoellner closed it out for Maryland, inducing a bases loaded double play from Viscariello to secure the series win for the Terps.

Maryland will look for the sweep tomorrow with first pitch scheduled for 1 p.m.

Zmarzlak, Alleyne power Maryland to blowout win over Bryant

One swing changed the game for the Terps on Friday.

Bryant starter Tyler Mattison had ended the bottom of the third inning with three straight strikeouts to strand runners on second and third base for Maryland. The bottom of the fourth was about to end in similar fashion with the bases loaded, after Tavan Shahidi and Tucker Flint had each struck out.

But the freshman Bobby Zmarzlak stepped to the plate and made up for the past failures, blasting a Mattison pitch to center field for a grand slam. It was his second home run of the game and sixth RBI, en route to the Terps’ 14-3 win over the Bulldogs in College Park to start the three-game series.

Maryland got the scoring started in the bottom of the first. Chris Alleyne led off the game with a laser double into left center field and Randy Bednar drove him in with a base knock to left field. A throwing error by the third baseman allowed Bednar to advance to third as the ball rolled towards the Bryant dugout. Costes then blooped one to center field to give the Terps a 2-0 lead.

Later in the bottom of the first after Shahidi walked and Flint flew out to left, Zmarzlak deposited a Mattison pitch over the right-field wall for his first homer on the day to make it 4-0.

“We see that stuff every day from [Zmarzlak],” head coach Rob Vaughn said. “When he hit the first one I said, ‘That’s one-of-30.’ When he hit the second one I said, ‘That’s two-of-30.'”

Behind the Terps’ overwhelming run support, Maryland starter Sean Fisher did enough for the win on Friday, going six innings, scattering five hits on three earned runs. He also struck out eight with two walks.

Bryant put together a scoring inning in the top of the third, after a Derek Smith base knock to left, Jake Gustin hit a booming double down the right field line to score Smith. Gustin stole third base on the next play and was driven home on a Shane Kelly sac fly to right field to make it 4-2.

Alleyne kicked off the bottom of the fourth inning with a bunt single, which was one of his six hits on the day. With his six-for-six performance, Alleyne tied the school record. Then came Zmarzlak’s grand slam,  after the Terps loaded the bases, breaking the game open 8-2. 

“I knew I had to get something done, put the ball in play and just do whatever I can to help the team get a run,” said Zmarzlak on the added pressure going into his grand-slam at-bat.

The Bryant pitching staff surrendered 11 of walks on the day, adding to the Bulldogs’ woes. Mattison had five walks over four innings and reliever Jack Halbruner had three in 2/3 innings pitched.

Bryant got their last run of the game on a missile home run off the bat of Kelly in the top of the fifth inning. Kelly was two-for-three with two RBI to lead the Bulldogs’ lackluster offense.

The Terps held a 12-3 lead heading into the bottom of the eighth, but the scorching offense added more. Cowles popped one over the center field wall for his third home run of the season, then two batters later Alleyne drove one over the right field wall for his record-tying sixth hit of the game, putting Maryland up 14-3.

“I just trusted my approach I had the whole year, see the ball up and hit it hard somewhere. I can’t control the ball once it leaves your barrel,” said Alleyne on his big day at the plate.

At the end of the day Bednar was two-for-five with a double and two runs, Costes was two-for-two with three walks and Zmarzlak finished the day with an impressive seven RBI.  

Maryland Offense Comes Alive as Terps Beat Delaware 13-6

In Maryland’s first at-bat of their Wednesday matchup with Delaware, leadoff hitter Chris Alleyne popped a ball up into shallow right field where it dropped between first baseman Josh Carpenter and right fielder Kyle Baker for a double. 

The miscue set the tone for what would be an afternoon filled with Delaware mistakes and Maryland hits, and the Terps recorded 15 hits, including 8 for extra-bases, in a 13-6 win.  

While the Terps bats came alive, they were helped along by the many mistakes made by Delaware on the afternoon. The Blue Hens issued seven walks, made two errors, hit six batters, and had five wild pitches and three passed balls. The Terrapins put added pressure on the Delaware defense, stealing four bases in five attempts. 

After a Randy Bednar flyout, Maxwell Costes hit a sharp ground ball back up the middle to score Alleyne and put the Terps on top. Maryland doubled its lead in the second, when Bednar ripped a double to left-centerfield, scoring Ben Cowles from second base.

The Terps gave themselves more breathing room in the third, scoring three runs on a solo shot by Tavin Shahidi and an RBI double by Cowles. A bloop single off the left fielder’s glove by Austin Chavis chased starter CJ Schaible from the game and brought on Winston Allen who retired Alleyne before hitting Bednar and Costes with back-to-back pitches to bring in another run and allow the Terps to bat around.  

While Schaible scuffled, Maryland starter Zach Thompson’s first trip through the Blue Hens’ order was tremendously efficient, as the redshirt junior set down the first nine men he faced, punching out two and throwing strikes on 20 of his 27 pitches. 

“He had really good sink,” said head coach Rob Vaughn. “When Zach’s good the ball just disappears. Our guys have faced him for three years now and the ball looks like it’s down the middle and it ends up at you ankle.”

Delaware got its first base runner when shortstop Vinny Vaccone led off the fourth with a walk. After stealing second and moving to third on a groundout, Vaccone scored on an RBI groundout by Joseph Carpenter. The Hens also registered their first hit in the fourth on a two-out single by Jordan Hutchins. A two-run single by Aidan Riley brought two more runs to cut the Terps lead to 6-3. 

The Blue Hens moved to within one in the fifth, scoring on an error by Shahidi and an RBI double by Carpenter off reliever Sean Heine. A solo homer by Cowles in the bottom of the frame brought the Terps lead back to two and two sacrifice flies in the bottom of the sixth made the score 9-5. 

Cowles led the Maryland offense, going 2-for-2, with a home run, a double, two walks, and five RBIs.

“I was just trying to find a pitch to hit,” Cowles said of his homer. “I got down 0-2, so I was looking soft and I got a curveball.”

In the seventh, Delaware struck again, this time with a long solo homer by Kyle Baker. The Terps got the run back in the bottom half of the inning when Bednar scored on a passed ball. Maryland loaded the bases with one out, and scored twice more on an RBI walk by Cowles and a wild pitch by Tommy Pomatto. 

While it was Delaware’s mistakes that defined the game, the Terps continued to struggle defensively, making two errors to bring their season total to 20 in just 11 games. Maryland also struggled to control the running-game, allowing three stolen bases on three attempts.  

 

Coastal Carolina takes late lead to capture series sweep over Maryland

Unlike the first two games of the series, it was a pitcher’s duel between the Terps and the Chanticleers. But in the eighth inning, Coastal Carolina got a rally going against freshman  Connor Staine.

Staine got two quick outs, but let up a single to redshirt junior Fox Leum, who would steal second. The Chanticleers were stealing all afternoon as they were taking advantage of backup catcher, Tavan Shahidi behind the dish. Coastal Carolina stole eight bases on the afternoon.

Staine followed it up with a walk and the following batter, freshman Cooper Weiss laced an RBI into center field to take a 3-2 lead. After the go-ahead run, Staine walked another batter and would be taken out for senior Elliot Zoellner. Zoellner came into a bases loaded jam, and struck out the lone batter he faced.

But the damage was already done, as the Chanticleers possessed a 3-2 lead heading into the final inning. In the top half of the ninth, the Terrapins went down in order, resulting in a series sweep for Coastal after a 3-2 victory in the series finale.

Maryland hit a combined 6-for-31, which resulted in a .194 team average. The Terps also struck out 12 times. Coastal Carolina also had a rough afternoon in the batter’s box as they hit 5-for-29, which was a .172 team average and struck out 11 times.

In the early goings of the series finale, it seemed like the game was going to go similarly to the first two games of the series.

In the top half of the first inning, Coastal Carolina starting pitcher, Nick Parker struck out the side. In the bottom half of the frame, senior Scott McKeon jumped on a 2-0 pitch from redshirt freshman Sean Burke and sent it over the left field wall, for an early 1-0 lead.

But after letting up a leadoff blast, Burke settled down on the mound. Following the McKeon homer, Burke sent the next three batters down on strikes to get out of the inning.

The right hander had a very strong outing for the Terps and kept Maryland in the game during his time on the mound. Burke had a lot of success on the mound with his fastball as he was able to overpower the Coastal batters throughout the afternoon. Burke would finish his day on the mound with six innings pitched and totaled eight strikeouts, while allowing just two runs and three hits. This marks Burke’s third consecutive start with eight strikeouts recorded.

For Maryland, they answered back to tie up the game in the third inning. Freshman Matt Orlando got things started for the Terrapins as he ripped a double into left center. Orlando was moved over to third on a single by sophomore Benjamin Cowles and later scored on a single by junior Chris Alleyne to tie things up, 1-1.

In the sixth inning, it looked like Maryland was going to break things open. After a walk and an error, the Terps had runners on the corners with no outs for junior Randy Bednar. The junior outfielder hit a single up the middle to plate Alleyne to take their first lead of the weekend, 2-1.

After the single it would mark the end of Parker’s afternoon for the Chanticleers. Redshirt sophomore Shaddon Peavyhouse would enter and he had his work cut out for him. Maryland was threatening with runners on the corners and no outs, but Peavyhouse made quick work of the Terps. The righty struck out sophomore Maxwell Costes and then induced an inning ending double play off the bat of Shahidi. Maryland squandered a big scoring opportunity, but they did take a 2-1 lead.

But the lead didn’t last long for Maryland. In the bottom half of the frame, sophomore Nick Lucky led off with a walk and swiped second. . Lucky would advance to third on a wild pitch and later score on an RBI single from Leum to knot the game back up, 2-2.

After the Chanticleers took the late lead, Coastal Carolina brought in graduate student Chase Antle to close out the game. The hard throwing righty struck out Costes, but walked Shahidi to put the tying runner on base. But, Antle got the following batter, redshirt sophomore Michael Pineiro to ground into a game ending double play, to secure the series sweep over the Terps.

Maryland continues to struggle as they can’t contain the Coastal Carolina offense

In the seventh inning, freshman Ryan Ramsey issued back-to-back free passes and the Chanticleers moved over the runners with a sacrifice bunt. Sophomore Sean Heine was brought into the game to try to get out of the jam. Maryland decided to intentionally walk freshman Eric Brown to load the bases with one out.

On an 0-1 count, freshman Cooper Weiss laced a ground ball to third, but freshman Matt Orlando made a diving stop and stepped on third to limit the damage. But Heine would walk the following batter to reload the bases. Freshman Tanner Garrison jumped all over the first pitch he saw as he roped a line drive into left field to plate two runners, extending the Chanticleers’ lead to 6-1.

The five run lead seemed much larger, as the Maryland offense struggled in the box for the second consecutive day. The Terrapins hit just 5-for-31 at the plate, which was a .161 team average.

On the flip side, the Chanticleers offense was impressive once again against the Maryland pitching. Coastal Carolina racked up 10 hits, posting a .344 team average. The Chanticleers also showed off their plate discipline as they drew eight walks. The combination of the free passes and hits, allowed for Coastal Carolina to capture a 10-3 victory.

After getting shutout in yesterday’s game, it looked like the Terps were going to struggle on offense once again in the early parts of the game. Redshirt senior Scott Kobos started on the mound for Coastal Carolina and got off to a hot start. The left hander retired the first nine batters he faced.

But in the fourth inning, Kobos’ control began to dwindle. Junior Chris Alleyne led off the inning with a double and later advanced to third on a fly ball off the bat of junior Randy Bednar. Just a few pitches later, Alleyne would swipe home on a passed ball to tie the game, 1-1. This was the beginning of Kobos’ loss of control as he would walk three of the next four batters he faced to load the bases.

Kobos was pulled as he left the game with bases loaded and two outs. Sophomore Alaska Abney was brought in for the Chanticleers to try to get out of the jam. Abney threw just three pitches and struck out freshman Matt Orlando to shut the door on Maryland’s scoring opportunity.

Abney has been dominant all season long for the Chanticleers. The righty came into this game with 7 2/3 innings pitched and had only allowed one hit, while totaling eight strikeouts. In today’s matchup, Abney finished with 4 1/3 innings pitched and allowed just two runs on four hits, while totaling six strikeouts.

For Maryland, freshman Nick Dean had a strong start as he showcased his resilience on the mound. In the first inning, Dean allowed three hits including an RBI double off the bat of junior Alex Gattinelli.

But after allowing one run in the first frame, Dean threw three straight scoreless innings, before allowing another run in the fifth inning, to keep the Terps in the ballgame. The freshman finished the afternoon with five innings pitched and allowed two runs on six hits, while picking up six strikeouts.

The freshman right hander tossed five innings and allowed just two runs on six hits. Dean also racked up six strikeouts and issued three walks.

After Dean’s afternoon, the Terps’ used Ramsey, Heine and freshman Chris Chaney out of the pen. The Maryland pitching staff kept Maryland within striking distance until the seventh inning, but the Terps’ offense continued to fight.

In the top of the eighth inning, the Terps were finally able to get to Abney. The rally began with Alleyne once again, after he reached base after being hit by a pitch. The following batter Bednar, roped a double into right center field and the speedy Alleyne came all the way around to score. Bednar would later advance to third on a fly ball and then score on a ground out by redshirt junior Tavan Shahidi to cut the score to 6-3.

But as Maryland tried to claw their way back into the game, the Chanticleers would answer right back in the bottom of the frame and runaway with it. Coastal Carolina loaded the bases after a fielding error, bunt single and a walk.

With the bases juiced, the Chanticleers would plate two runs on a sacrifice fly and an RBI single before Heine was taken out of the game. Freshman Chris Chaney would come into the jam with runners on the corners and one out. On the first batter he faced, freshman Cooper Weiss chopped a double down the left field line to score two more runs to extend their lead to 10-3.

In the top of the ninth, the Terps came to the plate facing a seven run deficit and went down in order as they lost the second game of the series, 10-3. With this loss, it is Maryland’s will drop the series against Coastal Carolina.

Maryland struggles on both sides of the ball as they drop the series opener

With a runner on first, junior Sean Fisher was in the midst of a multi-pitch battle with the number nine batter, Makenzie Pate. On the seventh pitch of the at-bat, Pate turned on one and drove it way over the left field wall to take a 2-0 lead for Coastal Carolina in the third inning.

From there on, the inning spiraled out of control for Fisher and the Terrapins. With the top of the lineup due up, senior Scott McKeon went back-to-back as he smacked a home run of his own over the left field wall.

Fisher walked the following batter to spark a new rally for the Chanticleers, as three straight hits would follow. In addition to the hits, passed balls and wild pitches hurt the Terrapins before they were able to get out of the inning. But unfortunately for Maryland, they dug themselves in too big of a hole to come out of as they faced a seven run deficit after three frames.

With the Terps facing such a huge deficit, it made things even more difficult as they couldn’t get anything going on the offensive side of things. Maryland totaled just four hits and had few opportunities as they lose the series opener to the Chanticleers, 16-0.

Junior Zach McCambley started on the mound for Coastal Carolina and was dominant in his start. Coming into this game, he had allowed just three runs in 13 innings, while racking up 18 strikeouts. The righty tossed five innings as he recorded six strikeouts and allowed just two hits.

In the first inning it seemed like Maryland was going to be able to attack McCambley early. Junior Chris Alleyne led the game off with a walk and later found himself on third a few pitches later after a stolen base and a past ball. But with one out and a runner just 90 feet from scoring, junior Randy Bednar and sophomore Maxwell Costes were unable to bring him home.

On the defensive side of things, Fisher came back out onto the mound in the fourth inning, but ran into trouble once again. The junior hit the first batter he faced and then allowed three straight singles, before being relieved by sophomore Trevor LaBonte.

After two great starts for Fisher, his third career start at Maryland was a rough one. Fisher’s Friday night ended with three innings pitched, while he allowed 10 hits and nine earned runs.

In relief, LaBonte tossed 1 1/3 innings, allowed three runs on two hits, while surrendering three walks. After LaBonte, redshirt junior Mike Vasturia made his season debut as he entered in the fifth inning, with Maryland trailing, 13-0. The righty knuckleballer was impressive in his outing as he totaled 3 1/3 innings, while allowing six hits and picking up five strikeouts, while surrendering two runs. Vasturia’s outing was huge for Maryland as it seemed like the Terrapins were going to have to empty out their bullpen early on in the series opener.

The Terps struggled to get anything going against McCambley, but they got to face a couple of arms after the junior was taken out after five innings because of the large lead. However, as new pitchers came in, the Maryland offense still had difficulty getting anything going.

The Maryland offense was just 4-for-30 and posted a .133 team average. It was quite the opposite for the Coastal Carolina offense as the Chanticleers went 18-for-40 with a .450 team average.

This huge difference in the offenses was clearly reflected on the scoreboard, as Maryland suffers its first shutout loss this season, 16-0.

 

 

Maryland’s plate discipline and late offense results in dominant midweek win

After failing to capitalize on big opportunities early on in the game, the Terps offense came alive in the last few innings to runaway with its first midweek victory, 13-3.

With the game tied 3-3, with two outs and runners on first and third, the Terrapins showed off their plate discipline, drawing three consecutive walks. The lack of control from the Patriots converted into two Maryland runs to give the Terps a 5-3 lead in the sixth.

The Terps broke things up in the bottom of the seventh and got it done with the small ball and the long ball. Junior Tommy Gardiner drew a leadoff walk and was moved over on a bunt by Chavis. Gardiner would later make his way around the bases to score after an error on a pick off attempt and a wild pitch. After another walk, junior Randy Bednar dug into the box and hit an absolute moonshot over the left field wall to give Maryland an 8-3 lead.

“That felt really good,” Bednar said. “I always think about singles and doubles, I know the power’s gonna come eventually. So I’m not too worried about that, but it’s definitely a good feeling to be able to come out and do that.”

The Terrapins drew 14 walks in this midweek matchup and collected nine hits, which totaled 13 runs. This was the most runs the Terps have scored in a game this season to secure the victory and move to 6-1, despite stranding 15 runners on base.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do,” Head coach Rob Vaughn said. “I told our guys don’t look at that scoreboard, that score is fool’s gold a little bit for me. I thought offensively that was probably our worst played game of the year. Leaving tons of guys on base, when you leave the bases loaded three times at home, you should lose, that’s the reality.”

Early on, the Terrapins struggled to capitalize on scoring opportunities early on in the game. Maryland found themselves with bases loaded in back-to-back innings, but only managed two runs in those situations in the third and fourth.

In the bottom of the fourth inning, the Terrapins did what they’ve done well all season long, draw free passes and get hit-by-pitches. Young hit two batters and walked one run in, but he bounced back and got out of the inning on a groundball, limiting the damage once again.

This theme continued for Maryland in the bottom of the sixth, with the game tied 3-3. With two outs and runners on first and third, the Terrapins showed off their plate discipline, drawing three consecutive walks. The lack of control from the Patriots converted into two Maryland runs to give the Terps a 5-3 lead.

Last season, redshirt junior Zach Thompson was the Terps’ Saturday starter in their weekend series. Thompson finished the season with 3-6 record and posted a 5.08 ERA.

This season, the right-hander found himself making his season debut in the Terps’ first midweek game. Thompson worked some quick innings and only ran into trouble in the fourth after allowing one run but escaping a bases loaded jam. The redshirt junior’s evening was done after tossing five innings, allowing just four hits and one run, while picking up two strikeouts.

“He trusted his stuff, trusted his preparation, was very focused and was awesome,” Vaughn said. “I’m gonna be honest with you, people wanna talk about Friday night guys and this and that, [but] midweek starting pitching is huge. We really haven’t had that the last couple years… But him coming out today was really good to see. He was tremendous, he was mature and I was really proud of him.”

Thompson left the game with the Terps out in front 3-1, but he quickly watched the lead disappear from the bench. In the sixth inning, sophomore Trevor LaBonte started the inning and issued a leadoff walk. The following batter, junior Scott Morgan smashed a long fly ball over the left center field wall to reset the game, 3-3.

But with the game tied back up, the offense began to come alive and senior Elliot Zoellner shut the door on the George Mason offense. Zoellner took over in the middle of the sixth inning and was dominant. The righty picked up the win in 2 1/3 innings in relief, without allowing a hit and recording four strikeouts.

“He really showed me a lot there today,” Vaughn said about Zoellner. “His composure was awesome. At the time, when we threw him in the game, the game was still pretty tight. Not only did he get us out of that one inning, but he gave us two more.”

In just the second inning, sophomore Maxwell Costes made a fielding error but when he  stepped into the box in the bottom of the frame, he looked for some redemption. With an 0-1 count, Costes turned on one and sent a sky-high fly ball towering over the left field wall. The sophomore gave the ball a stare and tossed his bat to the side as reigning Big Ten Freshman of the Year gave the Terps an early 1-0 lead on his third bomb of the season.

Costes followed up an impressive weekend with another incredible day at the plate. The sophomore reached base safely in all six of his at-bats and was just a triple shy of hitting for the cycle.

“[I’m] seeing the ball really well,” Costes said. “Swinging at the pitches I can swing at, taking the pitches I should.”

While the Terps were able to limit the Patriots’ offense, George Mason wasn’t able to do the same on the other side. After keeping it close for the first six innings, the game began to slip away for the Patriots as a result of free passes and timely hitting from the Terps. Maryland scored 10 runs in its last three offensive frames to capture the first midweek of the season.

 

 

Burke, Costes Lead Terps to Shutout Victory, Series Win

On Saturday afternoon against Rhode Island, Maryland pitching and defense struggled mightily, allowing 11 runs and making two costly errors. On Sunday, the Terps showed almost immediately that there would not be a repeat of their poor performance, as pitcher Sean Burke, catcher Justin Vought, and shortstop Ben Cowles combined for a strike ‘em out, throw ‘em out double play to end the top of the first. 

The defensive highlight set the tone for a game that was well-played by both sides, standing in sharp contrast to the somewhat sloppy first two contests of the series. The Terps rode Burke’s strong start and Maxwell Costes’s two solo home runs to a 3-0 victory, clinching their first series win of 2020.

For the first time this season, the Terps did not make an error, which allowed them to make up for a poor offensive performance. While Maryland had 8 hits, the Terps failed to capitalize on big opportunities, going just 2-for-9 with runners on base and 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position. 

In the bottom of the first, with Maryland still buzzing after Vought’s strong throw, Chris Alleyne started off the Terps’ offensive afternoon with a bang, lining a double to deadaway centerfield. After taking third on a wild pitch, Alleyne scored on an RBI groundout by Tucker Flint. Costes doubled the Maryland lead in the third when he ripped his first home run of the season to left-centerfield. 

Burke was nearly unhittable in the early-going, allowing only 2 hits and punching out 8 in his first two trips through the order. Burke’s only early jam came in the third inning, when the Rams put runners on first and second with two outs. But Burke won a seven-pitch battle with center fielder Austin White, getting a strikeout and keeping Rhode Island off the board. 

“On Sunday you’ve just got to set the tone, and it starts on the mound.” said Maryland head coach Rob Vaughn. “I thought he did an unbelievable job.”

Burke finally ran into real trouble in the sixth inning, when the Rams used back-to-back singles to put a man in scoring position with one out. After a deep flyout moved the lead runner to third, Vaughn lifted his redshirt freshman and brought on Elliot Zoellner to escape the jam. The sidewinder got Mark Coley to fly out to center, escaping the inning and keeping the shutout intact. 

After getting the big out, Zoellner’s afternoon was over, as he gave way to Connor Staine, who worked a 1-2-3 seventh inning and stranded a runner on second in the eighth to keep the Terrapin lead at two. After Costes’s second blast of the day extended the lead to three, Staine got two outs in the ninth before allowing a single and a walk to bring the tying run to the plate and being relieved by Mark DiLuia. DiLuia fanned pinch-hitter Thomas Summers, getting the save in the Terps first shutout of the season and moving the team to 5-1. 

Costes’s home runs were his first two of the season and both were very impressive. The first was a line drive shot over the left centerfield fence, and the second a towering drive down the left field line.

Despite the change in result, Costes said that “nothing really” changed in his approach.

“I talk to [assistant coach Matt] Swope a lot before the game, a lot after games, he kind of keeps my mind in things,” Costes said. “He tells me I’m swinging at good pitches and it’s going to come together at some point, and today we needed it in a couple big spots and it came together for us.”