Michigan eliminates Maryland from Big Ten tournament

After the Terps lost 10-4 to the Michigan Wolverines on Friday in Omaha, Nebraska, Maryland was eliminated from its first Big Ten tournament under second-year head coach Rob Vaughn.

Both defensively and offensively, the Terps struggled to get a handle on the Wolverines in the elimination game, Maryland’s first time facing elimination in the 2019 tournament.

Terrapin starter Tyler Blohm struggled to get a handle on the Wolverines offense, which scored two runs early in the first inning, after a leadoff walk and a single through the left side put two on and no outs.

A sac bunt moved both runners into scoring position and Michigan took the lead on a wild pitch from Blohm that bounced over a foot in front of the plate before getting past catcher Justin Vought. An RBI groundout plated the Wolverines’ second run of the half before Blohm induced a groundout to first base to end the half.

Head coach Rob Vaughn pulled the southpaw after Blohm walked Miles Lewis to start the second. When Elliot Zoellner entered, he walked the first batter he faced before securing three consecutive outs including his first strikeout of the day.

Zoellner threw 3.1 scoreless innings of relief, including a 1-2-3 third inning and a two-strikeout top of the fourth, where the righty worked around a leadoff single and a two-out hit-by-pitch.

After Zoellner secured the first out of the fifth inning, on a fly out to center field, Vaughn opted for the lefty-lefty matchup against Jesse Franklin and gave the ball to redshirt-freshman Drew Wilden. Though he walked Franklin, Wilden soon recorded the second out of the inning on a strikeout.

It seemed Wilden was almost out of the inning, with two outs and a runner on second after Franklin stole the base. But then Maryland’s inconsistent defense could not take advantage of a base-running miscue from Franklin, who scored on a throwing error from shortstop A.J. Lee.

The senior middle infielder caught Franklin in a rundown between second and third, but his throw to third baseman Taylor Wright bounced off of the Wolverine’s helmet and allowed Franklin to score and put a runner on third, after Jordan Brewer walked to initiate the strange sequence of events in the fifth.

But then, Lee send a two-out single into left field for the Terps’ fifth base runner on the day. Unlike with the previous four Maryland runners, however, Lee eventually came around to score, after Randy Bednar went deep to left field for his first hit of the tournament, a two-run blast that cut Michigan’s lead in half. Prior to the homer, Bednar was 0-for-10 in the postseason.

If not for the Terps’ error in the top of the inning, which eventually cost them two runs, Bednar’s homer would have tied the game at two runs apiece instead of cutting the Wolverines to a 4-2 lead.

Even so, Maryland’s middle-inning rally did not jump start the Terps’ offense, which continued to strand runners on the bases as Wolverine starter Tommy Henry consistently worked out of jams and held the Terps to their two runs. The southpaw struck out seven in his 6.0 innings of work, giving the two runs on five hits, one hit-by-pitch and one walk.

Michigan’s offense, however, seemed to feed off Maryland’s struggling relievers. Though right-hander Nick Turnbull threw one scoreless inning of relief in the sixth, after he took over for Wilden when the redshirt-freshman gave up a single to start the inning.

But after Turnbull hit the first batter of the seventh, sophomore Sean Fisher finished the inning and freshman Sean Heine threw the eighth. Both struggled against Michigan’s lineup. The Wolverines got two across in the seventh, one credited to Turnbull, the other to Fisher, before plating one in the eighth to pull ahead to a 7-2 lead.

A solo blast from Maxwell Costes, his third homer of the tournament, cut the Wolverines to a four-run lead, but the Terps couldn’t continue the freshman’s rally and went to the ninth trailing 7-3.

Michigan added three runs in the ninth on four doubles off of closer John Murphy, before the senior recorded a strikeout for the final out of the inning, the Wolverines ahead 10-3.

Maryland stranded seven runners on the day, as the Terps struggled to plate runs against the dominant Michigan squad in the elimination game. A two-out solo shot to left field from the senior Lee was the only run to cross the plate for the Terps in the ninth, as the Wolverines won 10-4 to advance to the tournament semifinals.

 

Maryland falls to Ohio State in postponed tournament game

Senior A.J. Lee stepped to the plate with two outs and a runner on second in the bottom of the ninth Friday morning, as Maryland trailing Ohio State 3-2 in the continuation of the Terps’ Thursday night game, which was suspended due to rain.

Just over a week earlier, Lee hit a two-run walk-off homer in the Terps’ series opener against the Iowa Hawkeyes in the final series of the regular season.

But, Lee couldn’t get the ball out of the outfield on Friday, and Maryland fell 3-2 to Ohio State as the Buckeyes sent the Terps to their first elimination game of the 2019 Big Ten tournament, a Friday afternoon matchup against the Michigan Wolverines.

Maryland struggled to find its offensive momentum when play resumed Friday morning, after a thunderstorm halted the Terps’ second round game against the Buckeyes on Thursday night.

When the game resumed Friday, the Terps had a runner on second and one out in the eighth, with Michael Pineiro at the plate. But Buckeyes reliever Andrew Magno recorded two strikeouts to neutralize the threat, then got three straight outs after a Maryland leadoff walk in the ninth to secure Ohio State’s second win of the tournament.

The Buckeyes plated the first run of the game early, when an RBI single plated Dominic Canzone, who worked a hit-by-pitch to start the inning. The Ohio State right fielder scored again in the third, after he walked to lead off the half and scored on a Maryland error, when third baseman Taylor Wright misthrew a ball Brady Cherry hit deep to the left side of the infield.

The Terps struggled to plate runs against Buckeyes starter Griffan Smith. Though Maryland had eight base runners against the lefty, on five hits and three walks, through the first 7 innings the Terps’ only runs came in the third, when freshman Maxwell Costes sent the first pitch of his at-bat deep to left field for a two-out, two-run homer and tied the game at two runs apiece.

Maryland right-hander Trevor LaBonte went 6.1 innings Thursday night for his longest start of the season, topping his previous 6.0 innings against Ohio State on April 21 in College Park. He gave up only two runs on two hits, three walks and two hit batters, striking out three.

Though the freshman right-hander provided the Terps with a solid start in his first Big Ten tournament appearance, holding the Buckeyes to two runs on two hits, three walks and two hit batters, the first 6.1 innings didn’t matter in the top of the eighth when Ohio State clawed back on top, capitalizing on another Maryland defensive miscue.

After Cowles dropped a popup in foul territory, failing to secure the second out of the eighth, Cherry singled to center field. Then, Terrapin reliever Mark DiLuia walked a batter to load the bases, and a sacrifice fly plated the go-ahead run for the Buckeyes.

But DiLuia continued to battle on the rubber, and after walking another batter to re-load the bases, the righty took Nick Erwin seven pitches deep, securing the final out of the inning on a strikeout that stranded the bases loaded.

The Terps carried the momentum from DiLuia’s strikeout into the bottom of the inning, after consecutive hits from Wright and Costes, but the weather did not cooperate and the game was suspended until Friday, Maryland trailing 3-2 with 1.2 innings left to play.

Right when the Terps seemed primed to mount an eighth-inning rally, after the Ohio State Buckeyes took the 3-2 tie-breaking lead in the top of the inning, Maryland’s second game of the Big Ten tournament entered into a weather delay on Thursday night before the game was suspended, to be picked back up at 11 a.m. ET on Friday.

Just before the delay, Maryland head coach Rob Vaughn challenged the call on the field that Taylor Wright was out at second, after a grounder to third base from Maxwell Costes, who reached first on the fielder’s choice then landed on second on a throwing error from second baseman Matt Carpenter.

If the call had been reversed the Terps would have had two runners in scoring position with no outs. But, the call was upheld and the game suspended with Costes on second and one out, after lightning in the vicinity of TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Nebraska, halted play and sent both teams retreating to the locker rooms.

When play picked back up Friday, Ohio State reliever Andrew Magno remained on the mound, securing a pair of strikeouts to rid Maryland of its one base runner and end the eighth.

Then, Maryland called on freshman left-hander Andrew Vail to hold Ohio State to its one-run lead in the ninth. Vail recorded three consecutive outs and gave the Terps the chance for their second walk-off victory in eight days.

But Magno continued to dominate on the mound, and Maryland’s rally fell short and sent the Terps to the elimination game against the Wolverines Friday afternoon, with a tentative 4:30 p.m. ET start.

Maryland defeats Illinois in first game of Big Ten Tournament

In the Maryland’s first Big Ten tournament appearance under second-year head coach Rob Vaughn, the Terps continued their hot streak, defeating the Illinois Fighting Illini 6-2 on Wednesday in Omaha, Nebraska, to move on to the winner’s bracket.

Maryland got on the board first, after loading the bases on a pair of walks and an infield single from Josh Maguire. A fielder’s choice from Randy Bednar drove in Chris Alleyne from third, giving the Terps a 1-0 lead.

After Illinois starter Andy Fisher retired the Terps in order in the first, Maryland had runners reach base in every inning. Even so, the Terps struggled to plate runners and provide Parsons with a bigger lead with which to work. The lack of solid run support from Maryland came back to haunt the Terps, as they stranded a total of 12 on the day.

Illinois finally got a runner on base in the fourth, after Parsons threw three consecutive 1-2-3 innings to start. After the Fighting Illini’s first hit, a one- out single to right field from Michael Massey, Parsons walked two with two outs to load the bases. But the Maryland right-hander induced a huge ground out to end the half and strand the bases loaded, maintaining the Terps’ 1-0 lead.

But the Fighting Illini continued to threaten in the fifth, putting two on after a leadoff single from Grant Van Scoy and two-out walk. Then, a single to second base from Massey drove home Van Scoy, who beat the throw from Ben Cowles after the second baseman bobbled the ball and hesitated before throwing home.

Parsons found his groove again in the sixth and seventh, however, retiring the Fighting Illini in order in both innings to give the Terps the chance to pull ahead as the right-hander threw his 115th pitch on the day.

Then, the Maryland lineup came alive in the eighth. After Taylor Wright led off the inning with a single through the left side against the shift, freshman Maxwell Costes sent a two-run homer to left field. Then, two batters later, sophomore Justin Vought went deep with a two-run shot of his own, putting the Terps ahead 5-1 and providing Parsons much-needed run support.

Parsons threw 7.1 innings, allowing only one run on four hits and threw walks, recording four strikeouts in his 123 pitches thrown. After the righty secured the first out of the eighth with a runner on first, Mark DiLuia entered to secure the final two outs of the half. The sophomore recorded a three-pitch called strikeout and induced a fly-out to end the inning and hold on to Maryland’s lead.

Behind DiLuia, the Terps tacked on another run on a drag bunt single from Alleyne in the ninth. Illinois tacked on a run in the ninth, but senior closer John Murphy recorded back-to-back strikeouts to secure Maryland’s first win of the conference tournament.

Maryland takes on the winner of No. 2 Michigan and No. 7 Ohio State at 6 p.m. ET on Thursday.

 

 

Maryland sweeps Iowa, clinches postseason berth

Maryland players sprinted out of the dugout, engulfing closer John Murphy in the infield Saturday evening. The Terps had just clinched their first appearance in the Big Ten Tournament under second-year head coach Rob Vaughn.

“It’s pretty awesome,” Murphy said. “Especially because this is the same weekend I got ejected last year, so I’m pretty happy I didn’t get ejected this weekend and get to be there for all three games with my team.”

Murphy, who entered in the ninth, recorded three straight outs to ensure Maryland’s 10-8 win over Iowa (30-22, 12-12), earning his 11th save of the year in the Terps’ final game of the regular season in College Park.

“What John Murphy did at the end was awesome,” Vaughn said. “That game was kind of a culmination of our season. We get up, have moments that are really good, we have moments were we give it up, then have moments that are really good again.”

Until the top of the eighth, when Iowa tied the game for the third time on the day, it seemed Maryland (28-27, 12-12) had already won the back-and-forth battle. Though Iowa got on the board first, on a Tanner Padgett solo homer to start the second inning, Maryland quickly clawed its way back on top.

After starter Tyler Blohm worked out of the top of the inning, Maryland sophomores Michael Pineiro and Justin Vought sent back-to-back solo shots deep to left-center field to start the bottom half.

“When Pineiro’s going oppo-jack, that gets people going a little bit,” Vaughn said. “Those [homers] were huge…[they] kind of captured the momentum back and let us play with the lead.”

Two more runs crossed in the third for the Terps, giving Blohm a 4-1 lead off a Hawkeyes error and a handful of Iowa defensive miscues. Senior A.J. Lee, who reached first on an error for the second time on the day,  scored on a wild pitch from left-hander Grant Judkins, who walked three Terps in the half. Maryland’s second run came on an RBI sacrifice bunt from Pineiro.

“We talk about how you respond in the midst of adversity,” Vaughn said, “That’s one of our pillars…and every inning that [Iowa] scored, we answered. I mean, the offensive effort today was unbelievable, absolutely unbelievable.”

But the Hawkeyes came back, and a Wetrich three-run homer tied the game at four runs apiece in the fourth. With that, the Terps brought in right-hander Trevor LaBonte, who hit the first batter he faced but worked out of the jam with his first strikeout of the game.

Blohm finished his 3.2 innings of work allowing four runs on four walks and four hits, including the two homers. Behind a solid Maryland offense, LaBonte threw three scoreless innings of relief, before faltering in the eighth.

“If we call it what it is,” Vaughn said, “Blohm’s stuff was terrible today…and he still [went] out and gave us three or four innings. I mean, that’s Tyler Blohm..that’s just who he is.”

After Iowa tied the game in the top of the fourth, Maryland regained the lead on two runs in the bottom of the inning, after Benjamin Cowles and Randy Bednar singled around an A.J. Lee double. Bednar’s hit scored Cowles, and a sacrifice fly from senior Taylor Wright plated Lee, putting the Terps up 6-4 heading to the fifth.

Then, Maryland designated hitter Josh Maguire doubled to start the bottom half for the Terps. The freshman cruised home two outs later on a sac fly from Cowles for the Terps seventh run on the night. Two innings later, Maguire scored again on Cowles sacrifice fly, putting Maryland ahead 8-4.

But LaBonte started to tire in the eighth, loading the bases on a walk and two singles after striking out the first batter he faced in the inning. Then, Andrew Vail relieved his fellow freshman, but gave up a game-tying grand slam to Wetrich before working his way out of the inning.

“I told them,” Vaughn said, “When [Iowa] did hit that grand slam, I said, ‘We’re going to see what kind of character we’ve got.'”

Chris Alleyne stepped into the box in the eighth, runners on first and second with two outs. Then, Alleyne roped a double into the right field corner, clearing the bases and putting Maryland ahead 10-8 heading to the ninth.

“It really just shows what kind of offense we can have,” Lee said. “When all cylinders are firing, we’re pretty good. When we’re moving barrels and we’re swinging at good pitched and we’re getting our swing off, we’re pretty good.”

Iowa put up a fight against senior closer John Murphy in the ninth. But Murphy was not having it, and after the Hawkeyes got a double to start the inning, Murphy struck out one and induced a pop fly to first base. Then, a fly out to Bednar in right field, which ended the game with the Terps on top.

“It was pretty tough [Friday] night,” Murphy said. “It made it easier that we still came back and won, but to do that today and to send us to Omaha, that was pretty awesome, especially on Senior Day.”

“I don’t know if I’ve been more proud of a group of guys than that group of dudes standing out there,” Vaughn said. “That was a gutty, character win for a team that’s [still] learning. Everything they’ve been through in the last six months…everything they withstood, I am so incredible proud of that group.”

Maryland clinches series victory with Friday win over Iowa

For only the second time in 2019, Maryland (27-27, 11-12) clinched a Big Ten series win, pulling ahead early and staying ahead in the Terps’ 8-4 win Friday night over the Iowa Hawkeyes (30-21, 12-11) in College Park.

With the victory, the Terps head into Saturday’s game controlling their own destiny with regards to a Big Ten Tournament appearance. A Maryland win or a Northwestern loss against Minnesota would clinch the Terps a postseason berth.

“We’re playing our best baseball right now, in my opinion,” Thompson said. “Everybody wants to play another week with each other, so if we win tomorrow we can do that.”

Maryland’s offense stayed hot on Friday, powered by big hits from throughout the Terps’ lineup that backed an at-times faltering defense, giving early run support to starter Zach Thompson.

“I’ve told these guys from the get-go, moving barrels are dangerous,” head coach Rob Vaughn said. “When we’re moving barrels and hunting stuff elevated out over the plate, usually we have some success offensively.”

Freshman Maxwell Costes put the Terps on the board first, with a two-out, two-run blast that soared over the wall in right center for his 12th homer of the season. The first baseman leads all Big Ten freshmen in home runs.

After Thompson worked out of a one-on jam in the second with back-to-back strikeouts, Iowa eventually got its first run on in the third inning. Tanner Wetrich doubled to left field, the ball falling between Michael Pineiro and the wall, as the left climbed and reached for the hit but failed to snag it for an out.

Though the missed out didn’t have a huge impact on the outcome of the game, Wetrich scored Iowa’s first run later in the third, on a two-out single from Izaya Fullard that bounced into center field, just past a reaching A.J. Lee.

Maryland responded quickly, however, tacking on three runs in the bottom of the inning after a pair of singles and a walk left the bases loaded with two outs for Maguire.

“When a good team like that gives you opportunities you have to cash in,” Vaughn said.

With a 1-1 count, Maguire send the third pitch of his at-bat flying to right field, where the ball fell in front of Zeb Adreon, bouncing over the right fielder before rolling to the wall. Maguire flew around the bases, landing on third with a bases-clearing triple, his second three-base hit of the year. 

Two more Maryland runs crossed the the fourth. The first, a solo shot to left-center from sophomore Randy Bednar, his first hit of the three-game series after the outfielder went 0-for-4 in the Terps’ Thursday victory.

Senior Taylor Wright crossed the plate later in the half, after he walked, made it to second on a wild pitch then came around to score on a throwing error from Iowa second baseman Mitchell Boe, prompting the Hawkeyes to pull Boe from the game between innings. Wright’s run put Maryland ahead 7-1 heading to the fifth.

But the Terps’ offense slowed, as the Hawkeyes slowly began adding on runs, though Maryland held Iowa to one run an inning in both the fifth and seventh, pulling out solid plays to negate defensive struggles in each of the innings.

When Izaya Fullard doubled into the left field corner, it seemed the Hawkeyes were about to add their second run of the inning, after Chris Whelan hit an RBI sacrifice fly the previous at-bat to cut the Terps to a 7-2 lead.

But Maryland left-fielder Michael Pineiro fielded the hit and threw down the line to shortstop A.J. Lee, whose throw to catcher Justin Vought made it just in time to catch Tanner Wetrich at the plate, leaving the Iowa senior sitting in the batter’s box in shock, helmet in hand.

Then, Thompson walked Sher with one out, who made it to second when the right-hander included a groundout. With that, junior Elliot Zoellner relieved the starter, who went 6.2 innings and struck out seven, allowing only two earned runs on six hits.

“To me,” Vaughn said, “That’s maybe the most complete game, against a really good team, [Thompson] has put together.”

“We’re a dangerous team,” Maguire said. “We gave [Zach Thompson] a 5-1 lead…if he has that comfort, you saw what he did tonight, he just goes out and attacks and gives a great performance.”

Zoellner, however, struggled against the Hawkeyes offense, walking the first batter he faced then committing a fielding error, which allowed Sher to cross for Iowa’s third run, putting Maryland ahead 7-3.

But Maryland wasn’t done yet. Right-hander Mark DiLuia relieved Zoellner after his error, inducing a fly out to end the seventh before retiring the Hawkeyes with three strikeouts in the top of the eighth.

A solo homer from Lee put the Terps up 8-3, his second in as many games, after sending a walk-off bomb deep over the left-field wall Thursday.

Iowa responded with a run in the ninth, but DiLuia got the game-ending strikeout to secure Maryland’s 8-4 win. The righty threw 2.1 innings, allowing one run on one hit, walking one and striking out five.

Maryland and Iowa face off in the series finale Saturday at 2 p.m.

“We’re coming out, we’re focused,” Maguire said. “We’re going to try to get a sweep and then the Big Ten. [It’s] Senior Day so we’re going to play our hearts out for those guys because they’ve been nothing but great to us.”

Lee walk-off homer secures series opener victory for the Terps

Maryland’s dugout emptied as A.J. Lee tossed his bat to the side and started his trot around the bases in the bottom of the ninth inning. Lee, and the rest of the Terps, knew the ball was going out of the park as soon as it left his bat.

In the opener of Lee’s last regular season series as a Terrapin, Lee secured Maryland’s 8-6  victory over Iowa (30-20, 12-10) on Thursday in College Park, the walk off two-run homer marking the Terps’ first walk-off of the 2019 campaign.

“It’s really special for this team,” Lee said. “We’re been through a lot of adversity as a team, had ups and downs, good days and bad days. But at the end of the day, we’re all brothers and we’re out here trying to fight for a spot in the post season.”

“Regardless of what happens in the next two days,” head coach Rob Vaughn said, “that’s a moment that that young man’s never going to forget. He deserves it.”

After Maryland (26-27, 10-12) took the lead early, a late-inning Iowa comeback––headlined by the Hawkeyes’ four-run top of the ninth––necessitated the Terps’ bottom-of-the-ninth rally.

When Hunter Parsons exited his final regular season start as a Terrapin in the top of the ninth, greeted by a standing ovation from Maryland fans in the stands of Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium, Vaughn handed the ball over to senior closer John Murphy to finish out the game, the Terps ahead 6-2.

But Murphy struggled to shut down the Iowa offense, walking his first batter and giving up a bunt single to load the bases, after third baseman Taylor Wright struggled to field the slow roller.

The Terps turned a double play, but a Hawkeyes runner still crossed. Then another, and another. With three consecutive hits, Iowa cut Maryland to a one-run lead. Then, a single up the middle from Ben Norman tied the game at six runs apiece, before Murphy got his first strikeout of the night to end the inning.

Before freshman Josh Maguire stepped into the box in the ninth, Vaughn told him to “let the guy behind [him] be a hero.” That’s exactly what the freshman did, as he singled to the mound then moved to second on a sacrifice bunt from fellow freshman Ben Cowles.

Then, Lee’s home run and bat flip.

“I had a pretty good idea [it was going out],” Lee said. “But [the bat flip] was just out of pure excitement. I knew pretty much it was going to be gone.”

Lee scored Maryland’s first and last runs of the game, after he smacked a leadoff single into center field, then stole second and made it to third on a wild pitch. A one-out single up the middle from fellow senior Taylor Wright, which bounced off second base and into center field, plated Lee and put the Terps on the board first. Wright crossed the plate two batters later, on an RBI-single from Pineiro, giving Parsons wiggle room with a 2-0 lead.

Maryland put up two more runs in the third, when Maxwell Costes belted his 11th home run of the year to left field. The two-run shot put the Terps ahead 4-0, and secured Costes’ team-high in home runs. The first baseman also leads all Big Ten freshmen in home runs.

After a solid four innings of work from Parsons, who worked out of multiple jams on the night, the senior and his defense began to falter against the Hawkeyes’ offense at the same time Iowa kept Maryland’s offense, for the most part, out of scoring position.

Second baseman Benjamin Cowles made Maryland’s first error of the night to start the fifth inning, dropping a Ben Norman line drive. Then, with Norman at third, Cowles dove but couldn’t stop an RBI-single from Chris Whelan, and Norman crossed the plate as the Hawkeyes’ first run of the game.

Cowles then redeemed himself, turning a double play to end the inning and strand two Hawkeyes on the base paths. Then, the freshman led off the bottom of the inning with a single right up the middle, his first hit of the night. A fielder’s choice left Cowles trotting off the field, out at second, and the Terps stranded one runner in scoring position to end the inning.

“We talk about resiliency a lot,” Vaughn said. “What I’m proud of [Cowles] for…he didn’t feel bad for himself, he didn’t pout, he said, ‘Hand me the next one,’ and turns a huge double play.”

With Hawkeyes on first and second in the sixth inning, right fielder Randy Bednar climbed the wall in foul territory, reaching over to grab a huge first out for the Terps. Iowa plated one runner, cutting into Maryland’s lead, after Norman knocked the ball into left field, dropping just inside the foul line and past a diving Pineiro before it bounced into the Terps’ bullpen for a ground rule double. The one run was it for the Hawkeyes in the half as Parsons worked out of the jam, holding on to the Terps’ 4-2 lead.

But the Terps seemed to find their rhythm after the seventh inning stretch. A Lee sacrifice bunt plated Chris Alleyne from third, Maryland’s fifth run of the night, setting up Parsons to work out of the jam in the eighth.

With the 5-2 lead, Parsons gave up a pair of singles to put Hawkeyes on first and second. But, after a mound visit from head coach Rob Vaughn, the senior stayed in the game, throwing a career-high 123 pitches and recording his fourth strikeout of the night.

Before Lee’s ninth-inning walk-off, Maryland’s sixth run came across in the eighth, after Wright doubled to start the inning, crossing the plate on a Pineiro sacrifice fly. 

After his brief outing in the ninth, Parsons ended the night having thrown 127 pitches in 8.0 innings of work, giving up three runs on nine hits and two walks, striking out four. Murphy went 1.0 innings, allowing three runs on five hits, one walk and recording the one strikeout and earning the win.

“Murphy competed really hard,” Parsons said. “He gave up a couple runs but he [ended up] getting the strikeout to get us back in in a tie game, and then A.J. comes up in the bottom of the ninth, hits a walk off. Just a great team victory all around.”

Both looking to secure a playoff berth, Maryland and Iowa face off in College Park for game two of the three game set on Friday at 6:30 p.m.

Maryland’s late offense propels the Terps over James Madison

Trailing 4-3 in the top of the seventh, sophomore Randy Bednar dug into the box with two outs and one on. After three straight balls, Bednar got the green light and smacked the next pitch over the left field wall to give Maryland a 5-4 lead.

The Dukes took an early lead over the Terps thanks to their baserunning and defensive mistakes by Maryland. Freshman catcher Zach Doss got his first career start, but two passed balls in as many innings hurt the Terps.

After a leadoff double by freshman Trevon Dabney, he was able to advance on a passed ball and would later score on an RBI groundout to give the Dukes an early 1-0 lead. In the second inning, junior Matt Dipasupil led off with a single and stole second. A few pitches later, another ball got passed Doss, allowing Dipasupil to advance to third. The following batter, freshman Travis Reifsnider hit one passed Freshman Maxwell Costes to plate the second run of the game.

Sophomore Drew Wilden got the start for the Terps, tossing two innings and allowing three hits. Both runs that were scored during Wilden’s two innings were both unearned. Junior Elliot Zoellner came into the game in the third inning and worked back-to-back 1-2-3 innings, while picking up two strikeouts.

On the other side of things, James Madison got a great start from sophomore Justin Showalter. The righty pitched five scoreless innings, allowing just four hits, while recording five strikeouts.

The Terps were threatening in the top of the fifth, after a bunt single by sophomore Chris Alleyne and a single by freshman Benjamin Cowles. With two outs and runners on first and second, Doss came to the plate, but was called out on strikes to end the inning. The Terps were just 4-for-18 against Showalter.

Showalter was taken out of the game after the fifth and the Terps’ bats got going in the sixth against senior Christian Bourne. Senior AJ Lee led off the inning with a single, which snapped his 0-for-25 streak. Bednar followed up with a single of his own and senior Taylor Wright drew a walk to load the bases.

With no outs and the bases loaded, Costes grounded into a 5-2-3 double play and it seemed like the Terps scoring hopes were cut down. But with runners on second and third, sophomore Michael Pineiro ripped a two-run double into right field to tie the game, 2-2 in the sixth.

After the Terps bullpen did a good job of quieting the Dukes’ offense, sophomore Sean Fisher ran into some trouble in the bottom of the sixth. After picking up two quick outs, Fisher allowed a single and a walk. With runners on junior Brady Harju roped a liner off the back of Fisher and it bounced into the outfield allowing one run to score. The following batter, Dipasupil slapped a ground ball into left field to give James Madison a 4-2 lead.

In the top of the seventh, Alleyne drew a leadoff walk and put himself into scoring position after stealing second and later swiping third. With two outs, Lee squeezed a ground ball between the third baseman and shortstop for an infield RBI to cut the deficit to 4-3. The following batter, Bednar belted a homer over the left field wall to retake the lead, 5-4.

For the bottom of the frame, sophomore Grant Burleson made his season debut on the mound. The left-hander picked up a quick strike out, but then walked two consecutive batters, forcing freshman Sean Heine to come in for relief.

With runners on first and second, Heine induced a ground ball to Cowles to setup an inning ending double play to preserve the Maryland lead.

In the bottom of the eighth, Heine remained in the game. With one out, freshman Kyle Novak hit a single and Harju followed up with a long fly ball out that brought Alleyne all the way back to the warning track.

In the top of ninth, Lee belted an insurance run over the left center field wall to give the Terps a 6-4 lead. In the bottom of the frame, senior John Murphy came in for the save. The right-hander picked up back-to-back strikeouts, but then plunked freshman Callaway Sigler. 

With one on, Murphy walked another batter. In a two-out jam, Dabney hit a grounder into the outfield scoring one run to cut it to 6-5. Murphy induced a ground ball up the middle, and Lee made a nice play behind second base to throw out the runner at first for the final out.

With the 6-5 win, the Terps split the season series with the Dukes and are now 25-27 on the season, which is more wins than the 2018 season.