Savacool cruises through Boilermaker bats, leads Terps to fifth-straight series win

Behind the pitching of Big Ten Freshman of the Week Jason Savacool and three home runs by the offense, Maryland beat Purdue 6-1 Saturday from Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium to win their fifth-straight series and continue their push to the NCAA Tournament.

Savacool got off to a shaky start allowing Purdue to score their first run of the series in the first inning on a two-out RBI single by Ben Nisle to make it 1-0. 

Even though he didn’t have his best stuff to start the game, Savacool would get some help from his defense. In the second inning, catcher Riley Langerman threw out Tyler Powers trying to steal second to help Savacool get out of the inning. 

“Right now we’re playing at an elite defensive level,” Savacool said.

After Maryland scored two runs in the bottom of the second to take the lead 2-1, Savacool faced a jam in the third with runners on second and third with two outs. Ryan Bowe hit a ball to right field that looked like off the bat it would bring in a pair of runs, but Troy Schreffler made a diving catch to get Savacool out of the inning unharmed and maintain Maryland’s 2-1 lead.

“[Jason’s] a winner,” coach Rob Vaughn said. “He had average command … but what winners do is they find a way to work out of jams and make pitches when they matter.”

In the fifth inning, the Maryland offense would get some insurance runs for Savacool via home runs. Chris Alleyne hit the first pitch he saw for a solo home run to extend the lead to 3-1. Two batters later, just like last night, the red hot Ben Cowles hit a solo home run for his Big Ten-leading 16th home run of the season to make it 4-1. Cowles has hit a home run in every series so far this season and his batting average has reached .316 on the season.

With some breathing room on the scoreboard, Savacool went to work in the fifth inning, pitching a 1-2-3 inning.

Savacool got some more insurance in the sixth inning, with Bobby Zmarkzlak’s solo home run to extend the lead to 6-1.

“I’m just trying to simple everything down,” Zmarkzlak said. “I’ve been trying to hammer the fastball and on two strikes really compete and I’ve been doing a really good job of that.”

Approaching 100 pitches, Savacool returned to the mound with a four-run lead and with two outs gave up a single to Powers who stole second putting himself in scoring position. But Savacool got Evan Albrecht to hit a groundball right to him to end the inning. 

Savacool gave Maryland another quality outing when they were looking for it, pitching six innings, giving up one run on seven hits, and striking out three batters on 114 pitches en route to the win. 

“I had pretty average stuff today,” Savacool said. “I was able to make it up with some four-seam command and battling, competing for six innings.”

Maryland would add another run in the seventh inning to make it 6-1. Ryan Ramsey came out of the bullpen and closed out three stress-free innings to allow Maryland to win their fifth-straight series, their ninth-straight win at home, can go for the sweep tomorrow and most importantly continue their push towards their first NCAA Tournament berth since 2017.

“It’s been a good start to the weekend but we got a big one left tomorrow,” Vaughn said.

Terps make offensive statement in series opener, shutout Boilermakers

Behind a five-run first inning, Maryland overpowered Purdue to shut out the Boilermakers 11-0 in the series opener Friday from Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium.

The Terps attacked Purdue starting pitcher Calvin Schapira right away with a leadoff triple by Chris Alleyne. A Matt Shaw RBI sacrifice fly brought the speedy Alleyne home to quickly make the score 1-0.

“When [Alleyne] is going our offense is just different,” coach Rob Vaughn said.

But Maryland wasn’t done in the inning, as a Ben Cowles single, a Bobby Zmarzlak single along with a Tommy Gardiner walk loaded the bases with two outs allowing the hot-hitting Justin Vought to come up to the plate. 

Vought, who hit three home runs Sunday against Illinois in game two of the doubleheader had a chance to break the game open early. He didn’t wait to continue his hot home run streak. 

Vought hit the first pitch he saw from Schapira out to center field for a grand slam to give the Terps the early 5-0 lead. It is the big hit the Terps are looking for with runners in scoring position at this point in the season when there is no room for error in putting opponents you’re supposed to beat away early.

“The Grand Slam was huge,” Vaughn said.

Taking the mound in the second with a 5-0 lead was all starting pitcher Nick Dean needed on the evening. Dean pitched six scoreless innings giving up only six hits on 93 pitches putting together another quality, stress-free outing on his season. Purdue’s only chances in the day came on leadoff doubles in both the second and fourth inning trying to put together some offensive production to get back into the game but Dean had no trouble working around both. 

“When we have that big of a lead, it’s just really like important not to nibble around guys and just go right at them attack the zone and make them earn everything,” Dean said.

The Terps offense didn’t just settle and stop producing runs after the first inning. A Cowles RBI single added a run in the second inning. The Terps would add two runs in the fourth inning via a sacrifice fly and an RBI single push the score to 8-0. In the fifth inning, Shaw picked up his third RBI of the game on a double that brought Alleyne home to make it 9-0.

In the seventh inning, Cowles on a 2-1 pitch homered to deep center field for a solo shot to give Maryland its 11th run of the ballgame. It was Cowles Big Ten-leading 15th home run of the season and also extends his streak of homering in every series so far this season.

“It’s just business as usual,” Cowles said.

Coming into the game, Maryland sat on the bubble of the NCAA Tournament needing a strong series to give themselves a shot of making their first NCAA Tournament since 2017. They delivered their most complete game of the season behind its offense, Dean’s quality outing and stellar defense across the board. 

And now they’ll have a chance to take care of business and win the series tomorrow behind the Big Ten freshman of the week, Jason Savacool taking the mound. 

“That’s what winning baseball looks like, and they did a phenomenal job taking care of business tonight,” Vaughn said.

Savacool, Vought lead Terps to doubleheader sweep 

A cloudy day in Champaign did not stop the Terps from shining both at the plate and on the mound, propelling Maryland to a doubleheader sweep of Illinois. 

Starter Jason Savacool had a memorable outing in game one, only to be topped by his battery-mate Justin Vought in game two. 

Starter Nick Dean set the bar high with an outstanding performance on Friday night, but Savacool was up for the task. The freshman phenom shined on the mound for the Terps in game one, falling just two outs short of his third complete game of the year. He recorded a career-high seven strikeouts and allowed just four hits against an Illinois offense that came into the day leading the conference in batting average.

The Terps were firing on all cylinders in game one. After being silenced last night, Maryland’s bats came alive and capitalized on many of their chances. Bobby Zmarzlak tallied a career-high three hits and Chris Alleyne drove in three runs. Six Terps recorded multi-hit games. 

The Terps also found success on the basepaths. The team was successful in all seven of their stolen base tries, with Zmarzlak, Troy Schreffler and Ben Cowles swiping two bags apiece. It was a great all-around game for the Terps, who bounced back in a big way after Friday’s tough loss.

The Terps scored their first run of the series in the third on Alleyne’s RBI single. Alleyne scored from first on freshman Matt Shaw’s RBI double down the third base line, giving Maryland a 2-0 lead. That is all the run support Savacool needed.

Sporting No. 45 for Gerrit Cole, the freshman flashed shades of the Yankees right-hander early on, retiring the first nine Illini hitters. Illinois got on the board with an RBI fielder’s choice from Justin Janas but the Illini were unable to tack on any more runs.

Savacool continued to shine, striking out Janas and right fielder Cam McDonald for his career-high seventh strikeout of the afternoon. The freshman sailed through the seventh with only three hits allowed. 

In the eighth, Alleyne extended the Terps lead to 5-1 with an RBI single, his third of the afternoon. Still in search of his first home run of the series, Cowles came up later in the inning but struck out swinging. 

Savacool worked around one hit in the eighth and got slugger Jackson Raper to fly out to center and end the inning. The freshman was back on the hill to begin the ninth, but following a hit batsmen and a single, Savacool’s stellar start ended just two outs short of a complete game. 

Closer Sam Bello entered the game, and things got a little too close for comfort for the Terps. With the bases loaded and the Illini down to their final out, catcher Jacob Campbell hit Bello’s offering off the wall for a two-run double, cutting the Terps’ lead to two. Bello was able to close out the game with a strikeout of pinch-hitter Tom Jurack, and the Terps evened the series at one apiece by taking game one 5-3. 

While the story of game one was the Terps’ success on the hill, Maryland’s offense led the charge in game two.

Down 1-0, the Terps were held quiet until the fourth inning. After being bogged down all series long, the Terps’ bats finally came alive. Maxwell Costes led off the fourth with a single before Tommy Gardiner laced a single into right, moving Costes to third. With one out, left fielder Tucker Flint stepped up to the plate and delivered an opposite-field three run homer to left. 

But the Terps weren’t done. Catcher Justin Vought followed up Flint’s homer with one of his own, a solo shot to left center.

Maryland’s offensive onslaught had just begun.

Vought led off the sixth with his second homer of the day, another solo shot to left. Alleyne followed with a homer of his own, and the Terps went back-to-back for the second time in three innings.

The Illini pushed across one run in the sixth and seventh innings to cut Maryland’s lead to three, but that was the closest they would get.

Vought’s career day at the plate was not over. The catcher unloaded on a 1-1 offering from reliever Ryan Kutt for his third home run of the game, becoming the first Terp with a three-homer game since 2009. Two batters later, Ben Cowles joined the home run party with his Big-Ten leading 14th homer of the season, giving him a home run in each series this season. The two solo home runs gave the Terps an 8-3 lead.

As the rain started to fall, the Terps continued to pour it on. Schreffler came around to score on a wild pitch and give the Terps a 9-3 lead in the ninth. Later in the inning, Vought stepped to the plate with a chance at history: a four home run game. While he did not hit one out, the catcher did lace an RBI single to left field for his fourth RBI of the game. Shaw kept the line moving with a two-run single to give the Terrapins 12 runs on the day. 

The Illini tacked on one in the bottom half, but David Falco shut the door on the Illini’s comeback hopes, giving the Terps another series win.

Maryland has won eight of their past nine and 11 of their last 13. With only three series left in the regular season, the Terps have caught fire at the right time.

The Terrapins will be back at the “Bob” next weekend for a three-game set versus a struggling Purdue ball club that has lost five of their last six.

Terps’ winning streak snapped in 2-0 defeat to Illinois

The Terps (19-14) saw their six-game win streak come to an end on Friday night, dropping a 2-0 pitchers duel to Illinois (16-16).

The starters for both clubs were the stories of the night, with both pitchers going 7 2/3 innings. Illini sophomore Andrew Hoffmann recorded a career high 12 strikeouts, with the first eight coming through the first four innings. Hoffmann threw 80 of his 111 pitches for strikes, giving up only three hits, no runs and no walks. The sophomore’s 12 strikeouts were the most in a game for an Illini pitcher since April 2016. 

Hoffmann got out to a hot start and never cooled off. The tall, lanky right-hander made quick work of the Terps early on, striking out six through three frames. He caught hitters off guard on his breaking ball, which sat about 20 miles per hour slower than his fastball. The two-time transfer student pounded the strike zone all night, getting the Terps hitters to chase. The righty reached two strike counts against each of the first nine Terps hitters.

Dean retired the first seven batters he faced, but faced trouble in the third. Left fielder Nathan Aide came up with the first hit of the game for either side with one out in the bottom of the third. Two pitches later, Freshman Cal Hejza hit an opposite field RBI single to put the Illini on the board. 

Chris Alleyne got things going for the Terps with a leadoff single in the fourth. Hoffmann responded with his seventh strikeout of the night, getting Matt Shaw to strike out swinging. Alleyne promptly stole second for his conference-leading 19th steal of the season. The speedy Alleyne advanced to second on a Ben Cowles groundout but the right hander worked out of trouble and recorded his eighth strikeout, stranding Alleyne on third. 

In the bottom of the fifth, leadoff hitter Taylor Jackson reached third on a three-base error off an errant throw from third baseman Tommy Gardiner. Illinois was unable to drive Jackson home as slugger Jackson Raper ended the inning with a flyout to right.

The Terps were unable to capitalize off of catcher Riley Langerman’s one out single in the sixth, as Hoffman continued to cruise through six. 

Designated hitter Justin Janas got on base to start the bottom half of the inning with a slow roller that hugged the third base line for a single. Tommy Gardiner made up for his fielding blunder in the fifth with a heads-up play. Gardiner intentionally dropped a lineout to third to get the lead runner at second, but catcher Ryan Hampe was called safe at first after a lengthy review, leaving manager Rob Vaughn displeased and looking for an explanation from the umpiring crew. The questionable call did not seem to phase Dean, though. He left Hampe stranded on first and recorded his first strikeout to end the inning.

With one out in the seventh, Maxwell Costes reached first on his 15th hit by pitch of the year, the second most in the conference. It was just the fourth base runner allowed by Hoffmann. The sophomore recorded his career-high 10th strikeout of the game after Tommy Gardiner was caught looking to end the top of the inning.

Both pitchers shined through seven innings, with Dean giving up just one earned run on four hits, and Hoffmann striking out a career-high ten on just two hits while giving up no runs. Neither pitcher allowed a walk through seven innings. Maryland saw only two runners reach scoring position through the seventh. 

Hoffmann recorded his 11th strikeout for the first out of the eighth, which gave him 7 1/3 innings pitched on the night, a new career-high. Hoffmann seemed to get better as the game went on. He recorded four straight strikeouts in the seventh and eighth innings as he climbed over 100 pitches. Catcher Riley Langerman ended Hoffmann’s excellent outing with a two-out bloop single in the eighth, but Cole Kirschsieper came on in relief, getting Alleyne to pop out to shortstop. 

Dean also came back out for the eighth, starting the inning at only 80 pitches. After recording two quick outs, the sophomore walked Branden Comia, the first free pass issued by either team. Five pitches later, Janas hit a single down the right field line to advance Comia to third, ending Dean’s excellent outing. Elliot Zoellner’s first pitch in relief was a wild one, scoring Comia from third and giving the Illini a much-needed insurance run. Zoellner escaped further trouble with a Hampe groundout on the next pitch.

Matt Shaw gave the Terps life with a leadoff walk in the ninth, but Kirschsieper recorded a huge strikeout of slugger Ben Cowles, who looked to be swinging for the fences during his at bat. Kirschsieper followed the Cowles strikeout with a punchout of Costes for the second out of the inning. The sophomore earned his second save of the year by retiring Matt Orlando, giving Illinois a 2-0 win. 

With the win, Illinois gets back to .500 for the first time since starting 6-6. This was only the Illini’s third win this year when scoring five runs or less. Dean took the tough-luck loss, and Hoffman earned his second win of the year.

Due to expected inclement weather on Sunday, the Terps will take on the Illini for two at Illinois Field. The first game starts at noon with the pitching matchup uncertain due to the sudden schedule change. The series finale will begin 30 minutes after the conclusion of game one.

Struggles on the mound and plate hinder Terps on route to series win over Minnesota

There have certainly been prettier games played by the Maryland Terrapins, but even so, today’s game ended in success in the form of a 6-3 win over the Minnesota Golden Gophers and a series sweep.  

Today’s game was a stark contrast to the previous two played in this Minnesota series. In nine innings of baseball the Terrapins produced just 12 hits and changed pitchers a total of six times.  

Maryland’s pitching staff just couldn’t seem to find their stride today as even consistent starter Sean Burke struggled early in todays game. Burke lasted just three innings and during that time he recorded only two strikeouts. While he may not have given up many runs, he didn’t exactly produce the strong performance that makes him such a standout player among this Maryland Pitching staff.  

Logan Ott did not fare much better when he entered the game in the fourth inning, and he was pulled midway through the fifth after giving up two home runs, allowing Minnesota on the board. David Falco closed out the fifth before being replaced by Ryan Ramsey for the sixth, marking four pitching changes in nearly as many innings. Connor Staine and Sam Bello finished off the eighth and ninth innings respectively, and while the Terps did end up victorious in the end, the pitching road that it took to get there was anything but successful.  

On the offensive end, Maryland continued to struggle and stray away from the explosive offensive team that showed up in the 12-4 win over the same Minnesota team on Friday. Justin Vought had a standout two-run home run in the second, and the third marked a clutch two-run bases loaded single from Tommy Gardiner to put the Terps ahead by four.  

Besides these few highlights, Maryland continued struggling offensively as a continuation from the problems seen in yesterday’s game. Too many runners were left on base, especially considering the Terps had a narrow lead going into the second half of the game. 12 runners were left on base throughout today’s game, and even just two of those runs could have provided the run support and cushion for the struggling pitching staff, and perhaps could have saved one or two pitching changes from needing to happen.  

The pitching staff and offensive energy will need to wake up and recognize that there is work that needs to be done. With just four weeks of baseball left, if Maryland wants to become a big conversation in the Big Ten Conference they will need to start working on their consistency, because the team that showed up Friday night is not the same team that showed up yesterday and today.  

The Terps will be traveling to Illinois next weekend for a three-game series, and it provides Maryland the chance to play to their abilities and increase that conversation in the conference that is so important as the season starts to come to a close.  

Maryland takes game two in stunning walk-off fashion

Tommy Gardiner just completed all baseball players’ dreams by securing a walk in the bottom of the ninth with the bases loaded, two outs, and a tie ball game to get the win for the Terps, 4-3.  

Matthew Shaw, Maxwell Costes and Luke Shliger were all walked in the ninth inning by Minnesota’s Noah DeLuga prior to Gardiner’s walk off walk, an inning that is sure to jack up his already-high ERA for the season.  

Today’s game looked very different than last night’s game as Maryland’s offense seemed to sleep through most of the game. Save for Chris Alleyne’s leadoff homer on the very first pitch of the game, Maryland was quiet and suffered through four scoreless innings before managing to tack on a second run in the in the sixth inning off an RBI single from Maxwell Costes.  

Despite the win, Maryland’s offense struggled through the game. Last night, Coach Rob Vaughn was proud of his team for managing to score early, often and throughout all innings of the game. But today, the four scoreless innings and lack of offensive energy spelled out a very different story for this Maryland offense.  

Perhaps the most disappointing aspect of today’s offensive game was the lack of game coming out of star Senior Benjamin Cowles. Cowles went 0-4 today and dropped his batting average to .318, falling to second on the team behind Shaw’s average of .319. His lack of offensive plays didn’t inhibit the Terps as they still secured the win today, however Cowles is going to need to work himself out of today’s funk for future matchups.  

Minnesota took the lead early in the second for the first time all weekend of RBI leader Ronald Sweeny’s two-run shot. The Gophers offense dealt with a problem similar to Maryland as their star offensive player Zach Raabe went 0-3 with a walk, unusual for the junior who leads Minnesota in numerous categories including batting average, hits and runs, among others.  

Maryland will face off against Minnesota tomorrow afternoon at noon to close out the series, but changes will need to be made to today’s offensive game. Minnesota is a team that has struggled all year to hold their opponents’ offensive game, but Maryland continues to struggle with scoring opportunities and stringing hits together, a problem that needs to be solved to close out this series and to get Maryland back into the conference and post-season conversation.  

Explosive offense, lockdown pitching secures a Terps win

Minnesota’s losing streak just keeps growing, and the way Maryland performed tonight in their 12-4 win over the Golden Gophers, their losing streak is going to take a massive hit the rest of the weekend.  

The pieces have finally started to fall into place for this Maryland offense, and the players have proven that their previous winning streak was anything but a fluke. The bats came alive early and often, and Terps were relentless throughout the game both on the offensive and defensive ends.  

The first half of the game featured numerous hits from a variety of players, truly showcasing the versatility that this Maryland offense has grown into at this point in the season in their ability to score off of different players and score throughout the game. 

The first inning alone exhibited four different players with impressive hits of their own. Matthew Shaw got the offense rolling with a long double, immediately followed by star Senior Benjamin Cowles and his own double and scoring his teammate. Two doubles weren’t enough in the first inning for the Terps as Maxwell Costes returns the favor to Cowles by bringing him in on his own double. Maryland wasn’t finished and Tucker Flint rounded out the first inning with a two-run shot to make their lead 4-0 heading into the second.  

Cowles proved in the second inning why he is the heart and soul of this Maryland offense after sending out a two-run homer to extend Maryland’s lead by two.  

Minnesota’s pitching struggled all night, and in the third a bases-loaded walk from Cowles put another run on the board for the Terps. Bases-loaded walks seemed to be a theme for the struggling Golden Gophers defense as the Maryland offense racked up two more runs off of walks in in the third and the sixth.  

The Terps offense cooled down a bit towards the second half of the game, but the team was still making strong contact against Minnesota. All of the contact happened to go straight to Minnesota players, but it was strong contact nonetheless. 

Nick Dean did not disappoint on the mound tonight, lasting well through the eighth inning before Ryan Ramsey took over. Dean started the game strong, recording seven strikeouts during his time on the mound and countless other easy pop ups for his defense to grab.  

The Terps will have two more chances to take the series against the Minnesota Golden Gophers this weekend. Game two will kick off tomorrow afternoon at 2:00 P.M., and Maryland will need to continue scoring early and often, as well as continuing to use all aspects of their lineup to secure two more wins this weekend as well as wins in future series.  

Terps Comeback For 9-7 Win Over Northwestern To Take 3-of-4 In Iowa

In a high-scoring game that saw the lead change hands four times, Maryland outlasted Northwestern, 9-7, to win for the third time this weekend in Iowa City, IA. Overall, Maryland has now won six of its last seven games and stands at 16-13 this season. 

The Terps took the lead for good with a three-run fifth inning, to lead 7-6 and added two more runs in the seventh. In that fifth inning, Northwestern had taken a 6-4 lead in the their half on a two-run single by Ethan O’Donnell. Bobby Zmarzlak answered O’Donnell with his own two-run single to tie the game in the bottom of the fifth. Then, Chris Alleyne’s single to right brought home Zmarzlak for the go-ahead run.  

Sean Fisher’s relief pitching was a major story in the game. The senior came into the game with a 9.00 ERA on the season, but had his best outing of the year. Coming on for Jason Savacool, who lasted just 4 1/3 innings, Fisher threw 4 2/3 innings to earn the win. Fisher did not allow an earned run, striking out five Wildcats. 

Northwestern opened the scoring in the first on a throwing error from catcher Luke Shliger, allowing Shawn Goosenberg to score, 1-0. The Terps came out swinging at their first at bat, with Maxwell Costes and Tommy Gardiner each driving a run in on singles to center field scoring Benjamin Cowles and Costes. Shliger then scored on an error by the catcher to bring the score at the end of the first to 3-1, Maryland.

The Wildcats tallied one run in the second as Leo Kaplan singled to left field allowing O’Donnell to score. Maryland was able to strengthen their lead off Matt Shaw’s single to bring home Chris Alleyne, pushing the lead to 4-2. 

Northwestern tied up the game on a double to left field from Goosenberg, driving in Kaplan, evening the game at 4-4. The Wildcats then took the lead in the fifth, 6-4. But, Maryland bounced right back, re-capturing the lead once again, 7-6. 

The Terps added to their lead in the seventh inning recording two more runs. Kevin Keister grounded into a double play to bring home Gardiner and Tucker Flint was able to score off a throwing error by the shortstop Goosenberg. 

Fisher held the Wildcats scoreless through the eighth and allowed just one final run in the ninth, off a single to left-center. The Terps will look to continue their winning momentum as they take on the Minnesota Gophers (4-23), who have lost 10 games in a row, next weekend in College Park.

Ott great in first start, bullpen shuts it down in 2-1 win over Northwestern

Behind Logan Ott’s solid outing in his first career collegiate start and pitching win, Maryland beat Northwestern 2-1 Saturday from Duane Banks Field.

In the first inning, Ott got his collegiate pitching career off to a great start recording his first collegiate strikeout on the first batter he faced in Anthony Calarco. Later in the inning, Ott would get another strikeout against Stephen Hrustich to record a scoreless first.

In the second inning, Ott’s debut hit a bumpy road allowing a single and a RBI double to Ethan O’ Donnell that gave Northwestern an early 1-0. But instead of being rattled in his start Ott would settle in and get some run support.

In the third inning, Maryland would put together a two-out rally against Northwestern starter Mike Doherty. Chris Alleyne drew a walk, a Matthew Shaw single would bring the red hot Benjamin Cowles up to the plate. He delivered a RBI single to left field to tie the game at 1-1. It appeared it would stay tied when a Maxwell Costes grounder to third base could have ended the inning — but Evan Minarovic booted the ball, allowing Costes to reach and Shaw to score as Maryland took the lead back for good.

Ott now with a lead return to the mound in the bottom of the third, pitching a quick 1-2-3 inning. In the fourth inning Ott gave up a leadoff single to Michael Trautwein but retired the next three batters with no stress. In the fifth inning Ott would give up a double with one out to Minarovic but retired the next two batters to strand the tying run at second base.

In the sixth inning, Maryland had its best chance to give Ott and the pitching staff some more run support, loading the bases in an unorthodox way. Costes reached on an error, Tucker Flint was intentionally walked and Matt Orlando drew a walk. However, with two outs, Justin Vought struck out to end the threat and the inning.

Ott would come out for the sixth inning and emptied the tank by getting Hrustich to fly out and striking out both Trautwein and David Dunn swinging to cap off his stellar debut.

Ott’s night was over as he finished with six innings, one earned run, and five strikeouts on 77 pitches. Most importantly, Ott put his team in a great position to win the game.

With the bullpen taking over in the seventh inning needing to get the remaining nine outs, Sean Heine was up first, pitching a stress-free 1-2-3 inning.

In the top of the eighth inning, Maryland again had a chance to add onto its lead when Luke Shliger was hit by a pitch, stole second and third base with one out to put himself in position to score. But Tommy Gardiner struck out and Flint grounded out to second base to end the threat.

Tyler Blohm was the next man out the bullpen and retired the first batter he faced but gave up a single and a walk and was pulled from the game. David Falco was summoned out of the bullpen to play the fireman role and keep Maryland’s lead with runners on second and third. Falco got Hrustich to fly out for the second out the inning, but a passed ball moved the runners up to second and third. A walk of Trautwein loaded the bases, and with the game on the line, Falco got Dunn to strike out and put out the fire.

In the top of the ninth, Maryland had runners on second and third with two outs with Cowles at the plate, but he struck out looking to end the threat. Maryland finished the game going 1-14 with runners in scoring position, but it wouldn’t matter behind the outing from the pitching staff with Falco finishing the game off in the bottom of the inning to secure a 2-1 win and the second win on the day.

Cowles Early Homer, Dean’s solid outing leads Maryland to 8-6 win

Benjamin Cowles stepped up to the plate in the top of the first in a familiar spot with runners on the bases with the chance to do damage. On the very first pitch he saw Cowles hit a three-run home run to right field to put Maryland up 3-0 on Iowa. That was all the offense Maryland needed to kickstart a 8-6 win over the Iowa Hawkeyes Saturday afternoon from Duane Banks Field.

In the top of the first, Iowa starting pitcher Drew Irvine struggled with his command early and walked Chris Alleyne and Matthew Shaw to start the game and bring up Cowles to the plate. Cowles wasn’t taking the first pitch he saw and hit his twelfth home run of the season to give Maryland an early 3-0 lead on a perfect start before they even recorded an out.

In the top of the fourth inning Maryland’s top of the order inflicted damage again. Alleyne started the inning with a stand-up double and had a good read on a breaking ball in the dirt and stole third base. Shaw single up the middle brought Alleyne home and extend Maryland’s lead to 4-0.

Maryland starting pitcher Nick Dean took the mound in the bottom of the first with a 3-0 and stranded a runner in scoring position to start his outing. In the second inning Dean gave up a leadoff double to Zeb Adreon who tagged on a fly out to right field to put him on third base with one out. But Dean would strike out the next two hitters he faced to get out of the inning strand another runner in scoring position.

In the fourth inning, with a runner on first base and one out Dean would get Dylan Nedved to ground into a double play to end the inning.

In the fifth inning, Dean was faced with another jam, giving up two singles to have runners on first and second base. Dean would induce another double play to end the inning and get out of the jam and maintain the 4-0 lead.

In the sixth inning, after getting into another jam of two runners on base with two outs, Dean thought he had gotten out of the inning. Nedved hit a fly out to right field but right fielder Tucker Flint misplayed the ball allowing two runs to score on the RBI double and cut the Maryland lead to 4-2. The next batter Matthew Sosa grounded out to second base but the ball took a bad hop on Kevin Keister into the outfield allowing another run to score and advance Sosa to second base, representing the tying run. But Dean caught Sosa leaning off on second base on the next at-bat and picked him off to get out of the inning and maintain a 4-3 lead for Maryland and set himself up for a win.

Maryland’s offense answered back in the top of the seventh inning to pick up its defense. After Luke Shliger worked a walk to start the inning, Tommy Garndiner double off the wall in left center brought him home to extend the lead to 5-3. The next batter Flint made up for his error in the sixth inning with a RBI single to extend the lead to 6-3. After a walk and two sacrifice bunts, Shaw stepped up to the plate and blew the game open with a two-out RBI single to right cap off the big inning for Maryland and a lead of now 8-3.

Iowa would add two more runs in the eighth inning and would make things interesting in the ninth inning with some loud deep contact off of closer Sam Bello. But Bello — with the tying run at the plate — got the last out and put the finishing touches on a 8-6 win on the first of two games on the day for Maryland in the heart of their Big Ten schedule.