Maryland Keeps Season Alive with Two Wins on Sunday

In a must-win situation entering Sunday, Maryland baseball kept their magical season alive.

Game One

Maryland kicked off Sunday with a 1 PM showdown against Wake Forest, setting up the first of two wins to salvage their season. It was Wake Forest who would strike first in the bottom of the first after a pair of doubles gave them an early 2-0 lead, but Terps’ star Maxwell Costes would come up clutch in the second inning after a two-run shot tied the game at two. But Wake Forest answered right back, retaking a 3-2 lead after a solo homer in the bottom of the fifth before a two-run bomb pushed the Demon Deacons lead to 5-2 in the bottom of the sixth, but after second baseman Kevin Keister’s solo shot in the sixth inning cut into the deficit, while also extending his home run streak to eight, the Terps would take commanding control in the eighth inning.

After Ian Petrutz walked with two outs in the top of the eighth, Bobby Zmarzlak belted a home run into left field to tie the game up at five. Wake Forest hoped a pitching change would change things, but that didn’t alter the Terps’ fate. Keister drew a four-pitch walk on the ensuing at-bat before Luke Shliger’s double brought Keister home and gave the Terps their first lead of the day. Chris Alleyne then belted a two-run homer, the hit that pushed him tied for first in single-season home runs, before Troy Schreffler doubled two at-bats later to push the lead to 9-5.

Maryland added an insurance run to kick off the top of the ninth, doubling the Terps’ advantage over Wake Forest with a 10-5 lead. David Falco ended the game with three consecutive strikeouts, keeping Maryland’s postseason run alive and setting the stage for a 7 PM rematch against UConn.

Game Two

In a possible elimination game for Maryland baseball at “The Bob”, the Terps walked it off in the 11th inning by a score of 7-6 to set the stage for a winner-take-all game on Monday night.

In the first inning, starting pitcher Nick Robinson started off with a one-two-three inning. With two outs left in the bottom half of the first, Matt Shaw then brought Nick Lorusso home to help Maryland take an early 1-0 lead. In the next at bat, Troy Schreffler hit a home run to the recently added bleachers to then take a 3-0 lead to mark the second time today the Terps have scored three or more runs in one inning with two outs.

The Terps and Huskies remained scoreless through the next three innings, but Robinson got into another jam in the fifth, this time with runners on first and second. This time, though, he got out of it with a grounder to second to keep the score 3-0 which proved to be his last outing on the night. Then to lead off the bottom of the fifth, Lorusso went deep to left center to make it a 4-0 ballgame. But the Terps’ bullpen struggled in the top of the six after Nigel Belgrave, Will Glock, and Michael Walsh gave up four runs before getting out of the inning with a tied game as the Huskies tied the game.

Walsh started off the seventh inning but after walking the first batter, manager Rob Vaughn pulled him in favor of Sean Heine to attempt to close out the top half of the inning. Heine would then retire the next three batters to keep the game tied at 4-4. Leading off for the Terps, Alleyne doubled to left field, which led to the Huskies switching pitchers for the second time in the game. The Terps retook the lead after an errored throw to first as well as to home plate off a Matt Shaw hit. Maxwell Costes then hit a single and brought home Shaw to give the Terps a 6-4 lead.

In the top of the eighth, the Huskies were able to cut back into the lead by making it a 6-5 game after Schreffler just missed a catch to end the inning. After the Huskies cut it to within one, Vaughn then brought in Ryan Ramsey, but the Huskies then tied the game up off a wild pitch by Ramsey. The Terps’ ace regrouped and would then strike out the last batter to send it to the bottom half of the eighth for the Terps to try and retake the lead. The Terps did not get any baserunners in the eighth, so the game was tied heading into the ninth.

Ramsey came back out for the Terps in the top of the ninth. He then shut out the Huskies to send it to the bottom of the ninth tied for the Terps to potentially walk it off. But in the ninth, the Terps were only able to muster one baserunner and were not able to score, sending it to extra innings for the first time in the College Park Regional.

Neither team were able to take advantage in the tenth as freshman reliever Andrew Johnson came in for the Terps in the 11th to pitch a shutout inning to send it to the bottom of the inning. That’s when the Terps were finally able to take advantage.

With the bases loaded and one out for the Terps, Lorusso hit a single off the wall to bring Shaw home and win the game to send an erupting crowd in College Park into a frenzy.

With the win, Maryland will now face UConn a third time in a winner-take-all game. Maryland will host UConn at 7 PM on Monday night with a chance to advance to the super regional.