It’s a Wednesday quadruple-header for Maryland athletes. Seventy-five percent of the action took place over in Fairfax on the campus of the George Mason Patriots – as baseball tried to build on yesterday’s home win over VCU and softball played two against the CAA foe rather than an ACC foe. In the fourth game, the number one ranke Terrapin women’s lacrosse team faced off against
eighteenth sixteenth ranked Princeton in the first of two straight against Ivy League opponents. This post covers the baseball game and the softball opener.
Baseball got the earliest start and jumped on the Patriots early. Charlie White led off for with an infield single and did what he does -stole bases – stealing second and third while LaMonte Wade was drawing a walk. Batting third, Kyle Convissar smoked a double to left driving in both White and Wade opening a 2-0 lead for the Terps. Jake Stinnett got his fourth start of the year and retired the first seven Mason hitters he faced before yielding two singles in the third but he pitched through the two out jam and held the lead at two to nothing until the top of the fourth when the Terps added to their lead. Anthony Papio set the table beating out a one out single to short. Blake Schmit followed by drawing a walk and Jack Cleary doubled home Papio with Schmit holding at third. He didn’t stay there long as Jose Cuas got the job done pushing a grounder to the right side driving in Schmit. The threat ended there but the Terrapin lead had doubled to 4-0. The Terps continued their assault on Mason pitching with two more in the fifth. Wade led off with a double to the gap in left center and moved to third on Convissar’s grounder to deep short. Tim Kiene was hit by a pitch to put runners on the corners. Kevin Martir, laid down a bunt that moved Kiene to second but left Wade on third. Papio delivered the clutch two out hit with a ground ball single between first and second giving Maryland a 6-0 lead. The situation went from good to better for the Terps in the sixth as they put up a two spot for the fourth time in the game. This time things started with walks to Cuas and Wade sandwiched around a White sacrifice bunt. Convissar went inside out and ground a single though the hole at first that drove in Cuas and moved Wade to third. Tim Kiene drove a deep fly to center easily scoring Wade. I don’t know if Coach Szefc was going for a sequel to Chinatown feel but he brought on Jake Drossner in relief of Stinnett to start the sixth and he responded by retiring the side in order.
While the baseball looked like they were in good position to avenge the early season home loss to the Patriots, the softball team was not off to as promising a start After failing to score in the top of the first when the loaded the bases on two singles and a walk, they surrendered one run in the first and three unearned runs in the second as the Terps committed two errors and the home team led 4-0 at the end of three. The Terps got on the board in the top of the fourth when Candice Beards led off the inning with a double into the left field corner. She came around to score on Corey Schwartz’s one out single. Though Schwartz moved to second with two out on a wild pitch she was stranded there as Juli Strange lined out to left to end the inning. After the defensive breakdowns in the second inning, sophomore pitcher Kaitlyn Schmeiser settled in and retired the Patriots in order in third and fourth.
After a brief respite in the top of the seventh, the Terps continued their assault on Mason pitching in the eighth. White led off with a bunt single but was forced at second on Wade’s ground ball to short. Convissar notched his third hit of the day grounding a single to left. Kiene drove a 3-1 pitch into center loading the bases. Martir followed with a grounder to third but the throw got past the first baseman and two runs scored. When Papio lined a single to right, the Terps broke the two runs in an inning barrier for the first time in the game. But they weren’t done by any stretch of the imagination. Schmit lined a single to right center scoring Martir and Cleary singled up the middle to once again load the bases. Jose Cuas’s single two right put two more on the board. The hit parade continued as White, batting for the second time in the inning singled to shallow left to load the bases again – this time for LaMonte Wade. Wade drew a walk scoring Cleary and leaving the bases loaded for Convissar. The second baseman lofted a fly ball to deep center driving in Cuas and moving White and Wade up a base. Jordan Hagle, who had come in to pinch run for Kiene stuck out to end the inning but the Terrapin lead had doubled to 16-0.
While the baseball team was moving into football scoring territory, softball was not able to duplicate their efficiency. The Terps put runners on second and third with two out in the top of the fifth but again failed to get the clutch hit. Mason again took advantage in the home half of the inning scoring twice more and putting the Terps in a 6-1 hole. Mason continued having little problem solving Maryland pitching as they score twice in the bottom of the sixth leaving the Terps one run shy of a run rule loss. The Terps tried to muster a comeback in the seventh as Amanda McCann led off with a single to left but Sara Acosta hit a grounder to second that turned into a tag out throw out double play. Lindsey Schmeiser and Shannon Bustillos followed with back to back doubles with Bustillos getting an RBI. Beards singled to right to drive in the second run of the inning and Lexi Carroll walked but that was as close as the Terps would get and they dropped the opener by a final of 8-3.
After the two Jakes held the Patriots to no runs on four hits through eight, Coach Szefc brought in Kevin Mooney to mop up in the ninth. Mooney gave up three hits including a solo homer but was able to preserve the lead as the Terps won by a final of 16-1 improving their record to 18-15 as they prepare for an important three game weekend series against the Miami Hurricane beginning Friday night at 6:30 p.m.
Todd Carton (AKA FHFAN)