Maryland ace Jimmy Reed got the start for the Terps and struck out six Hurricanes in the first four innings while holding them hitless until one out in the top of the fifth. Although he also surrendered a two out walk, he retired the last batter on a soft line drive to first. Miami’s starter was equally effective also holding the Terps hitless through four and allowing only a first inning walk to Jordan Hagel. Coach Szefc shuffled the lineup a bit due to an injury to K.J. Hockaday. Hagel had a solid return to the starting lineup in starting in right field while Jack Cleary got the star at catcher and Kevin Martir moved into the DH slot.Hagel, by the way, was thrown out trying to steal second after his first inning walk.
With two out in the fifth Jack Cleary, starting at catcher, was hit by a pitch. Anthony Papio laced a double to the fence in left center and in an uncharacteristically conservative choice Coach Szefc elected to hold Cleary at third. With two on and two out, Blake Schmit ground out to second to end the inning ending the threat. Reed got a real boost from the Terrapin defense in the top of the sixth. Following a leadoff ground out, the next hitter drilled a line drive that third baseman Jose Cuas couldn’t handle. The ball caromed right to Schmit who threw the runner out at first in an unusual five to six to three putout. The next batter lined a soft single to center and moved to second on a wild pitch. The fourth batter of the inning drove a line single to right but Hagel charged the ball and made a two hop throw to Cleary who put the tag on the runner trying to score from second and maintain Reed’s shutout.
Maryland had another opportunity to score in the bottom of the sixth when they got back to back two our singles from Hagel and Kyle Convissar but again couldn’t push a run across. Reed continued to control the Hurricane lineup allowing only one Miami base runner on an error by first baseman LaMonte Wade over the final three innings. He would also finish with ten strikeouts. The Terps, meanwhile, mounted another two out threat in the bottom of the eighth. Charlie White got things started with a bunt single and Hagel sent a line drive into right center that moved White to third. Convissar walked to load the bases but Martir struck out to end the inning.
Brandon Casas came on to start the tenth for Maryland and retired the side in order. Maryland would make one last threat in the bottom of the eleventh. Hagel led off and reached on an error by the third baseman who failed to cleanly field his soft grounder. Convissar, trying to bunt popped the first pitch foul to the catcher. Hagel move up on Martir’s ground out to short and the Canes intentionally walked Wade. With left handed power hitter Tim Kiene on the bench and no one warming in the Miami bullpen, Szefc elected leave Cleary in to bat in a righty-right match up. Cleary hit a routine fly to right to end the inning. Casas got through easily in the eleventh and twelfth before yielding a one out double into the left field corner. Kevin Mooney came on in relief and promptly issued a four pitch walk. After retiring the next hitter on a soft fly to left, the freshman looked to be on the verge of getting out of the inning but a single to shallow right drove in the only run of the night. The Terps went three up and three down in the bottom of the thirteenth. The two teams meet again on Saturday in another 6:30 pm start.
Todd Carton (AKA FHFAN)