Maryland traveled down Route 29 past UVA and on down to Lynchburg to take on the Liberty Flames. Liberty had won six of their last seven games with their only loss coming in College Park last week. The Terps took care of business again today defeating the Flames by a 4-2 final score.
Things didn’t start so promisingly for Maryland as Liberty nicked started Jake Drossner for a run in the bottom of the first. K.J. Hockaday, back in the starting lineup at third for the Terps, got Maryland’s first hit in the top of the second but was stranded at second. The Terps threatened again in the third when Charlie White lined a one out first pitch single to left. Jordan Hagel pulled a double over the head of the leaping third baseman with White taking third. However, LaMonte Wade bounced softly back to the pitcher and first pitch swinging Kevin Martir skied to right to end the threat. Liberty mad Maryland pay, putting up an unearned run in the bottom half of the inning to take a 2-0 lead. It took the Terps until the top of the fifth to get on the board. Jose Cuas started the rally lining a one out single to left. White fanned for the second out but Hagel lined another double into the left field corner but Cuas didn’t get a good jump on the ball and held at third. Wade lined a single to shallow left easily scoring Cuas. Hagel came around when Liberty’s left fielder, thinking he had a shot to get Hagel at the plate, came up throwing before he picked up the ball and booted it allowing Hagel to score easily.
In the top of the six, The Terrapins got their beak in front for the first time. Anthony Papio led of the inning drawing a walk after digging out of a 1-2 hole. Hockaday golfed a 1-2 pitch into left center for a bloop single to put runners on first and second. Szefc called on Andrew Amaro to lay down the sacrifice and Amaro responded with a bunt to the pitcher that advanced the runners. Blake Schmit chopped an 0-2 pitch that Liberty’s second baseman mishandled the bal and Papio scored. Cuas struck out after getting himself in an 0-2 hole practically leaping out of the batter’s box to make contact on an apparent suicide squeeze and White forced Schmit at second. Drossner got into deep hot water in the bottom of the sixth giving up a Texas League single to center and a double to shallow right to start the inning but he escaped getting three straight grounders to Hockaday to finish his work for the day.
The Terps got an insurance run in the ninth. After White ground out to short Hagel was hit by a pitch. Wade bounced a high chopper to second moving Hagel to second. Martir picked him up with a line drive double into the corner in left. Kevin Mooney came on to work the ninth for the Terps and after getting the first two batters, being Kevin Mooney, he walked a man and hit the next Flames batter on an 0-2 pitch to put the tying run on base and bring the potential winning run to the plate. But Mooney being Mooney, as he has most of the year, got the final out on a strikeout to earn his eighth save of the year and preserve the win for the Terrapins who travel to Clemson for games Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.
Todd Carton (AKA FHFAN)