The ran fell heavily enough to delay the start of Wednesday's baseball game between the Maryland Terrapins and the VCU Rams but not heavily enough to postpone it. Based on the outcome, Maryland would have likely been better served by a postponement than by the 9 - 7 loss to a team ranked 137 in the RPI.
Jake Drossner started for the the Terps and what a rough start it was as VCU's lead off hitter whacked the first pitch of the game high off the fence in center for a double. A bunt single and a ground out to second brought home the first run of the game. The second eventually scored on (look for a recurring theme here) a wild pitch and Maryland, which went three up and three down, trailed 2-0 at the end of one. The Rams doubled their lead to four in the top of the second on back to back doubles, a ground out and another wild pitch.
The Terps mustered an opportunity in the bottom of the second. Kyle Convissar led off the inning with a bloop single to center and Kevin Martir followed with a bloop to left center that fell between the shortstop and left fielder. A VCU wild pitch did the job of the expected sacrifice from Anthony Papio who eventually walked to load the bases with none out. Jack Cleary bounced a chopper to third and was out at first on a bang-bang play but he did knock in Convissar to put Maryland on the scoreboard and move the other runners up a base. Blake Schmit followed Cleary with a fly ball to right center that scored Martir to pull the Terps within two.
Drossner settled down to pitch a scoreless third, fourth, and fifth getting out of a two on and two out scrape in the top of the fourth. Papio led off the Maryland fourth with an opposite field line drive into the corner in left for a stand-up double. After two ground outs, Jose Cuas was hit by a pitch but Charile WHite ground out on a come backer to end the inning. Jordan Hagel led off the top of the fifth with a towering fly ball the VCU's left fielder never really saw. It didn't really matter because the ball sailed out of Bob "Turtle" Smith Stadium for Hagel's fourth home run of the season. The Rams changed pitchers after Martir drew a two out walk and Papio responded pulling a ball into the right field corner for a game tying RBI triple.
The tie didn't last long. Brady Kirkpatrick came in to start the top of the sixth for Maryland and gave up a first pitch single, a walk, a bunt single down the third base line and a single to left and the Rams took the lead for good. But they weren't done. Jared Price came in to a bases loaded no out situation. After he struck out the first batter, I began to hope that I could incorporate the phrase "the Price was right" into this recap. And though he did strike out the second batter, he did so on a wild pitch that allowed a run to score. A walk and a single to right later and VCU led 8-4.
The Terps wouldn't go quietly, though striking back for three in the bottom of the inning. Schmit got hit by a pitch leading off the inning and Jose Cuas lined a single to left. White, bunting for a base hit, popped foul to the catcher for the first out. However, Hagel continued his hot night lacing a grounder over the bag at third for an RBI double. With runners on second and third, LaMonte Wade lined a ball into right center that he hustled into a double scoring Cuas and Hagel. Neither Convissar nor Martir could pick him up and Wade became the seventh Terrapin left on base through the first six innings. I would have diagnosed this a a mild case of LOB-itis but things would take a turn for the worse over Maryland's last three at bats.
Bottom of the seventh: Papio leads off with a line drive single to center. Cleary bunts him to second. Schmit lays a perfect bunt down the third base line for a single to put runners on the corners with one out. Cuas pops out to second and White hits a grounder that forces Schmit. (LOB total now = 9)
Bottom of the eighth: Hagel leads off with a ground single through the right side of the infield. He moves to second on Wade's sac bunt of all things. Convissar is hit by a pitch and on a run and hit, Martir hits a chopper to third that puts runners on second and third with two out. Papio flies out to center. (LOB total now = 11)
Bottom of the ninth with the Terps now trailing by two after VCU pushed across an insurance tun in the top of tghe frame: Schmit pops a one out double off the fence in left center. K.J. Hockaday, pinch hitting for Cuas, bounces a ball to third and VCU's third baseman bounces his throw to first allowing Schmit to take third and Hockaday to reach second. Second and third. One out. Top of the order coming up. A bottom of the ninth rally is in order. Charlie White strikes out looking. Jordan Hagel drives a fly ball to center it carries to the warning track one step in front of the fence. Final out. Game over. Terps lose 9-7. LOB total = 13.
Todd Carton (AKA FHFAN)
P.S. Dan - Michigan was 22-34 and 8-16 in the B1G in 2012. To date they stand at 25-22 and 10-8. So that's how Bakich is doing.