After each team won a game, today was the rubber match between Maryland and Virginia Tech. Making his first weekend start for Maryland was Jake Drossner (4 - 0, 2.03 ERA) vs RHP Brad Markey (2 - 4, 2.89 ERA). Drossner had been a mid-week starter but pitched well enough to earn the weekend start.
Hokies take a 1 - 0 lead but leave money on the table
There was trouble in the bottom of the first as the bases were loaded with one out. However, Drossner got the hot hitting Phil Sciretta to bounce into a 5-4-3 double play. Unfortunately the second inning didn't work out as well. Kyle Wernicki hit a one out double, and then went to third on a ground out. It looked like Drossner might escape a second time. However, Drossner's first pitch to Ryan Tufts was wild and Wernicki came home. It ended up not mattering as Tufts subsequently singled. Saige Jenko singled and stole second, to put runners on second and third. But Alex Perez grounded out.
Through two innings the Hokies had left five men on base, four of which were in scoring position. But Drossner had thrown 50 pitches.
Terps string together three hits to take the lead
The Terps couldn't get anything going through three innings. Other than Kyle Convissar's bloop single, Markey looked in command. In the top of the fourth Brandon Lowe started things off by singling to right. LaMonte Wade followed that with a single, sending Lowe to third. Nick Cieri singled and all of a sudden the game was tied. The runners advanced on a passed ball. Anthony Papio hit a sharp grounder to short and Wade scored. The Terps led 2 - 1.
Maryland gets timely hit, unlike Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech loaded them up with one out in the bottom of the fourth. But Jenko grounded into an inning-ending double play. This was the second time today that the Hokies had the bases loaded and couldn't score. In the top of the fifth Tim Lewis singled and Brandon Lowe walked. With two outs Wade lined a single to center for an RBI. The Terps led 3 - 1.
Perez drew a four-pitch walk in the bottom of the fifth, which finished Drossner's day. Tayler Stiles came in to pitch for the Terrapins. After a line out and a walk, VA Tech hit into their third double play on the day.
Tech finally breaks through, ties the game
The Hokies didn't waste opportunities in the sixth. Sean Kesselica drew a walk. After a sacrifice bunt, Ricky Surum hit a double in the gap. Tufts followed that with an RBI single to tie the score. That brought Bobby Ruse into the game. Tufts moved to second on a bunt by Jenko. Perez hit a sharp grounder through the middle that Blake Schmit ranged far to his left to make a sparkling play on, keeping the score tied.
Hokies break the game open with 3 runs in the seventh
Mark Zagunis started off the Hokie seventh with a double. Brendon Hayden drew a walk. Sciretta sacrificed the runners to second and third. Kesselica was intentionally walked. Jared Price came into the game for the Terps. He hit Wiernicki to give VA Tech the lead. Surum hit a single to center that gave the Hokies a two-run lead. Tufts managed an infield single and the Hokies led 6 - 3. Ben Brewster came in for Maryland with the bases still loaded and one out. Jenko struck out and Perez lined out to end the inning.
The Terps managed only a single base runner in the eighth when Wade collected his third hit of the day, a single through the left side. The Hokies went scoreless in their half of the eighth. So the Terps had just one inning left to come back from a three-run deficit.
Convissar got on base via an error by Surum. Schmit walked. Michael Montville pinch hit for Papio. That brought RHP Taylor McIntyre in to the game. Montville popped out. Lewis hit a grounder that Surum fielded and ostensibly stepped on second, but threw wild to first. The Terps scored their fourth run and were down by two. But White flied out to shallow left field, and Virginia Tech had taken the series.
The Hokies outhit the Terps today 15 to 7. In fact VA Tech had 22 men reach base. Bobby Ruse took the loss to go to 4 - 1. The Terps fell to 7 - 10 in the ACC, 21 - 13 overall.