The final game of the three-game set between Maryland and Wake Forest pitted Zach Morris (0 - 0, 1.00 ERA) vs. RHP Connor Kaden (2 - 2, 3.37 ERA). This was Zach Morris' first official start as a Terrapin. He had started last Saturday's game against Clemson that ended up getting rained out after an inning of play. Morris sat out last season after transferring from Cincinnati, where he started 12 games and led the team in ERA (3.11). The red shirt sophomore hails from Edgewater, MD and went to DeMatha Catholic high school.
Morris had a tough task in his first start: stop the bleeding. By virtue of taking yesterday's game, Wake Forest had assured themselves of winning the series. It would be up to Morris and the Terrapin bats to prevent a sweep and end the four-game ACC losing streak.
Maryland jumps out in front this time
Maryland scored in the first without virtue of a base hit. Charlie White was HBP, then swiped second base. Brandon Lowe walked. LaMonte Wade sacrificed the runners to second and third. White then came home on a sac fly by Kyle Convissar.
In the Terps' third White led off with a single. As if on cue he stole second. Lowe doubled and the Terps led 2 - 0. Conissar singled to left and the Terps were on top by three.
Zach Morris foiled the Demon Deacons through the first four. He had given up only two hits, although he had walked three and hit one batter. In the fifth Evan Stephens singled to center. Grant Shambley laid down a great bunt and beat out the throw to first. Charlie Morgan was unsuccessful trying to advance the runners and ended up being Morris' third strike out victim. Matt Conway walked. That was it for Morris. Bobby Ruse came on in relief with a difficult situation: bases loaded and one out. Will Craig hit a slow grounder to short. In trying to get the double play Lowe hurried his throw to first, which was off the mark. Two Wake Forest runners scored. As it turned out it didn't really matter because Connor Keniry subsequently doubled to left. But Ruse was able to get Nate Mondou to pop out to short, leaving the Terps clinging to a 3 - 2 lead.
Terps' bats wake up in the sixth and seventh
Starting the sixth Kaden had retired eight straight Terrapin batters. After Papio flied out, Nick Cieri singled through the middle. Schmit singled to shallow right. The hot hitting Jose Cuas lined a rope down the left field line for an RBI double. Pinch hitter Tim Lewis walked to load the bases. RHP John McCarron came in to relieve Kaden. White smoked a shot that the right fielder couldn't make a shoe string catch on, and the ball rolled to the wall for a two-run double. Lowe skied to deep right and Lewis scored the fourth Terrapin run in the inning. Wade walked, but Convissar grounded out to third. The Terps were on top 7 - 2.
With one out in the top of the seventh Cieri flared a single to the opposite field. Schmit was hit by a pitch. RHP Nate Jones came on in relief. After Cuas skied out to center, Lewis walked for the second straight time. The Terps had a chance to put the game away, which they did: Charlie White hit a seeing-eye grounder through the right side of the infield and the Terps led 9 - 2. Lowe hit a single to right to give the Terps an eight run lead.
Maryland relievers seal the deal
Ruse was effective in relief, limiting the Demon Deacons to two hits through 2.2 innings of work. Alex Robinson came in to pitch for the Terps in the bottom of the eighth. After getting two quick outs a throwing error by Patrick Hisle extended the inning. Robinson walked the next two hitters to load them up. Shambley hit a soft grounder to Cuas that ended up being an infield single; an unearned run scored. Morgan hit a grounder to first and the inning was over.
Maryland got the run back in the top of the ninth. Lewis walked for the third time today. White singled and runners were on the corner. Leal hit a force out at second, but Lewis scored.
Kevin Mooney came on in the bottom of the ninth to get some work in. He retired all three batters and the Terps win it 11 - 3.
Bobby Ruse got the win to go 4 - 0 on the season. Connor Kaden took the loss to fall to 2 - 3. Maryland is now 19 - 10 overall and 6 - 8 in the ACC.