Maryland baseball: Terps top Pitt 5 - 1, take series

@mercator88

Brandon Lowe's triple broke open a tight game, and Maryland pitchers held Pitt to just three hits. With this win Maryland is almost assured of clinching a spot in the ACC Tournament for the first time since 2005.

Today’s match-up pitted Mike Shawaryn (8 – 3, 3.12 ERA) vs. RHP Joseph Harvey (2 – 1, 2.21 ERA).  Last week Shawaryn tied the Maryland single season record for victories; today he tried to take sole possession of the record. Harvey was the closer last year for the Panthers, and became a weekend starter this year. He’s currently tenth in the ACC in ERA. Earlier this season he had hurled 34 consecutive innings without giving up an earned run. Unlike yesterday’s laugher, this game had all the trappings of a hard-fought pitchers’ duel.

The game was originally scheduled to begin at 3:00 PM, but thunderstorms pushed the start back to 9:00 PM.

Both pitchers walk the tightrope

In the bottom of the first Pitt loaded the bases with no one out on singles by Stephen Vranka and Boo Vazquez, as well as a walk to Casey Roche. Steven Shelinsky popped out, but Eric Hess singled in a run. However Shawaryn escaped further damage by getting Dylan Wolsonovich to hit a grounder to Jose Cuas. After Cuas threw home, Kevin Martir rifled a throw to first for the double play.

The Terps struck back in the second inning. Blake Schmit singled to right. He stole second as Tim Lewis struck out, and went to third on the errant throw. Harvey then plunked Anthony Papio. Nick Cieri brought Schmit home with a single through the right side. When Martir was HBP the bases were loaded with one out. Charlie White tried a safety squeeze, but Harvey picked it up and threw home to nip Papio. LaMonte Wade fouled out, ending the inning.

Both pitchers had scoreless third and fourth innings.

Lowe’s triple gives Maryland the lead

Martir opened the Terrapin fifth with a solid single to center. White laid down a bunt and beat the throw to first. Harvey fell behind Wade 3 – 0, but ending up striking him out. It was Harvey’s sixth K of the game. But Brandon Lowe crushed a triple to left center, giving the Terps a 3 – 1 lead. Cuas hit a high fly to center field which brought home the third Terrapin run of the inning.

Shawaryn held Pitt scoreless in the bottom of the fifth inning.

Terps grab another run to lead by four

In the top of the sixth Cieri lined a double off of the wall in right field. Andrew Amaro came in to pinch run for Cieri. Martir sacrificed Amaro to third. White was HBP, and then swiped second. Wade walked to load the bases with Lowe coming up to bat. Lowe hit the first pitch for a fly to left that scored Cieri. That was it for Harvey, who was relieved by RHP Jon Danielczyk. He got Cuas to ground out: after five and a half the Terps led 5 – 1.

Shawaryn was still on the hill for the Terps in the bottom of the sixth. Hess flied out and Wolsonovich became Shawaryn’s third strike out victim. Johnson became his fourth. Shawaryn had gutted it out through six innings and 108 pitches. 

In the bottom of the seventh Caleb Parry flew out. Manny Pazos drew a walk and went to second on a passed ball. Vranka grounded out, which would be Shawaryn’s last batter.

The freshman had yielded only a single run on three hits, three walks, and two HBP. He had thrown a career high 120 pitches. Ben Brewster came on to face the left-handed Vazquez. It took Brewster only one pitch to get Vazquez to hit a grounder to Schmit.

The Terps were two innings away from taking the series.

Ruse is perfect

Bobby Ruse took the mound for the Terps in the bottom of the eighth. It took him only eight pitches to retire the side in order. Maryland went down 1 -2-3 in the top of the ninth. Ruse struck out Wolsonovich for the first out in the bottom of the ninth. Johnson then lined out to Wade. Ruse finished the game in style by striking out Parry.

Mike Shawaryn got his record-setting ninth victory. The win put the Terps’ record at 32 – 19 overall, 14 – 14 in the ACC. It was Maryland’s seventh consecutive victory. With the win the Terps had taken the series from Pitt, and almost certainly will be in the ACC Tournament for the first time since 2005.

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