The Terps travelled to Richmond to take on the #40 ranked VCU Rams. Maryland sent out Zach Morris (2-1, 2.45 ERA) to face VCU's Seth Greene (2 - 0, 2.89 ERA). It was an important midweek game, as Maryland had an opportunity to improve their RPI by beating the Rams (32 - 12). Earlier in the year Maryland had defeated VCU 5 - 2 in a game played at Shipley Field. In that game control problems led to the Rams' demise. It would plague them once again.
Terps pull ahead by three runs
In the top of the third Nick Cieri got the Terps' first hit, a single up the middle. Kevin Martir sacrificed Cieri to second. Charlie White was HBP to put runners on first and second. On a full count LaMonte Wade delivered by stroking a double to right: the Terps led 1 - 0. Brandon Lowe singled through the box and the Terps were on top by three runs. Jose Cuas walked, the second that Greene had issued. Prior to this game he had walked only six batters. The base on balls ended Greene's day, and he was relieved by LHP Logan Kanuik. That move paid off as Kanuik got Schmitt to pop up and Lewis to ground out.
The Rams struck back in the bottom of the inning. With one out Cody Acker walked. James Bunn laid down a bunt that Zach Morris fielded, but unfortunately threw wild to first. Runners were on second and third with one out. Joey Cujas hit a SF to drive in VCU's first run. When Vima Machin walked Morris was pulled in favor of Bobby Ruse. It was just two days ago that Ruse pitched, and bringing him in showed the importance of this game. He was to face Ayers, who had previously doubled off Morris. Ruse got Ayers to line out to White to end the inning.
Can the Rams locate the plate? Apparently not.
In the Terps' fourth they managed to plate two more runs, this time without the benefit of a base hit. With one out Cieri walked. As did Martir. As did White. As did Wade. Finally the Rams were able to record an out, as Lowe hit a sac fly to left field. The Terps led 5 - 1 even though they had only three hits at this point. The Rams also had only three hits but just one run on the board.
VCU's control issues resurfaced in the top of the sixth. White walked, Wade was HBP, and both advanced on a wild pitch. The hot-hitting Lowe stroked a single to drive in one run, and a wild pitch brought home Wade. Cuas walked and the Terps had two men on with still nobody out. Schmitt hit a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners. Tim Lewis then hit an RBI single through a drawn-in infield. Anthony Papio singled to left center to put the Terps ahead by 9 - 1. Cieri hit a grounder to first that scored Lewis. After Papio advanced to third on a passed ball, Martir brought him home with a single. White singled, and then Wade was HBP to load them up. Lowe, well.... walked, for his fifth RBI of the game. Cuas popped up to short to end the horror show, but the Terps had mustered a season-high seven run inning. They led 12 - 1 after five and a half innings.
Terrapin pitchers shut the door
Ruse was in total command, going 3.1 innings and allowing just a single. Jared Price came on to pitch for Maryland in the bottom of the seventh and gave up a lone walk. In the eighth Brandon Casas took the mound. Casas did not give up a hit in his two innings of work to complete the Terrapin victory.
As a team VCU was batting above .300. Yet the Terrapin pitchers had held them to three hits and no earned runs. On the other side of the ledger, VCU pitchers gave up nine hits, 11 walks, 3 HBP, and 2 wild pitches.
Bobby Ruse got the victory to move to 6 - 2. The Terps were once again 10 games over .500 at 29 - 19.