At the press conference after Friday's game a reporter asked Coach Szefc, "Who are you starting tomorrow"? Szefc quickly replied, "Who do you think"? Unless you just crawled out from behind a rock there was no doubt who would be on the mound for the Terps. The freshman All-American and ACC's leader in wins Mike Shawaryn would be trying to nail down a trip to Omaha for the Terps. Opposing Shawaryn (11 - 3, 2.81 ERA) would be sophomore LHP Brandon Waddell (8 - 3, 2.73 ERA). While not possessing Kirby's velocity, Waddell is the epitome of a "crafty southpaw", mixing in off-speed breaking pitches effectively. He's a left-handed version of RHP Whit Mayberry, who picthed so effectively yesterday.
Due to the NCAA's version of equality, Maryland is the designated home team today. That includes being in the home team's dugout. Tomorrow's home team (if necessary) will be determined by a coin flip. Absurd^10.
Virginia draws first blood
The Terps almost got on the board in the bottom of the first. With two outs Brandon Lowe hit a single past Mike Papi. Jose Cuas followed with a single to center, and Lowe motored to third. When Blake Schmit hit a blooper it looked like t might fall. But Papi made a nice over the shoulder grab.
Shawaryn looked sharp through two innings, getting ahead of most batters. In the Cavalier half of the third, Robbie Coman got aboard via an infield single. Branden Cogswell blooped a single to center. Mike Papi stroked a two-out single to left that scored Coman.
In the bottom half of the inning Kevin Martir hit a sharp grounder off the third baseman's glove to get a lead man aboard for the Terps. Charlie White lined to the shortstop who threw to first to double up Martir on a very close call: Haines and Szefc argued the call. TV replay confirmed the coaches' ire. LaMonte Wade skied out to deep right for the final out.
Both teams avert disaster
Derek Fisher opened the fourth with an infield single deep in the hole at short. Kenny Towns hit a soft fly just out of Lowe's reach. At this point it seemed as if everything was falling Virginia's way. The runners were bunted over to second and third. Shawaryn fanned Brandon Downes, but Coman walked to load the bases for Virginia's lead-off hitter. Cogswell grounded to short to leave the bases full. Although Virginia had seven hits through four innings they had already stranded six runners.
Lowe sliced a single to left to begin the Maryland fourth. Cuas hit a liner to left for his second hit of the day. With men on first and second Schmit hit a shallow fly to center for the first out. The bases were loaded as Lewis drew a four-pitch walk. However Kyle Convissar hit a dying quail that Cogswell grabbed and stepped on second to complete the double play.
Virginia retakes the lead
Kenneth Towns began the sixth by lacing a hit down the left field line. Lewis bobbled the ball when trying to pick it up, so Towns was able to get to third. A ground by La Prise put the Wahoos head 2 – 1.
The Terps threatened in their half of the sixth. Lewis drew a walk and Papio hit a two-out single to left. Waddell was pulled in favor of RHP Artie Lewicki. It was Lewicki who the Terps lit up in their ACCT game last month. Not this time as Martir went down swinging.
Cavaliers score three in the seventh to lead 5 - 1
Maryland made a rare mental lapse to being the seventh. Pinero hit a ball that Lowe ranged far to his right to scoop up. The problem was that no one covered first. Papi then lofted a soft single to center. On a 3 - 2 pitch McCarthy was hit, which loaded them up. That brought LHP Tayler Stiles into the game. Fisher hit a fly ball to deep left that scored a run. Towns followed with a single through the middle to make it 4 - 1. At this point it felt like things were slipping away for the Terps. Stiles struck out La Prinse. RHP Jared Price came in to face Downes. A sharp single to center brought home the third Virginia run of the inning. Coman hit a slow grounder that Schmit bare-handed and threw to first for the final out.
Terrapin rally falls short
Maryland went down in order in the bottom of the seventh. It was a gutsy call on Coach O'Connor's part to bring Lewicki into the game last inning, but it turned out to be a good move.
Ben Brewster pitched the eighth for Maryland. After getting an out Brewster walked Pinero, then gave up a single to
Papi. McCarthy hit an opposite field single to make the score 6 - 1. It was Virginia's 15th hit of the game. Fisher struck out swinging and Towns popped up to Wade.
The Terps went down 1 - 2 - 3 in their half of the eighth. Lewicki had retired even straight Terrapin batters.
Alex Robinson was on the mound for the Terps in the ninth. He retired the first two batters, then walked Coman. Cogswell crushed an RBI double to make the score 7 - 1 in favor of the Cavaliers.
The Terps went into the bottom of the ninth having to score six runs to tie. They would need base runners; lots of them. Convissar started things off by getting aboard via a throwing error by 3B Towns. Anthony Papio singled through the left side. When Martir hit an RBI single under the shortstop's glove the excitement began to build. However White hit into a double play., the third one Virginia completed today. Papio scored on the play to make it 7 - 3. Wade grounded out to second and Virginia had squared the series.
Mike Shawaryn took the loss to go 11 - 4. Maryland stands at 40 - 22 on the season.