Maryland-Florida recap: Terps shut out by Gators in opener, 4-0

Rob Foldy-US PRESSWIRE

Maryland received some strong pitching performances, but wasted them with a weak offensive display.

Jake Stinnett pitched five excellent innings and one poor one, as the Terps were unable to overcome a three-run Florida third inning in a 4-0 opening night loss to the Gators.

The junior struck out seven batters against just one walk and three hits, but still got stuck with the loss after a listless outing by the Maryland offense, which came through with just three hits on the night.

After perfect half-innings for each team, Maryland wasted an early opportunity in the top of the second. Catcher Kevin Martir took the first pitch of the second and slapped it back up the middle for a single, and shortstop Blake Schmit followed up with a two-strike double into left field. Designated hitter Michael Montville struck out looking and Anthony Papio struck out on three pitches, and Florida elected to walk Jose Cuas intentionally to load the bases. Bobby Poyner struck out ninth hitter Anthony Amaro, getting the Gators out of the jam.

Stinnett gave up his first hit of the game in the bottom of the third to Peter Alonso, and two batters later walked Buddy Reed to give the Gators two runners on. Leadoff hitter Richie Martin poked a single through the left side, loading the bases with one out for Ryan Larson. The left fielder hit a slow grounder down the third base line, and Cuas threw home to try and get the lead runner. The throw got away, scoring two and giving the Gators an early lead. After Casey Turgeon flew out, Taylor Gushue singled to center to make it 3-0.

Maryland wasted another opportunity in the top of the fourth. Martir led off with another double, but head coach John Szefc elected for the sacrifice bunt -- a curious decision in any situation, but especially so when down by three. As is often the case with sacrifice bunts, this one did not work out, as Montville struck out and Papio grounded out to end the inning.

Brandon Casas followed up Stinnett's strong start with two scoreless innings of his own, but served up back-to-back singles to start out the eighth. Alex Robinson entered in relief, and immediately gave up a single to Turgeon to load the bases. Gushue followed up with a sac fly to push the lead to 4-0, but Robinson forced a double play to get out of any further trouble.

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