It was cold with temperatures dipping down in the 30's. Yet Maryland still found a way to heat things up with their bats and legs in Harrisonburg.
The game featured a pair of southpaws that had difficulties last season against the team they were facing today: Jake Drossner for the Terps and Aaron Hoover for the Dukes. Last year Drossner made his first career start against JMU. Unfortunately the result was not good, as the southpaw gave up three runs in four innings in a game the Terps won 10 - 5. In the other game against JMU last year Drossner came on in relief and gave up four runs in two innings. Hoover fared worse against the Terps: in two relief appearances he gave up six earned runs in two innings of work. So both pitchers were hoping to improve upon last year's performances.
Charlie White sets Maryland career record for steals
In the first inning Charlie White got on base via an error by 2B Connor Brown. White stole second, his 63rd at Maryland, breaking the all-time career mark for steals. Lowe blasted a double to right and the Terps led 1 - 0. Wade sacrificed Lowe to third, and Lowe scored on a hard grounder to second, staking Drossner to a 2 run lead. But things didn't go well for the Terps. With one out Kevin Husum hit a single up the middle. Next Ty McFarland lined a double down the right, putting runners at 2nd and 3rd. Brown scorched one that Cuas made a nice play on, throwing to first just in time. But Husum scored, as did McFarland when the next batter singled, and the game was tied.
Both sides had their hitting shoes on
In the bottom of the third Drossner retired the first two hitters. McFarland then doubled for the second time today. On the very next pitch Brown crushed a two-run homer, putting James Madison up 4 - 2. But the Terps quickly returned the favor. Starting the fourth inning Schmit laced a double and stole third. Rescigno grounded out and Cuas struck out. With two outs Amaro was hit by a pitch. White broke out of his slump by slamming a gapper to left center for his first double of the year, and both runners scored. Lowe walked on a ball that got by the catcher, and White went to third. That was it for Hoover as right hander Michael Howerton came in to pitch and retired Wade on a grounder.
The Terps jumped back on top in the fifth. Martir walked and one out later Schmit got his second consecutive double, plating Martir. Rescigno singled in Schmit. With Cuas up Rescigno stole second, then Cuas got his first hit of the year and runners were on the corner with one out. Howerton exited, having faced six Maryland batters and retiring only two. Lefty Michael Evans, a freshman with some good outings this year, came in to pitch. Amaro squared to bunt and hit a nubber that Evans didn't quite handle, scoring Rescigno. White hit a liner up the middle, scoring Cuas with Amaro motoring to third. Lowe hit a sacrifice fly to left and the Terps led 9 - 4. White ran and got his 64th career stolen base. Wade popped up to end the Terps' half of the inning. Drossner got through the fifth with no damage, making him eligible for the victory.
Schmit and Rescigno on fire
Martir started the sixth with a HBP, then stole second. One out later Schmit smacked his third double of the game. After 5 ½ innings the Terps led 10 -4 and had 11 hits, about as many as they had in total for the three game Bryant series.
Zach Morris made his first Maryland appearance in the bottom of the sixth. Morris, a sophomore lefty sat out last year after transferring from Cincinnati. He faced Connor Brown, who had homered earlier this game. Brown abruptly slammed his second home run today. But Morris settled down, retiring the next six James Madison hitters.
The Terps got two runs in the eight. Martir was HBP (the Dukes' fifth thrown this game), stole second, and came home when Schmit hit a hard grounder that went through the second baseman's leg. Schmit stole second, and then scored as Rescigno got his fourth hit of the day. In the bottom of the inning James Madison got a run off Jamie Pashuck on an RBI single by Tenaglia.
Maryland finished their scoring with a ninth inning run. Montville was hit on his wrist, White doubled, and Leal (pinch hitting) hit a sacrifice fly. Robert Galligan pitched a scoreless ninth and the Terps came out victorious 13 - 6. Jake Drossner got the victory to go 1 - 0.
On the day Maryland had 23 men on base: 14 hits, 3 walks, and 6 hit batsmen. In addition they stole 8 bases.