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Maryland baseball: Terps outplay Hokies, win 4 - 2

It wasn't a pretty win. In fact the Terps were 2 for 17 with RiSP, leaving 11 men on base. But Virginia Tech played poorly and the Terps took advantage of that. It’s what good teams do. Mooney threw 2.2 innings of clutch relief.

The second game of the three game set against the Hokies featured Mike Shawaryn (5 - 2, 2.70 ERA) going up against lanky freshman RHP Aaron McGarity (0 - 0, 4.13 ERA). So far McGarity has appeared in nine games, starting three of them.

The Terps started Tim Lewis in left field, Nick Cieri at catcher, and Krysthian Leal at DH in an effort to stack the line-up with left-handed hitters: seven of the starting nine.

Terps speed their way to the lead

Charlie White hit a slow grounder that he was able to beat out for a hit. Brandon Lowe walked. LaMonte Wade hit a grounder to short that should have been a double play. However yesterday's fielding hero, shortstop Ricky Surum, threw wild to second base and the ball trickled into right field. White was able to score and Lowe advanced to third.  Cieri struck out. Blake Schmit then laid down a suicide squeeze that McGarity threw late to home; Lowe scored. But the chance to have a big inning went by as Jose Cuas and Anthony Papio both skied out.

With two down in the Hokie first Mark Zagunis and Brendon Hayden singled. Phil Sciretta looped a fly to shallow center that just fell in and the Hokies were on the board. After one inning the Terps led 2 - 1.

The Terps got the run back in the second.  Lewis led off with a walk. Leal bunted Lewis to second. White hit a ground out with Lewis taking third. Lowe was down in the count 0 -2 before working the count even. He then slapped a double down the left field line, scoring Lewis. Wade flew out.

Terps hanging on by a thread

Shawaryn labored through the first three innings. He had given up five hits, two walks, and hit a batter. But he ultimately prevailed and the Hokies had stranded six runners through three frames. That was living dangerously, as the Terrapin bats were mostly silent. They had managed only four hits through four innings, two of them bunt singles. Already they had stranded seven runners.

Shawaryn seemed to have gained command of his pitches as he retired the side in the fourth and fifth innings.

With one out in the bottom of the sixth Sean Kesselica hit an opposite field double. Tom Stoffel hit an infield single and runners were on the corner with one out. Shawaryn was replaced by Bobby Ruse. Shawaryn's line: 5.1 innings, two runs, seven hits, two walks, one HBP, and three strike outs. Surum laid down a suicide squeeze to cut the Terps' lead to a run. However, Ruse induced Miguel Ceballos hit a ground out to preserve the lead for the Terps.

Terps get the run back to lead 4 - 2

In the top of the seventh LaMonte Wade legged out an infield single on a ball that hit off the second baseman's glove. Wade moved up to second on a wild pitch. Cieri grounded to the second baseman, which let Wade truck to third. Kennedy was replaced by RHP Tanner McIntyre. Schmit popped up to first base. But Cuas hit a sharp grounder under the third baseman's glove that was ruled a hit. Wade scored and Cuas stood on second. Papio skied out to end the Maryland half of the seventh.

Mooney "saves" the day

The Hokies struck back. Saige Jenco hit a single to center. After a pop-up Zagunis got on via a grounder in the hole at short. Hayden walked on four pitches and the bases were loaded.  Kevin Mooney replaced Ruse. Bringing the team's closer into the game in the seventh inning was a sign of how critical this game was for Maryland. Sciretta hit a chopper to third that Cuas quickly threw home, nipping the runner. Kesselica hit a slow roller to Cuas, who made a nice play to throw out the runner and end the Hokie threat.

Mooney shut down the Hokies in order in the eight, fanning two batters. He looked like he was going to breeze through the ninth after retiring the first two batters. But Zagunis kept the Hokies alive with an infield single. Hayden hit a single to left, bringing the winning run to the plate. On an 0 - 2 pitch Sciretta blooped a single to left that loaded the bases. Things were incredibly tense as Mooney went to a 3 - 2 count on Kesselica. But Kesselica hit a grounder to Lowe, and the Terps knotted the series at one all.

Mike Shawaryn got the win to move to 6 - 2. Kevin Mooney recorded his sixth save of the season. With the win Maryland is now 21 - 12 overall and 7 - 9 in ACC play.