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Maryland baseball: Terps close regular season by beating WVU 4 - 2

Maryland put an exclamation mark on an already successful season by defeating the Mountaineers. It was the Terps' 34th win of the season, tying the school record that was set back in 2002.

Todd Carton

Today's regular season finale for the Terrapins is against a WVU team with an RPI of 21. Three weeks ago the Mountaineers crushed the Terps 14 -2 in a game at Morgantown. It would be a nice win for the Terps if they could return the favor today. The starting pitchers were Zach Morris (2-1, 2.25 ERA) vs. RHP Corey Walter (1-4, 4.41 ERA). 

WVU and Terps score early

With one out in the top of the first Bobby Boyd singled up the middle. Billy Fleming doubled to left center, putting runners on second and third. Ryan McBroom lined a shot that fortunately was right at Tim Lewis, and the Mountaineers were on the board. Morris had a better second inning, retiring the side on a groundout and two pop ups.

The Terps were able to string together three singles to tie the score in the second. With one out Lewis singled to center. Anthony Papio pulled one through the right side, with Lewis motoring to third. Cieri hit a sharp single to tie up the score.

Leading off the third, Taylor Munden worked a walk. Boyd laid down a bunt for a hit on a very close call. Fleming flied out to Papio; Munden took third.  McBroom drove a 1 – 0 pitch to deep left. Although Lewis was able to run it down at the warning track, Munden scored. Jacob Rice walked. Brad Johnson grounded to Lowe to end the Mountaineer third. However Morris had thrown 59 pitches through three innings on a day when the temperature hovered around 90.

The Terps almost got the run back in their half of the third. After two were down Jose Cuas flared a single to center. Blake Schmit grounded the first pitch between third and short for a single. Lewis hit a sharp grounder up the box that the pitcher was able to snare and prevent the ball from going through.

Maryland takes the lead in the fourth inning, extends it in the fifth

Papio drew a lead-off walk. Cieri singled to right, and the Terps had runners on the corners with no one out.  Martir singled to left that made the score 2 – 2. Charlie White hit a grounder in which the only play was to first. LaMonte Wade laid down a squeeze bunt and Cieri scored to put the Terps on top.

Bobby Ruse took the mound for the Terps in the top of the fifth. Ruse got through the inning without difficulty, thanks in part to a fabulous play by Schmitt on a ball hit in the hole at short.

In the Terps’ half of the fifth Cuas takes first on a throwing error by 3B Michael Constantini. Schmit bunted Cuas over to second. Lewis stroked a single up the middle to give the Terps a two-run lead. Walter got the hook, bringing in RHP Zach Bargeron. The reliever was able to get the next two hitters; after five innings the Terps led 4 – 2.

Missed call leads to triple play

Ruse pitched a scoreless sixth. In the Terps’ half of the inning Martir hit a chopper that Constantini booted.  White put a bunt down the third base line and eluded the first baseman’s tag (the throw had pulled him off). Wade walked on four pitches to load them up. With Brandon Lowe batting, the Terps were looking to break open the game. Lowe hit a liner that Constantini might have short-hopped.  The Terrapin runners started to advance as it appeared to be a ground ball. Constantini threw home, which would indicate that he trapped the ball. The umpire ruled that Constantini did not trap the ball but caught it.  With Terrapin runners already in motion the catcher threw back to Constantini who stepped on the base, then threw to second to complete the triple play.

Can Terps make a 4 – 2 lead hold up?

Bobby Ruse and Tayler Stiles combined to stifle WVU in the seventh inning.

Jose Cuas led off the Terps’ seventh by smoking a double down the left-field line.  It was the Terps’ 11th hit of the day but the first for extra bases. Schmit advanced Cuas to third with a bunt. Lewis grounded back to the pitcher, and Cuas had to hold at third. Convissar pinch hit for Papio and popped up to first. After seven innings Maryland was holding on to a 4 – 2 lead.

Brewster blanked the Mountaineers in the eighth. The Terps also failed to score in their half of the inning. Coming in to try to secure the win was none other than Jake Stinnett.  Since the Terps would not play again for at least a week, all pitchers were available today. Stinnett struck out the first two batters, and then got Munden to sky out to White.

Morris, Ruse, Brewster, and Stinnett limited the heavy bats of the Mountaineers to only five hits. With the win the Terps have won nine straight to post a 2014 regular season record of 34 – 19. That ties the mark for most wins in a season for Maryland, set back in 2002. Ruse goes to 7 – 2 and Stinnett gets his first save of the year.