As a consequence of Miami's 6 - 5 win over Duke we now know that Maryland will be playing GA Tech in tomorrow's ACCT Championship game. Today's game against the Tar Heels would have no bearing on this. So rather than start the regular season's "Sunday starter" Jake Drossner, the Terps elected to send Zach Morris to the mound.(2-1, 2.50 ERA) vs. North Carolina RHP Zac Gallen (5-4, 4.30 ERA). Maryland faced Gallen earlier this season and touched him up for three runs on seven hits in 5.2 innings.
Tar Heels hit Morris hard for three runs
The Tar Heels scored early. Michael Russell was the DH today and led off the bottom of the first with a single through the left side. Fortunately he was erased on a double play. Then Morris gave up back-to-back doubles to Landon Lassiter and Skye Bolt and the Tar Heels jumped out in front 1 - 0.
In the bottom of the second Alex Rayburn bunted, and Morris threw errantly to first. In fact, the throw bounced hard off of Wade's chest, which momentarily was very concerning. Wade stayed in the game. Parks Jordan ripped a pitch into the right field corner to put runners on second and third with nobody out. Morris struck out Adrian Chacon for the first out. Korey Dunbar walked to load up the bases. Russell cracked the first pitch for a single that drove in two runs. Wood Myers lined into a double play, but the Tar Heels now led 3 - 0. Through two innings the Tar Heels had already amassed five hits.
Matir stays on fire
Gallen had retired the first seven Terrapin batters. Then Anthony Papio ripped a liner off of Gallen's shin for an infield single. On the next pitch the ultra-hot Kevin Martir launched a shot over the left-center field fence. It was Martir's fourth homer of the year and second of the ACCT. The Terps had cut the deficit to one run.
Morris walked Jordan to start the bottom of the fourth. Jared Price came on to pitch at that point. Although having not pitched in almost three weeks Price was sharp. He struck out his first two batters, then got Russell to ground weakly to short.
UNC grabs four unearned runs
In the bottom of fifth Price had retired the first two hitters. Bolt and Ramirez both singled, then Rayburn walked to load the bases. It appeared that Price would get out of the inning as Jordan hit a grounder to Brandon Lowe. But Lowe's throw was off the mark and two runs scored. Zach Daly singled to bring home two more runs. Dunbar popped up to end the inning, but the Terps trailed 7 - 2.
Alex Robinson pitched a scoreless sixth for Maryland.
Terps score five in the seventh to tie the score
In the top of the seventh the Terrapin bats came alive. Blake Schmit got an infield single, then Tim Lewis had an opposite field hit. RHP Trent Thornton (UNC's ace) replaced Gallen. Cieri punched a single to right for an RBI, with Lewis taking third. Papio hit a deep fly to center for a sacrifice fly to make the score 7 - 4. Martir struck out with Cieri swiping second base. White singled to right and the throw from right field beat Cieri home; however Dunbar couldn't handle the throw and Cieri was safe. Wade laced the first pitch to right center for an RBI double. Lowe looped a single to left and the score was tied.
Robert Galligan took the hill for the Terps in the bottom of the seventh and retired the side in order.
Schmit started the eighth by getting aboard via an infield single. Lewis flew out. A wild pitch sent Schmit to second. Cieri was eventually walked, which finished Thornton's day. UNC's closer RHP Reilly Hovis came in to pitch, and quickly retired Papio and Martir.
Tar Heels put the game away with a six-run eighth
PH Joe Dudek singled in the bottom of the eighth. Mike Mossardo pinch ran for Dudek. Dunbar bunted Mossardo to second. Adam Pate walked. Wood Myers lined a pitch to center field, which White dove for and just missed. Mossardo tried to score and the relay throw by Schmit was on the mark. But Mossardo was ruled safe, giving UNC the lead. Jamie Pashuck relieved Galligan. Lassiter singled through the left to put UNC up by two. Bolt and Ramirez both singled and things were getting out of hand. Raburn flied out, then Jordan singled. The Tar Heels now led 13 - 7. A ground out ended the inning.
The Terps did not score in the ninth.
The loss ended Maryland's 11-game winning streak and pushed the Terps to 36 - 20 overall. But it's tomorrow that counts, so get ready.