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Maryland baseball: Terps tame Griffins 8 - 4

Nick Cieri drives in five runs with a homer and a double and Lowe goes yard for the second straight game. The Terps ride two big innings to prevail 8 - 4, behind some stellar relief pitching by Bobby Ruse.

Rafael Suanes-USA TODAY Sports

Fresh off an opening day win, the Terrapins faced the potent bats of the Canisuis Golden Griffins today in Maryland's second game of the Caravelle Tournament . It was Canisuis' first game. The Terps sent LHP Jake Drossner ( 2014 4-1, 2.45 era) to the mound against the Golden Griffins'RHP  Brandon Bielecki (3 -1, 2.70 era). Last year Bielecki was exclusively used in the back-end of the bullpen, where he registered a team-high five saves.

Jose Cuas was not in the starting line-up, as he had an injured hand after being spiked while trying to steal third yesterday.

Both teams threaten in the first but come up empty

Canisius got some breaks in the top of the first: an infield hit off Drossner's glove, a HBP that just grazed the batter's sleeve, and a pick-off play that almost worked. All-American  Connor Panas drew a walk to load the bases. But Drossner struck out Ryan Stekl to end the threat.

Brandon Lowe was HBP in the bottom of the first, making it the fifth straight time that he had gotten on base. LaMonte Wade drew a walk to put runners on first and second. Nick Cieri's chopper to first advanced the runners. Tim Lewis flied out to shallow left, then Martir was HBP to put Terps on all bases. But Anthony Papio struck out to leave the game scoreless after one.

Cieri's bases-clearing double helps puts the Terps up by five

The Terps did some major damage in the second. Andrew Bechtold walked and Justin Morris scorched a single past Canisuis' first baseman: runners were on the corner with no outs. Kevin Smith laid down a squeeze bunt that brought Bechtold home. Lowe walked and Wade singled to load the bases. Cieri drove a pitch to the left center field gap for a bases clearing double. The Terps were up 4 - 0 and Bielecki's day was done. Cieri advanced to third on a wild pitch, and then scored on another wild pitch.

Golden Griffins bite deep into the Terps' lead

Drossner walked two Canisius' batters and hit another in the top of the third to put the bases full with one out. That finished Drossner, and Robert Galligan came in to pitch. Jake Lumley hit a shot right back at Galligan, who wheeled around to first to complete the double play.

Freshman RHP Taylor Bloom came in to pitch in the fourth. A walk and a single put two Golden Griffin runners aboard with no outs. A Canisius runner was picked off: that would come back to haunt the Golden Griffins, as the next batter singled. After a strike out, a Canisuis single plated the Golden Griffins first run. A single through the middle scored another run to cut the Terps' lead to 5-2. But Panas lined out to left to end the Canisius threat.

But the Golden Griffins weren't done. Back-to-back singles started off Canisius' fifth inning. That brought in RHP Bobby Ruse for the Terps. The next batter bunted and miscommunication led to the runner being safe. So the bases were loaded with no one out. After a strike out, a sac fly made the score 5 - 3.

Meanwhile Stevenson stymied the Terps for over three innings, without giving up a hit.

Ruse seemed to be coasting through the sixth. But a two-out homer by Panas cut the Terps lead to a single run. In the top of the seventh Ruse struck out the side.

Maryland goes yard twice to break it open

To say that things were getting tight was an understatement. The Terps had been shut out and held hitless for four straight innings. Lowe quickly ended that drought by homering for the second consecutive game. Wade was HBP, and then Cieri hit a two-run homer, the first of his career. That gave Cieri five RBIs on the day and the Terps an 8 - 4 cushion.

Ruse was still on the mound in the ninth. Other than a bunt single Ruse breezed through the Canisius line-up to earn the victory. Ruse's line: 5 ip, 4 h, 1 er, 7 so.

Tomorrow's game against Coastal Carolina has been cancelled due to projected frigid temperatures.