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Maryland baseball: No. 12 Terps' comeback falls short, 9-7

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Once again the Terrapins found themselves in a deep hole. Trailing 9-3 after four innings, the Terps chipped away to close to 9-7, but a ninth inning rally came up short.

Maryland's Tayler Stiles
Maryland's Tayler Stiles
Rafael Suanes-USA TODAY Sports

The second game of this three-game set featured freshman RHP Travis Holden (0-0) vs. Tayler Stiles (0-1). This was Holden's first collegiate start, after two impressive relief appearances. Stiles was looking to rebound from a sub-par outing against UCF last week.

Plenty of action early in the game

A pair of bloop singles by Michael Pierson and Grayson Atwood put runners on the corner with two outs. Dillon Dobson had the third bloop single of the inning, giving App State a 1-0 lead. Bradley Morton lined a single to right, but a strong throw by Anthony Papio nabbed Atwood at the plate.

Brandon Lowe lined an opposite field single to start the Terps' half of the first. Wade drew a four-pitch walk, and the Terps had something brewing. After Cuas struck out, Cieri pulled a pitch past the first baseman for an RBI double. When the second baseman dropped the relay throw, Wade came home to put the Terps on top.  Tim Lewis followed with a single to right, scoring Cieri. After one inning the Terps led 3-1.

Mountaineers climb all over Terrapin pitchers

Pierson was plunked to start the third. One out later Atwood stroked a single to center. Dobson loaded the bases with an infield hit. Stiles fanned Morton, but Conner Leonard cleared the bases with a double off the wall: App State was back on top.

App State wasn't done. Brandon Burris hit a leadoff home run in the fourth. After Pierson singled to center, Bobby Ruse came in relief of Stiles. Things didn't get any better as Jaylin Davis smacked a double. An error and then a single brought home another two runs, giving the Mountaineers a 7 - 3 lead. Leonard blasted another double that made the score 9-3.

Terrapins cut into the Mountaineers' lead

Unfortunately, the Terps couldn't respond in either inning. Holden had settled in, and was getting Terrapin hitters to ground out. However, that soon came to an abrupt end. In the bottom of the fifth inning, Lowe led off with a single, and then went to second on a passed ball. Wade walked, and both runners scored on a double by Cuas. That ended Holden's day, as freshman LHP Ryan Ross relieved him. Cuas advanced to third on a ground out. Lewis flew out to shallow left, and Burris gunned down Cuas attempting to score.

Ryan Selmer had come in to pitch for the Terps and held App State scoreless in the fifth and sixth innings, keeping Maryland in the game. In the Terrapin sixth Papio led off with a walk. Kevin Smith hit a pinch-hit ground out. Then Justin Morris lined a triple in the right-field corner to make it 9-6. However, he was left stranded at third as Oniffrey and Wade both popped out.

Terps ninth inning rally comes up short

Selmer extended his impressive relief appearance, hurling two more scoreless frames. In all the tall right-hander pitch four scoreless inning, allowing only one hit. But Ross set down the Terrapin hitters in the seventh and eighth innings, meaning the Terps would need to make some ninth inning magic.

Willie Rios pitched a 1-2-3 ninth, striking out two hitters.

Lowe started off the bottom of the ninth by getting HBP. Wade followed with a single, bringing the tying run up to the plate with no outs. RHP Taylor Thurber came in to pitch for App State. Cuas hit a nubber for the first out, but Lowe scored. However Cieri hit a sharp drive to center for the second out, and then Lewis lined to second to end the game.

Tayler Stiles took the loss to go 0-2, and the Terps dropped to 6-2 overall.