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Maryland baseball: No. 16 Terps grind out 7-3 win over Elon

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In a game where Maryland let a lot of opportunities pass by, they finally broke through with a four run ninth inning to win 7-3. Once again the bullpen was sterling, not allowing a hit in 6.1 innings. Nick Cieri had three hits, including a home run and a double, while driving in four. Brandon Lowe had three hits, including the go-ahead double.

Josh D. Weiss-USA TODAY Sports

Today the Terps sent Jake Drossner (0-0, 4.50 era) to face Elon's sophomore RHP Mike Krill (0-0, 3.12 era).

The Terps pushed across a run in the top of the first inning. Brandon Lowe led off with a single up through the middle. After a force out, Kevin Martir delivered a single to put runners on the corners. Jose Cuas flew out to right and the Terps led 1-0.

It was an interesting bottom of the first. Although Drossner walked two batters, a caught stealing and two strike outs left the Phoenix scoreless.

Maryland got a run in the second inning when Nick Cieri hit a towering opposite field home run. But Elon tied things up in the bottom of the inning. Chris King singled through the box, and then went to second on a wild pitch. With two outs, Austin Leeney had an RBI single to left: Leeney went to second on the throw home. Elon tied the score on an RBI single by Andy Moore.

Terps miss golden opportunity, Elon scores without a hit

The Terps squandered a golden opportunity in their half of the fourth. Tim Lewis led off with a double in the right field corner. Cieri, who had homered earlier, was pitched around for a walk. Anthony Papio laid down a beautiful bunt to load the bases. But Justin Morris popped out, Jamal Wade fanned, and Lowe flied out to center.

King walked. He went to second on a ground out, and then advanced to third on a wild pitch.  Wil Leathers (another on my All-Name list) hit a weak grounder that plated King: Elon led 3-2. Two consecutive walks ended Drossner's day. His final line: 3.2 ip, 3 h, 3 r, 5 bb, 5k. Zach Morris came in to pitch for Maryland. He got the final out via a fly to center.

Martir's single ties the score

LHP Jake Stalzer came in for Elon to start the sixth inning. He walked Lewis, then Cieri singled to right. The runners advanced on a bunt by Papio. Kevin Biondic tried a suicide squeeze, but Lewis was nipped at home. Kengo Kawahara ground out and Elon escaped another major threat.

Zach Morris kept the Terps in the game, throwing two straight 1-2-3 innings.

In the Terrapin seventh Lowe started things with a triple to right. RHP John Antonelli relieved Stalzer. Smith popped out; however Martir lined a 0-2 pitch for a single that tied the score.

Jared Price was on the bump in the seventh. He got the side in order, making it 10 straight Elon batters retired. In the Elon eighth the lead-off batter Ryan Cooper was walked, bringing in Tayler Stiles. Cooper advanced into scoring position via a sacrifice bunt. Joey Tomko sent a shot that Lewis grabbed at the wall. Cooper tagged and just made it safely into third. But Stiles struck out King to keep the score tied.

Lowe and Cieri hit clutch doubles to propel the Terps to the win

Kawahara walked to begin the ninth inning. Lowe doubled and Kawahara came around to score from first: the Terps led 4-3. Smith walked to put men on first and second with no outs. Martir fanned, but a wild pitch to Cuas put the runners on second and third. Cuas eventually walked to load the bases. Lewis struck out for the second out. On a 3-2 pitch Cieri doubled into the left field gap, which cleared the bases. The Terps now led 7-3.

Alex Robinson retired the first batter in the bottom of the ninth. Kevin Mooney came in to what was a non-save opportunity. He struck out both hitters, and the Terps had won their seventh game in a row,

Tayler Stiles got the win and is now 1-2. The Terps moved to 14-4 on the season.