Freshman RHP Taylor Bloom (0-0, 6.30 era) made his first collegiate start tonight for the Terps. Bloom had previously appeared in nine relief situations.
The Terrapins' bats of late have been dormant. Prior to tonight, the Terps had produced more than three earned runs just once in their past seven games. Their team batting average, on base percentage, and slugging percentage have all dropped quite a bit. It didn't change tonight.
In an effort to revitalize the Terps' bats, Coach Szefc had LaMonte Wade lead off and Brandon Lowe batted third. Pat Hisle got his first career start, playing shortstop while Kevin Smith moved over to the DH spot.
The Terps put two aboard in the first but came up empty. Wade walked and stole second. After Smith flied out, Lowe hit a shallow single, and Wade had to hold up at third. Lowe subsequently stole second. However, Kevin Martir and Jose Cuas struck out.
In the top of the second, Shane Dressler doubled. He went to third on a ground out, and then came home on an infield single by Daane Berezo.
The Terps had another opportunity to score in their half of the fourth. Martir cracked a single. With a 3-1 count on Cuas, Martir tried to steal second but was cut down. Cuas eventually walked and Anthony Papio was HBP. Tim Lewis hit a fly to center that would have scored Martir had he not been caught stealing. Justin Morris flied out to end the inning.
Bloom pitched four innings tonight, allowing two runs on five hits, one walk, and two strikeouts.
VCU added single runs in the fourth and eighth to take a 3-0 lead. In the bottom of the eighth the Terps finally got on the board. Wade drew a one-out walk. Smith hit a nubber in which the pitcher's only play was at first. Lowe singled to center for the first Terrapin run in 15.2 innings. Martir followed with the Terps' sixth hit of the game, but Cuas' grounder ended the inning.
Mooney pitched a scoreless ninth, giving the Terrapins one last chance to put something together. They would be facing RHP Daniel Concepcion, the Rams' closer. After Papio struck out, Tim Lewis sliced a liner past the shortstop. But Morris struck out and Kevin Biondic flied out to right.
Taylor Bloom took the loss to go to 0-1. The Terrapins dropped their third consecutive game to fall to 27-13 overall.
Things are not bleak though. Terrapin pitchers have allowed just six runs during this three-game losing streak. The bats are there, and it's just a matter of time until they reassert themselves.