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Maryland baseball: No. 20 Terps squeeze by Purdue 4-3, sweep series

Gavin Downs had the Terrapin hitters off balance for eight innings. But a three-run rally by the Terps in the top of the ninth was just enough to beat Purdue 4-3.

Today Jake Drossner (0-1, 3.65 era) took the mound for the Terps, seeking to replicate his sterling performance last week against Cal State Fullerton. He was opposed by RHP Gavin Downs (4-2, 6.75 era).

Purdue scratches out two small ball runs

The Terps' bats were silent through three innings. Justin Morris' bloop single down the left field line was the only baserunner that Terrapins could manage. Purdue put across the game's first run in the bottom of the third. A walk, single, and an error loaded the bases with one out. Kyle Johnson grounded out to first and Purdue was on top 1-0. It was their first lead of the series.

Purdue upped their lead to 2-0 in the fifth. A leadoff walk to Ted Snidanko, a sacrifice bunt, and a single put runners on first and third.  Johnson then laid down a safety squeeze that brought home the runner from third.

Terps score run on Cuas' double, but Purdue gets it back

Meanwhile through six innings the Terps could manage only two hits. In the top of the seventh, the first two batters went down. However, Anthony Papio singled through the right side, and then came home on a double down the right field line by Jose Cuas.

The Boilmakers got the run back in the bottom of the seventh. Zach Morris came in to pitch. Harry Shipley singled and then was sacrificed to second. After Johnson grounded out, the Terps elected to intentionally walk Purdue's leading batter, Kyle Wood. Brett Carlson singled through the middle and Purdue lead 3-1. Alex Robinson relieved Morris, and struck out Brandon Kreig.

Downs gave up his first walk in the top of the eighth, but escaped unharmed. In the bottom of the inning, James Jewell drew a leadoff walk, and then went to second on a sacrifice bunt. Snidanko struck out, but Shipley was HBP. Kevin Mooney relieved Robinson. Cody Strong ground out to keep the Terrapins' deficit at two runs.

Terrapins rally for three runs in the ninth

The Terps went into the top of the ninth with Lowe, Martir, and Papio due up. Downs was on the bump to try for the complete game victory. It proved to be a bridge too far. Lowe got aboard via an infield hit, bringing the tying run to the plate. Martir singled through the left side hole. A passed ball moved up Lowe and Martir. Papio was HBP, loading the bases with nobody out. Downs was relieved by RHP Joe Eichmann. Cuas walked to make the score 3-2. RHP Alex Lyons came on to pitch for Purdue. Tim Lewis hit a chopper, and Martir beat Shipley's throw home: the score was tied at 3-3. Kengo Kawahara struck out. Giving Purdue a taste of their own medicine, pinch hitter Kevin Biondic gave Maryland the lead when he laid down a perfect suicide squeeze. LaMonte Wade grounded out to end the Terrapin ninth.

Mooney pitched a scoreless ninth, and the Terrapins prevailed 4-3.

Kevin Mooney got the win to go 1-0 on the year. For Maryland, this was the third series sweep of a B1G team this season, but the first away from the friendly confines of Shipley Field. Overall the Terps are now 30-13, 11-4 in B1G play. It marks the fourth straight 30-win season for Maryland, the last three under the tutelage of head Coach John Szefc.