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Maryland baseball: No. 20 Terps cage Blue Hens 5-3

Brian Shaffer had another impressive start, and the Terps' power helped guide them to the victory. Kevin Smith and Jose Cuas went yard, and Jamal Wade had a single and a triple.


Today's game is the first of a home-and away series with Delaware. Maryland sent out Brian Shaffer (2-0) to the bump.

Cuas' single puts Terps on top

Both pitchers were on target through the first couple of innings. Delaware's Kevin Milley had a very deceptive delivery, making it hard to pick up the ball out of his hand. But Milley's control abandoned him in the bottom of the third. LaMonte Wade walked, Kevin Smith was HBP, and Brandon Lowe advanced the runners with a bunt. Kevin Martir was intentionally walked for the second straight at bat, loading the bases. Jose Cuas hit a shallow fly to right that fell in for a hit, giving the Terps a 1-0 lead.

Shaffer cruised through the first four innings, allowing only a lone single. In the top of the fifth ex-Terrapin Greg Olenski and Nick Leggitt sandwiched singles around Shaffer's fourth strike out. However, Shaffer struck out Ty Warrington and got Brock Niggebrugge to strike out.

Smith's home run gives the Terps a 2-0 lead

In the bottom of the fifth, Smith sent a shot over the left-center field fence to give the Terps a 2-0 lead. Lowe sent the next pitch to the warning track in right, about five feet short of giving the Terps back-to-back homers. Unfortunately, it held up long enough for the right fielder to grab it.

Ryan Selmer was on the bump for the Terrapins in the sixth inning. Shaffer's line: 5ip, 3h, 0r, 0bb, 5so. All three of those hits were singles. After a one out walk, Norm Donkin hit a swinging bunt that Cuas barehanded and threw in time to put out the runner. It was the second sparkling defensive play that Cuas had made this game.

Wade and Wade put the Terps up by four runs

With one out in the sixth, Jamal Wade hit a towering fly ball that hit off the fence for a triple. Willie Rios (getting the start at first base) was intentionally walked. Tim Lewis attempted a safety squeeze that went right back to the pitcher, freezing Wade at third. Rios went to second while Lewis was thrown out at first.  LaMonte Wade hit a grounder that went through the right side for a two-run single: Maryland led 4-0 after six innings.

Delaware hatches three runs to pull within one

The Blue Hens got a bit of good luck in the seventh. Olenski started it off with an infield hit. Gary Jones hit a slow grounder that Lowe fielded, but the throw pulled Rios off the bag. Zach Morris relieved Selmer. He struck out the next two hitters; however the runners executed a double steal on the second punch out. Niggebrugge hit a grounder off Morris' glove for an infield hit and an rbi. A wild pitch brought home Jones from third base. Joe Giacchino lofted a single to left that pulled the Blue Hens within one run. Zach Lopes flied out to end the top of the seventh.

Cuas' moon shot gives Terps an insurance run

Kevin Mooney came in to pitch in the Delaware eighth, retiring the side in order. Jose Cuas led off the bottom of the inning by sending a pitch off the scoreboard for his seventh homer of the season.

Mooney's curve ball was hitting the spots, and he had another 1-2-3 inning for his fifth save of the year.

Selmer moved to 3-0 this year. The Terps are now 31-13 overall.