The rubber match of this three-game series saw Brain Shaffer (4-0, 4.97 era) face LHP Ryan Riga (3-3, 5-3,2.30 era).
This game had enormous NCAA tournament repercussions for both teams. Like yesterday, it was an offensive barrage. Would today's outcome be different?
Porter's home run puts the Buckeyes up by three runs
Troy Kuhn singled down the left field line to lead off the Buckeye second. Ronnie Dawson doubled to put runners on second and third, with no one out. Shaffer was able to limit the damage to one run, a sac fly by Aaron Gretz. Meanwhile Riga sailed through the first three innings. The southpaw allowed only a single by Kengo Kawahara, while striking out six Terrapins.
The Buckeyes scored in the third inning on some balls that just snuck by Maryland's outfielders. Troy Montgomery hit a shot an eyelash over Kawahara's jump for a one-out double. LaMonte Wade made a beautiful over the shoulder catch for the second out. Pat Porter hit a line drive to left center that barely made it over the leaping Tim Lewis. The Buckeyes led 3-0 after three innings.
The Terps couldn't seem to solve Riga. In the fourth he retired the side in order for the third time, collecting his seventh and eighth strikeouts. In the bottom of the inning, Dawson turned on a pitch and hit a rope off the right field wall for his second double of the game. Nick Sergakis laid down a sac bunt that LaMonte Wade made an errant throw on, which allowed Dawson to score the fourth Buckeye run.
Terps pull to within 4-3
In the top of the sixth, the Terps' bats finally came to life. LaMonte Wade stroked a shot past first base for a leadoff triple. Kevin Smith singled up the middle to score Maryland's first run. Brandon Lowe followed with a single. With Kevin Martir batting, the Terps executed a double steal. Martir grounded out, with Smith coming home. Jose Cuas did likewise, making it 4-3.
Buckeyes go yard again to stretch lead
Porter singled to center, which finished Shaffer's day. Zach Morris came on in relief for the Terrapins. Kuhn rudely greeted him with a two-run homer to make it 6-3 Ohio State. After Dawson grounded out, Sergakis hit a single, and then came home when Gretz doubled in the left-center field gap. Kevin Mooney relieved Morris. One out later, L. Grant Davis doubled home Gretz: Ohio State led 8-3.
Cuas & Papio hit consecutive homers to put Terps on top
The Terps had a monumental seventh inning. Lewis had an infield hit, and LaMonte Wade hit a two-out single. Kevin Smith lined a rope that Montgomery lunged for but couldn't contain. Lewis scored, Wade went to third, and Smith went to second on the throw home. Lowe lined a single to center, brining Maryland to within 8-6. RHP Seth Kinker relieved Riga. Martir walked, and then Cuas went yard to put the Terps up 9-8. It was Cuas' team-high tenth home run of the season. Anthony Papio followed that with a liner that went over the right field wall to put the Terps up 10-8.
After two were retired in the bottom of the seventh, Ohio State scratched out a run. Kuhn hit a ball that Smith made a great play on, but his throw went wide: Kuhn went to second. Dawson was walked. Sergakis dropped a single to right for an RBI.
Lowe's triple puts Maryland up 12-9
Kawahara looped a single in the Maryland eighth. With two outs, Ohio State brought in their closer, Trace Dempsey. He walked Smith. Then Lowe crushed a triple to put the Terps up by three runs. In the 7th and 8th innings the Terps scored nine runs on two-out hits.
Mooney remained on the mound for the Terrapins and pitched a scoreless eighth. In the top of the ninth Papio singled, and Lewis was HBP. Kawahara continued the Terps' two-out hit barrage with a double in left-center field gap. Going to the bottom of the ninth, Maryland led 14-9. Mooney struck out Porter. Kuhn hit his second homer of the game, to make the score 14-10. Dawson grounded out, as did Sergakis to finish the game.
After yesterday's heartbreaking loss, the Terps made amends today and took the series against Ohio State.
Kevin Mooney got the win to go 2-0. The Terrapins are 35-17 overall, 13-8 in the B1G. With their 35th win, the Terps set a school record for most victories in the regular season.