So it came down to John Szefc's Maryland facing the program's previous skipper, Erik Bakich and his Michigan Wolverines, today in the B1G Tournament's championship game.
For the third consecutive game the Terps started a freshman. Taylor Bloom (1-2, 4.81 era) would go up against Michigan's ace, Brett Adcock (9-4, 3.26 era). Adcock last pitched on Wednesday, but Michigan desperately needed this game to get into the NCAA Tournament. The Terps are a lock to make their second consecutive trip to The Dance, regardless of today's outcome.
Terps scratch out 1-0 lead
Neither team scored in the first two innings. In the top of the third, Nick Cieri singled to right. It was the Terps' first hit. After Tm Lewis popped out, Kevin Biondic was HBP. The bases were loaded as LaMonte Wade walked. Kevin Smith put the Terps on top with a deep fly to right. Brandon Lowe walked to once again load the bases. The inning ended when Kevin Martir hit a sinking line drive to right that Johnny Slater was just able to run down.
Throwing error, walks, lead to crooked inning
Taylor Bloom was impressive through three innings, allowing just two hits and striking out three. But things came apart in the fourth inning. Jackson Glines drew a leadoff walk. Carmen Benedetti hit a grounder back to Bloom, whose throw to Smith was wide: Glines moved on to third. Cody Bruner singled to tie the score, with Benedetti taking third. Maezes popped out to Smith. However, Kevin White hit a soft liner just over Smith's head to give Michigan a 2-1 lead. Rob Galligan relieved Bloom. Johnny Slater grounded out to first, with the runners advancing to second and third. Kendall Patrick walked. Galligan had a 0-2 count on Jacob Croneworth, when a pitch in the dirt allowed the third Wolverine run to score. Cronworth eventually walked. Jake Bivens walked to put Michigan on top 4-1. Zach Morris came in to face Jackson Glines, who was up for the second time in the inning. Glines lined out to Kevin Biondic to end the inning.
With two outs in the sixth inning, Kevin Martir hit an infield single, only the second terrapin hit off Adcock. But it was enough to cause Michigan to bring in RHP Matt Ogden. He got Jose Cuas to ground out.
Bobby Ruse and Alex Robinson combined to hold the Wolverines scoreless in the sixth.
Poor calls lead to Szefc's ejection, but Terps rally
In the seventh inning, Anthony Papio drilled a ground rule double to right center. Cieri struck out on two awful calls, picthes that were below the knees. When Tim Lewis took a low strike, Szefc came out to argue, and was thrown out of the game. Lewis eventually struck out, as did Biondic.
Robinson retired the Wolverines in order in the bottom of the seventh.
The Terps mounted a comeback in their half of the eighth inning. With one out, Smith walked. It was the 20th straight game that the freshman had reached base. After Lowe skied out, Martir walked. Cuas came to the plate representing the tying run. RHP Mac Lozer came in to pitch for the Wolverines. Cuas lined a ball past Johnny Slater in right. Unfortunately, when Cuas tried to stretch the hit into a triple, he was thrown out at third. The Terps were credited with only one run and the inning was over.
In the bottom of the eighth, Robinson got two quick outs. Then White walked and Slater got aboard on an infield hit. Kendall Patrick walked to load the bases. But Croneworth grounded out, so the Terps went to the ninth inning still trailing 4-2.
Croneworth, Michigan's closer, came in to try to preserve the victory. Papio grounded out to first. Cieri lined a single to center: Jancarski pinch ran for Cieri. Lewis grounded out to first. Jamal Wade pinch hit for Biondic. He hit the first pitch into center to draw the Terps to within a run. Kawahara came in to run for Jamal Wade. LaMonte Wade singled to right. Smith was HBP to load the bases. Brandon Lowe flied out to left to end the game.
Taylor Bloom got the loss to drop to 1-3. The Terps are now 39-21 overall.