This game was billed as the "Ripken Cup", which first took place last year. Never heard of it? You're not alone, as a midweek game against Towson isn't necessarily headline material. But I like the idea of a tournament played at Cal Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen, MD. Perhaps a round robin with UVA, Delaware, and Navy might generate some local excitement.
But I digress. Today's game had Towson sending out RHP Austin Clark (0-4 6.46 era) to face Maryland's Brian Shaffer (3-0, 5.15 era).
Heavy metal early
The bats were on full display tonight. In the Towson half of the first, Mark Grunberg doubled, was sacrificed to third, and came home on a fly out to center. The Terps immediately responded. With two outs, Brandon Lowe singled to left center. Kevin Martir was HBP. The score became tied when Jose Cuas lined a double down the right field line.
Not to be outdone, Towson scored again in the next inning on three consecutive singles. Again the Terps replied in their half of the inning. Tin Lewis got aboard via an infield single, was sacrificed to second, and came home on an RBI single from LaMonte Wade. Kevin Smith followed with a single to left field. Then Lowe continued his hot hitting by clearing the bases with a double in the left center field gap. After two innings Maryland led 4-2.
In the bottom of the third, the Terps were gifted a run by Towson. Jose Cuas drew a lead-off walk. He proceeded to steal second, and then went to third on a wild pitch. Anthony Papio and Jamal Wade both struck out. On ball four to Lewis, the pitch got away from the catcher, and Cuas just beat the throw home: the Terps led 5-2.
Lowe's third hit, Martir's home run, bust the game open
LaMonte Wade hit a leadoff single, and scored on Lowe's third hit of the game: a double down the right field line. Martir then lined a home run down the left field line to give Maryland an 8-2 lead. That was all for Clark, as he was relieved by RHP Garrett Walther.
Meanwhile, Brain Shaffer was lights out after the second inning. His final line was 5ip, 5h, 2r, 1bb, and 7 so. Bobby Ruse came on to pitch in the sixth and struck out the side. Mike Rescigno took the bump in the seventh, his second appearance from the pen this season. A walk, two-out single by Grunberg, and a passed ball put two Tigers in scoring position. But Rescigno struck out his second Tiger of the inning.
In the bottom of the seventh, Jamal Wade was HBP. Lewis then lined a triple into the right field corner. The Terps led 9-2.
Andrew Green racked up two more Terrapin punch outs in the eighth inning. Willie Rios pitched the ninth for Maryland. After issuing a lead-off walk, Rios retired the side, two on strike outs.
Terrapin pitchers struck out 16 Towson batters, while issuing just three walks. Brian Shaffer got the win to go 4-0. The Terps' record stands at 33-16 overall.