Maryland baseball began the 2016 season Friday evening with a 3-1 loss to the Alabama Crimson Tide. The Terps are visiting Sewell-Thomas Stadium in Tuscaloosa, which recently underwent a $42 million dollar upgrade, for a three-game set this weekend. The stadium was packed and rocking, so Maryland was in an early season spotlight.
Maryland sent out its ace, Mike Shawaryn, to take the mound in this game. He was facing Alabama's RHP Geoffrey Bramblett.
Both teams score early
Alabama got on top quickly. With two outs in the bottom of the first. Freshman Chandler Taylor in his first collegiate at-bat drove a Mike Shawaryn fastball into the right field stands. But Maryland struck right back in the top of the second. Nick Cieri walked, Andrew Bechtold lofted a single to left, and Kevin Biondic worked a walk to load the bases. Zach Jancarski walked and the score was tied.
Maryland had scoring opportunities in the next two innings, but couldn't get the two-out RBI. Shawaryn worked out of a jam in the bottom of the fourth. A walk and HBP put two Tide players aboard. But Shawaryn was able to escape by registering his sixth strike out.
Tide goes back on top
In the bottom of the sixth the Tide regained the lead. Chandler Avant doubled, then was brought home by a single off Taylor's bat, the freshman's second RBI of the game. Robert Galligan came in to pitch for the Terps. He put out the fire, but Maryland trailed 2-1 after six innings.
In the bottom of the seventh Galligan, normally a strike machine, had a rough spell. He issued two walks, and a run scored when Avant hit a two-out single. Taylor was HBP, and Ryan Selmer came in to pitch for the Terps. He fanned Cody Henry to keep the Terps within two runs.
Maryland went down in order in the eighth. Mike Rescigno pitched a scoreless bottom of the eighth, and Maryland had one last shot. They were facing LHP Thomas Burrows, Alabama's closer. Burrows did his job, retiring the Terps 1-2-3 to end the game.
Mike Shawaryn was saddled with the loss to go 0-1. He allowed only three hits in five-plus innings, striking out eight. But Chandler Taylor and Chandler Avant did just enough damage to give Alabama the win.A rare loss for Mike Shawaryn, as freshman Chandler Taylor proved a pesky nemesis. The Terps had their chances early in the game, but couldn't come up with the clutch hit.