The Terps had managed to score only one run in three of their first four games. In an effort to shake things up, there were quite a few changes in the starting line-up. Jamal Wade started in left field, freshman Marty Costes was the DH, and JuCo transfer Brandon Smith was at first base.
Teams trade unearned runs
The Rams sored in the first by virtue of a couple of Terrapin miscues. Connor Foreman roped a single to right. He went to second when Kevin Smith made a nice stab of a line drive, but his throw to try to double up Foreman skipped by Brandon Smith. Martin Figueroa lined a single to center, bringing in Foreman. When Madison Nickens misplayed the ball, Figueroa tried to stretch his hit into a triple. A nice relay throw by Smith nabbed Figueroa at third.
Tyler Wilson started off strong, holding the Terps without a hit and striking out three in the first two innings. He retired the first two Terrapin batters in the bottom of the third. Then Nick Dunn hit a slow roller for an infield hit, going to second on a wild throw. K. Smith lofted a routine fly to right that went off Mike Foley's chest for a two-base error. The score was tied 1-1 after three innings.
Rhode Island retakes the lead for good
The Rams retook the lead in the next inning. Ryan Olmo doubled and went to third on a sacrifice bunt, then came home on a suicide squeeze. Wilson continued to stymie Maryland, allowing only three hits while striking out 10 Terrapin batters through six innings.
In the bottom of the seventh, Tyler recorded two quick outs. Then pinch hitter Dan Maynard singled to left and Dunn was HBP. K. Smith hit what appeared to be an opposite field home run (or off the wall for extra bases).. However, the umpire claimed that it went inches foul. Szefc came out to argue vigorously, to no avail.
Mike Rescigno took the hill in the eighth. Bloom's final line: 7 ip, 2 r, 1 er, 8 h, 8k, 0 bb, 1 hbp. The eight strikeouts were a new career high for Bloom.
Jake Rockefeller relieved Wilson to start the bottom of the eighth. He promptly plunked Nickens. Cieri hit a grounder that allowed Nickens to take second. However, Nickens was stranded at second, the eighth Terp runner left on base. The Terps went quietly in the ninth, and the Rams won 2-1.
Three things to know
1. Maryland's pitching is strong. Coming into the season the pitching staff was a strong point for the Terps, and they've proven to be as good as advertised.
2. It's not time to panic. Sure, Maryland scored one run in four of their first five games, with two of those being unearned. But Szefc and his staff will get this young squad squared away.
3. Andrew Bechtold will be fine at third. He looks good in the field and it's only a matter of time until his bat heats up.