Maryland fell to UC Irvine 9-5 on Wednesday in the first contest of a four game set out in California. Errors leading to four unearned runs hurt the Terps, but not as much as the 13 hits surrendered by Maryland pitchers. Nick Cieri and Madison Nickens had key extra base hits that helped the Terps stay close.
Unearned runs once again plague Terps
After beginning the season in the bullpen, junior LHP Tayler Stiles finds himself back in a familiar place: starting the game.
The Terps were having trouble figuring out RHP Alonzo Garcia. In their first three at-bats, Maryland managed only one hit, a single by Marty Costes, with six batters going down on strikes.
The Anteaters scored an unearned run in the third inning. Griffin Mazur walked. The next batter lined out to Nick Dunn, but the second baseman's attempt to double up the runner skipped past first baseman Kevin Biondic, and Mazur was awarded third base (the ball went out of play). Keston Hiura singled Mazur home.
The Terps answered right back in the top of the fourth. With one out Dunn singled through the box, and Nick Cieri belted a double. Costes hit a deep fly ball that brought home Dunn.
Jonathan Munoz led off the Anteater fourth by hitting a bloop single. After a fly out, Parker Coss hit a ball that Madison Nickens dropped for an error. A single loaded the bases. Mazur laid down a suicide squeeze that put UC Irvine back on top. Cole Kreuter singled to bring home two more Anteater runs. After four innings the Terps trailed 4-1.
Nickens' triple helps bring the Terps back, but Anteaters respond
Andrew Bechtold got an infield hit. Justin Morris followed with a single up the middle. Nickens brought both runners home with a triple down the right field line. Dunn reached on an error by the second baseman, which allowed Nickens to come home with the tying run.
In the bottom of the fifth the Anteaters got the lead batter aboard for the third straight inning, as Hiura drew a walk. John Brontsema singled through the left side. Hiura eventually stole third base, and Brontsema went to second on a wild pitch (Hiura holding at third base). Stiles struck out the next two hitters and appeared to get out of the jam. But Jake Hazard singled in both runners to give the Anteaters a 6-4 lead. A walk ended Stiles night, with Ryan Selmer coming in to pitch for Maryland. Grant Palmer drew a walk to load the bases, before a groundout ended the frame.
Once more the Terps scored after a big UC Irvine inning. Biondic singled, and Morris walked in the sixth inning. With two outs Kevin Smith singled to the opposite field to pull the Terps within a run. That didn't last long as UC Irvine came right back and extended their lead. Hiura doubled, then swiped third base. Brontsema walked. After Adam Alcantara singled home a run, Rob Galligan came in for Selmer. A sac fly made it 8-5 Anteaters.
UC Irvine tacked on one more run in the eighth. Kreuter led off with a double, went to third on a fly to right, and scored when Alcantara grounded out to first.
Tayler Stiles fell to 1-2 on the season, and the Terps dropped to 7-9 overall.