Maryland baseball outlasted Tennesse 10-9 in a high-scoring affair, surviving a less-than-stellar outing from ace Mike Shawaryn to win the first game of a three game tournament (Keith LeClaire Classic) down in Greenville, NC.
Terps jump out to a three-run lead, but Tennessee answers back
The Terps scored right away in the bottom of the first. Kevin Smith hit a single through the middle, and one out later Nick Dunn walked. Marty Costes ripped a double down the left field line that scored both runners. A single by Anthony Papio and a four-pitch walk to Kevin Biondic loaded the bases. After Andrew Bechtold fanned, Justin Morris walked to make it 3-0 Terrapins. Zach Jancarski struck out, but the Terps had given Mike Shawaryn a rare early lead.
Unfortunately for the Terps, Shawaryn was uncharacteristically off-beat. Tennessee got a run in the top of the second without virtue of a hit. A HBP and a walk, followed by a sacrifice bunt put runners on second and third with one out. Leno Ramirez hit a fly to right that brought home Tennessee's first run. In the top of the fourth the Vols got another run on a walk, stolen base, and an RBI single by Jordan Rodgers. After Rodgers stole second, Tennessee tied it up on a single by Ramirez; it was his second RBI of the game.
Terps retake the lead on free passes, Bechtold's double; Tennessee battle back
Now it was Tennessee's turn to issue free passes. In the Maryland half of the fourth, Jancarski walked and Smith hit his second single of the game. When Madison Nickens walked, the Terps had the bases loaded and no one out. Dunn hit a can of corn fly to center field that brought home Jancarski. Costes was HBP to once again load the bases. That finished Cox's day, bringing in sophomore RHP Eric Freeman. Papio walked to make it 5-3. Bechtold lined a pitch into the left-center field gap that cleared the bases. After four innings the Terps were in front 8-3.
Tennessee knocked Shawaryn out of the game in the fifth inning. A throwing error by Smith let Derek Lance reach first. Lance went to second on a wild pitch, and motored to third on a long fly to right field. Chris Hall cracked an RBI single to pull the Vols within four runs. Nick Senzel drove a double off the left-field wall, which caused Coach Bellanger to bring in senior LHP Rob Galligan. Vincent Jackson doubled to make it 8-6. He promptly stole third base, and came home on a single by Benito Santiago. The top of the fifth ended with the Terps clinging to an 8-7 lead.
Stiles keeps the Vols at bay
Tayler Stiles took the bump for Maryland to start the sixth. The junior southpaw set down the Vols in order. Maryland expanded its lead in the bottom of the frame. Costes and Biondic hit singles. Bechtold once again came through, hitting an RBI single. Morris hit a grounder to first that stretched Maryland's lead to 10-7.
In the Volunteer eighth Rodgers hit a one-out double. He went to third on a ground out, and scored on a wild pitch. In the bottom of the eighth Papio walked, and Biondic crushed a double, However Papio was called out at home trying to score on the hit.
In the ninth Stiles came on for his fourth inning of relief. After striking out the first two batters, Jeff Moberg doubled to bring the tying run to the plate. hall lined a single to left, with Moberg holding up at third. Ryan Selmer came in to put put the fire. A wild pitch brought home Moberg, and the runner on first went all the way to third. However Selmer ended up striking out Senzel to end the game.
The Terps are now 4-4. Galligan got the win and Ryan Selmer got the save.
Three things to know
1. Maryland is scoring a ton of runs. This is the third straight game that the Terps scored at least 10 runs. Everyone is contributing, and a different player steps forward each game to have a big day. In fact, Maryland could be scoring even more runs but ...
2. Base running blunders continue to haunt the Terps. Maryland keeps having runners picked off or caught stealing. Conversely, opponents are running with abandon. All this would be moot if ...
3. Terrapin pitchers were not having difficulties. It's unusual to see Maryland pitchers not putting up zeros. Things need to get worked out if Maryland is going to be successful this season. On a bright note, Tayler Stiles looks like he hasn't missed a beat since coming back this year.