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Maryland baseball: Bullpen surrenders lead as Rutgers wins 5-4

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In what has been a common theme this season, the Terps bullpen gave up a lead in a close game.

shawaryn

In the first game of Maryland's final home series of the year, the Terps dropped a close one to Rutgers 5-4. The game was a scenario often repeated this season, in that there were more strikeouts than hits for Maryland batters, and the bullpen gave up a lead in the latter part of the game.

Kevin Smith went 2-4 including a solo home run, and Justin Morris had two rbis. However a two-out single by Luke Bowerbank, his third hit of the night, ultimately proved decisive.

Terps take the lead via a three-run fifth

Rutgers came out swinging. In the second inning, John Jennings doubled and was brought home on a single by Luke Bowerbank. In the top of the fourth Bowerbank doubled down the left field line, then came home on a single by R.J. Devish, who was thrown out trying to stretch the hit into a double.

Maryland’s bats were also active, but the Terps were held scoreless until the bottom of the fourth. Kevin Smith singled, followed by a single to right by Madison Nickens that put runners on the corners with none away. After Kevin Biondic fanned, Andrew Bechtold walked to load the bases. The Terps got on the board when Justin Morris singled through the right side to tie the score. Zach Jancarski laid down a safety squeeze that scored Bechtold, to put the Terps up 3-2. The pitcher’s throw to first was off target, and Jancarski took second and Morris took third. Unfortunately, Anthony Papio and Marty Costes both fanned, leaving two runners in scoring position. This lost opportunity would come back to haunt the Terps.

More bullpen woes put Rutgers on top

In the fifth inning, Shawaryn yielded a lead off walk to Mike Carter. After two fly outs, Jawaun Harris hit an infield single. A wild pitch put runners on second and third. The count ran full before Shawaryn was able to get John Jennings to ground out. That ended Shawaryn’s day, as The Unicorn had thrown 98 pitches. His final line: 5ip, 2r, 2er, 8h, 2bb, 4k, 98tp. That meant Maryland would have to rely on their bullpen for the final four innings, which has been a sore spot throughout the season.

Andrew Green took the mound to start the sixth, and retired the side in order. But in the seventh Green hit Devish and then walked Carter. Rob Galligan relieved Green. Chris Suseck walked to load the bases, and then Tom Marcinczyk tied the score with a single to right. That brought on Mike Rescigno from the bullpen. The junior RHP struck out the next two hitters. With a full count, Bowerback singled just in front of Costes, and two Scarlet Knights runs scored, giving Rutgers a 5-3 lead.

Ryan Selmer was on the bump in the eighth inning, and threw two scoreless innings. Smith led off the bottom of the eighth by crushing a pitch off the scoreboard in left for a home run, his seventh of the year. It was Maryland’s first hit since the fourth inning, and pulled Maryland to within a run.

But Maryland could not push across another run, and ended up losing the game 5-4. Rutgers LHP Howie Brey threw a complete game, allowing seven and three walks, but striking out 10 Terps.

Maryland fell to 25-23 overall, 10-9 in the B1G.