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Big Ten baseball tournament results: Maryland errors allow Michigan State to grab a 4-3 win

Maryland gave up two unearned runs, which proved fatal in a 4-3 loss. Papio and Cieri both went yard.

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Nick Cieri
Sung Min Kim/Testudo Times

Thursday night's game was rained out, so the Terps took on Michigan State today at 9:00 am CT.

Maryland committed four errors, leading to two unearned runs as Michigan State defeated the Terps 4-3. Anthony Papio and Nick Cieri both had solo home runs to lead the Terps. But Jordan Zimmerman also homered and had an rbi single to put the Spartans on top to stay.

Morris’ arm and bat give Terps the lead

The Terps struck first in the bottom of the second inning. Nick Cieri poked a single through the middle, then went to second on a swinging bunt by Kevin Biondic. Zach Jancarski grounded out, with Cieri holding at second. Justin Morris, who had thrown out a runner attempting to steal in the top of the inning, singled just past the diving second baseman for an rbi single.

In the top of the third, Kris Simonton reached on an error by AJ Lee, but he became Morris’ second runner gunned down in the last two innings.

Maryland’s fielding miscues finally hurt the Terps in the top of the fourth. With one away, Jordan Zimmerman hit a dribbler that Nick Dunn misplayed. Dan Durkin hit into a force out at second. However, Matt Byars chopped a single through the hole on the left side, and Dan Chmielewski singled through the middle to tie the score for an unearned run.

Zimmerman powers the Spartans in front

In the bottom of the fifth, Anthony Papio sent a shot into the stands in right field to give the Terps a 2-1 lead. It was Papio’s fourth home run this season. But the lead disappeared quickly as Zimmerman crushed a home run to left in the top of the sixth.

The score stayed tied at 2-2 through seven innings. Looming in the background was the Spartan’s crack reliever, Dakota Mekkes, who shut the Terrapins out over six innings while surrendering only one hit in last Friday’s game. Unfortunately for Maryland, the Spartans took the lead in the top of the eighth. Kory Young beat out an infield hit deep in the hole at short, and then was sacrificed to second. Zimmerman singled to right to give the Spartans a 3-2 lead. Dan Durkin hit a hot shot to Kevin Smith that went off of his glove for an error. That put runners on the corners with one out. Mike Rescigno came in for Bloom. Byars hot a sharp grounder to Kevin Biondic, who fired down to second for the out, but Byars beat out the relay throw. An important insurance run scored on the play and Michigan State was up 4-2. A walk to Chmielewski prompted pitching coach Bellanger to bring in Ryan Selmer, who got Marty Bechina to fly out to Papio.

Can the Terps solve Michigan State’s tough bullpen?

The Spartans elected to go with LHP Joe Mockbee in the bottom of the eighth. With two down, Cieri drilled a solo home run to pull the Terps to within one run. That brought Mekkes into the game, and he fanned Biondic.

In the top of the ninth, Simonton hit a dribbler that Selmer didn’t pick up cleanly for an error, the fourth for the Terrapins this game. However, Selmer held the Spartans scoreless, giving the Terps one more chance to tie or win the game.

Jancarski struck out, but Danny Maynard lofted a pinch hit single to put the tying run aboard. Maynard just made it to second when running after a pitch in the dirt to Andrew Bechtold. Two pitches later Bechtold hit a line shot that was right at Durkin at second, who doubled up Maynard to end the game.

With the loss, Maryland will play Indiana at 6:00 pm EDT with the loser going home. To win the B1G, the Terps need to sweep three games over the next three days.