In what was a back-and-forth game early on, Maryland baseball was able to find its footing late en route to a 6-2 victory over Princeton, guaranteeing a series win this weekend.
Maryland (11-6) starter Taylor Bloom struggled with his command early on. But he settled in to give the Terps a solid 6.2 innings, allowing only two runs and striking out four.
The Terps offense missed some opportunities early on, but it ended up being a productive afternoon as the lineup ended up collected 11 hits. Four different hitters drove in a run, including A.J. Lee, who added three in the middle game of the series.
After Bloom struggled hitting his spots in the first inning, his lack of command bit him in the top of the second. Princeton (2-8) was able to capitalize for the first run of the contest on a leadoff walk and a double from catcher Max West. The hit barely fell in front of a diving Marty Costes in right field to give Princeton their first lead of the day.
Maryland did not wait long to get things tied up. In the bottom of the second, Princeton starter James Proctor was his own worst enemy early in the inning after he plunked Brandon Gum in the back. The Terps’ first baseman was then able to move to second on a balk from Proctor during the next at bat. Proctor would eventually allow the tying run, after he couldn’t make a play on a bunt from A.J. Lee, which landed harmlessly in front of the pitcher’s mound, allowing Gum to score.
The game wasn’t tied for long, as Princeton was able to plate a run for the second straight inning. After Gum dropped a catchable ball at first base, the Tigers stole a bag and were able to score two batters later on an RBI single to left field by right fielder Nick Hernandez.
After a few good innings from Bloom, the Terps would rally back in the fourth and fifth innings. John Szefc used a bit of small ball in the bottom of the fourth calling for a bunt after two singles to put runners on second and third with one out. Lee followed by collecting his second RBI on the day with a sacrifice fly to tie the game. An inning later, Marty Costes put Maryland ahead for the first time with an RBI single of his own. The Terps could not extend the lead when Costes was called out after not touching the bag rounding third base on a single from Gum. He would have scored Maryland’s fourth run of the contest.
The Terps did miss an outstanding chance to extend in the lead in the bottom of the sixth when they loaded the bases with only one out in the sixth inning, but failed to get a run across.
This missed opportunity was ultimately inconsequential as the Terps added two runs off a Will Watson single and Madison Nickens double in the bottom of the seventh.
Andrew Miller, Ryan Hill and Ryan Selmer all came out of the pen to shut down hopes of any Princeton comeback in the late innings.
Maryland will go for the sweep tomorrow in the series finale at 1 p.m.