As freshman infielder Matt Orlando stepped up to the plate with the bases loaded in the bottom of the fourth inning, Maryland baseball’s dugout was buzzing. The Terps had just tied the game at one run apiece and loaded the bases thanks to some wild pitching from Coastal Carolina right-hander Scott Kobos, prompting a pitching change.
Despite quickly falling into an 0-2 count, hopes were still high that Orlando would spark a lead change. But he whiffed on a third consecutive strike to end the half inning.
This served as the first of many instances in which Maryland struggled to score with runners on base, as the team left six men on base in the 10-3 loss to the Chanticleers.
Production woes continued for Maryland in the fifth inning. Sophomore infielder Ben Cowles led off the inning with a rocket down the left field line, making it to second on a fielding error. Cowles advanced to third later on in the inning thanks to an infield single from junior outfielder Randy Bednar.
As the red-hot Maxwell Costes stepped up to the plate, there was once again excitement coming from Maryland’s bench. Alas, Costes could not get the job done, as the sophomore grounded out to third.
Despite two disappointing innings from Maryland’s bats, there was still some life in the sixth when Tucker Flint singled into right field. Unfortunately, Maryland once again could not produce like it needed to and stranded Flint on base to end the inning.
A bright spot for Maryland did come in the eight inning, as they scored two runs off a two walks and a hit, but the late rally proved to be ineffective for the Terps as that was all they could get from the offense for the remainder of the game.
Unlike the Terps, Coastal Carolina jumped on Maryland’s mistakes and made them pay. Following a relatively quiet opening four innings, the Chanticleer’s slowly started capitalizing on Maryland’s mistakes in back half of the game.
After giving up a walk and stolen base, Maryland starter Nick Dean gave up his second run of the game off a single into left field.
Although he was able to get out of the fifth inning relatively unscathed following the run, the sixth inning would prove to be more trouble for Maryland. Dean was replaced by Ryan Ramsey, and after giving up a lead-off double and allowing the runner to advance on a fielder’s choice, a wild pitch from the freshman scored another Coastal run.
Following Dean’s exit Maryland’s bullpen struggled mightily in the seventh inning. After replacing left-handed freshman Ryan Ramsey with two men on second and third, Sean Heine allowed three runs to score while only giving up a single hit.
Maryland’s bullpen still couldn’t find an answer for Coastal Carolina’s run support in the bottom of the eighth. After loading the bases, the Chanticleers scored two more runs run off a sac fly followed by an RBI single. Pitching changes didn’t help much either, as right handed freshman Chris Chaney quickly gave up two more runs on an RBI double after replacing Heine midway through the inning, giving Coastal Carolina a 10-3 advantage.
Three things to know
1. Vought’s absence was felt heavily. After junior catcher Justin Vought went down with a lower body injury in the bottom of the fifth inning in Friday’s loss, redshirt junior Tavan Shahidi filled in for the Terps behind the dish today. Going against a Maryland’s backup catcher, Coastal Carolina immediately capitalized on the replacement by taking advantage of wild pitches, passed balls, and stealing more bases. As Vought recovers from his injury, catching could prove to be a liability in Maryland’s defense.
2. Nick Dean gave a solid performance. Although the Terps gave up 10 runs through 9 innings, Nick Dean’s performance was one of the few good takeaways for Maryland in the game. The freshman went five innings and only gave up two runs while striking out six Chanticleers. Although the 10-3 loss is not something that will be looked back on as a pitching masterpiece, Dean’s numbers against a potent Coastal offense could be a preview of good things to come in Big Ten play.
3. The bullpen had a lot of struggles. In the span of just three innings, Maryland’s bullpen gave up a whopping eight runs to Coastal Carolina. With seven of the Chanticleer’s 10 runs being scored in the eighth and ninth inning, Maryland’s bullpen will be where a lot of fingers are pointed for the blame in today’s loss. Although Rob Vaughn’s staff has been extremely deadly against Maryland’s opponents so far this season, these past two games could spell trouble for Terps if they keep allowing late game barrages.