Not often do first inning walks end up being game-changing moments for the offense, but fifth-year outfielder Chris Alleyne’s walk in the top of the first inning eventually allowed Maryland baseball to take an early advantage on the scoreboard.
After his walk, Alleyne soon after made his way over to third on a throwing error, putting Maryland’s speedster in a prime position to take the lead over Campbell. Sophomore infielder Matt Shaw, the Terps’ RBI leader entering Friday, drove Alleyne home on a sacrifice fly to right field to give the visitors the one-run lead before the Camels could get a chance to bat.
Shaw’s RBI, along with Maryland’s added insurance in the top of the ninth inning, helped the Terps capture a 4-0 win over Campbell on Friday night. Maryland is off to its best start to a season since 1968 with five straight wins to open the 2022 campaign. The Terps will play Campbell in the second game of the three-game series on Saturday afternoon.
A ninth inning explosion from the Terps secured their fifth consecutive victory to start the season, but the story of the game was the spectacular pitching from ace Nick Dean to keep Campbell scoreless for his entire seven-inning outing.
Both starters, right-hander Dean for the Terps and Thomas Harrington for Campbell, were dominant on the mound, showing why they are the aces for their respective teams. Both pitchers recorded a quality start, and allowed under three hits each over the first six innings.
The brilliance of Dean and overall flow of the game was epitomized in the third inning when what looked like a sure single for the Camel’s was canceled out by a great hustle play by Dean who rushed over to the first base bag to end the inning.
Campbell recorded just one hit against Dean after that play as the Terps maintained their slim one-run lead.
It looked like junior infielder Nick Lorusso was going to extend Maryland’s lead in the fourth inning, but his high drive to deep center field ended in no avail following a great catch by center fielder Dalen Thompson.
Then with two strikes and two outs in the seventh, Maryland got its first base runner since the first inning with a single from Bobby Zmarzlak. However, a popout just two pitches later ended any hopes of adding onto the lead. The extra pitches, though, were enough to finally make Campbell use its bullpen.
With just five combined hits and 16 strikeouts allowed by the starters after the opening seven frames, the door was left open for a late offensive explosion.
Ryan Chasse entered the game for the Camels in the top of the eighth and retired the side, just like Harrington did in five of his seven innings.
For the Terps, it was Noah Mrotek who relieved Dean, but he survived just two batters after a hit by pitch and a walk. Luckily for the Terps, senior right-handed pitcher Sean Heine stepped right in and stopped any potential rally in its tracks.
With no outs and the go ahead run on, the Campbell runner tried to steal third but was gunned down after a laser beam from catcher Luke Shliger. A strikeout and intentional walk left the bases loaded, but Heine came up with a clutch strikeout to get out of the jam.
In the top of the ninth, Maryland was able to chase Chasse out of the game. Shliger, Alleyne, and Shaw got on to load the bases which allowed Lorusso to drive in two runs with a single into center field. After two straight outs, Troy Schreffler drove in Shaw with a single of his own, extending the lead to four.
After getting two quick outs, Heine gave up a long triple to the deepest part of the park, but salvaged the mistake with a strikeout to close out the game to secure Maryland’s historic 5-0 start to the season.
Three things to know
1. Nick Dean has yet to give up an earned run in two appearances this season. The right-handed pitcher has thrown 14 consecutive scoreless innings with fifteen strikeouts in two winning efforts this season. Dean just seems to be getting better and better, and that is a dangerous sight for the rest of the Big Ten and the rest of the nation come June. Dean had another beautiful performance against Campbell, throwing for seven scoreless innings and giving up just three hits.
2. The Terps fought off a late scare. Up just one run in the eighth inning, Mrotek put two men on for Campbell but Heine’s two-inning performance saved the Terps, getting out of an eventual bases loaded jam and giving Maryland room to explode late and take game one of the series. Campbell was within one run for the entire game and it took until the ninth inning for Maryland to pull away.
3. Maryland has the advantage in the next two games. The Terps’ offense had been firing on all cylinders prior to this game, but the bats froze against the elite pitching from Harrington. Campbell doesn’t have the rotational depth that Maryland does, and that can point to a possible offensive boost for the Terps in the final two games of the series. Maryland has scored at least four runs in all but one game so far this season.