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Matt Shaw’s walk-off two-run home run lifts No. 24 Maryland baseball past Georgetown, 10-9

The Terps fought back late in the game and won it in a thrilling fashion.

Photo courtesy of Maryland Athletics

At the end of four innings, No. 24 Maryland baseball found itself in a four-run hole against Georgetown after some tremendous hitting from the Hoyas.

But this year’s team hasn’t been one to back down from a fight. Maryland marched back into the game with three runs in the seventh inning, putting it just one back of Georgetown. The Terps’ resilience didn’t stop there with shortstop Matt Shaw stepping up to the plate with the potential tying run on base in the bottom of the ninth inning.

Shaw came through in a big way for Maryland, crushing a two-run home run into right field to win the game in walk-off fashion, propelling the Terps past the Hoyas with a 10-9 win on Friday.

Now with an 11-2 record, the Terps will go up against Cornell in College Park on Sunday before playing Georgetown again on Monday to end the weekend.

The first inning was a high-scoring one as Maryland’s Logan Ott gave up a home run on the first pitch to right fielder Jake Hyde to open the scoring. Hyde’s solo bomb right over the gate that went over the centerfield wall and gave the Hoyas the early 1-0 advantage over the Terps.

But in the bottom of the first inning Chris Alleyne mimicked Hyde’s display of hitting and connected on his own beautiful home run, which sailed over the wall in center field as well to knot the game up at one. First baseman Maxwell Costes followed Alleyne’s solo shot with a two-run home run, driving in junior infielder Nick Lorusso to give the Terps a seemingly strong 3-1 lead heading into the second frame.

However, Maryland’s two-run advantage was short-lived. After a scoreless second inning, the Terps went down again soon after. With the bases loaded in the top of the third inning, junior infielder Andrew Ciufo hit his second grand slam of the season, which gave Georgetown its lead back at 5-3.

Maryland still didn’t back down to end the third inning. Catcher Luke Shliger found a way to make it all the way home off a single, reaching the plate from third off a sac fly from shortstop Shaw to bring the Terps within just one run.

Sitting at a 5-4 deficit, the game was easily within reach for Maryland. But, the bats for the Hoyas were absolutely crucial in big moments. Graduate infielder Ethan Stern managed to rip off a three-run home run, a deadly blow to Maryland’s comeback effort, which went high and way over the left field wall and scoreboard. Georgetown lengthened its advantage to make it a 8-4 lead and ended Ryan Van Buren’s time on the mound in the process.

Van Buren wasn’t able to find much success in his one inning, giving up two hits and the three earned runs. Van Buren was already Maryland’s third pitcher of the game before he gave way to Matt Orlando.

Orlando kept things quiet in the top of the fifth, opening the door for Maryland to make a potential push. Shliger rounded the bases for the only score of the fifth inning to pull Maryland within three.

Yet once again, the Hoyas came up with a timely response. Georgetown resumed its home run party with center fielder Andrew Bergeron cracking the fourth home run of the day for the away team to increase the lead back to four, making it 9-5 after the sixth inning. This sequence ended Orlando’s appearance and began third baseman Lorusso’s time on the mound for Maryland.

After pitching a clean top of the seventh inning, Lorusso gave Maryland the momentum it needed to get back into the game in the bottom of the inning with second baseman Drew Grace rounding home on a fielder’s choice with the bases loaded. Left fielder Bobby Zmarzlak then hit a two-run RBI single to left field as the Terps went into the eighth down just one run with the score at 9-8.

With Maryland in a prime position to get back in the game, Lorusso contributed with a 1-2-3 top of the eighth inning. However, Hoyas’ pitcher Angelo Tonas tossed a shutout inning of his own to keep the score at a one-run margin.

After Lorusso retired another three batters to start the top of the ninth, it was do or die for the Terps down one score in the bottom of the final inning.

First up, Alleyne singled thanks to the second error of the day from Hoyas’ third baseman Cam Meyer. And right after, Shaw smashed a homer down the right field line to win the game for the Terps.

Three things to know

  1. Maryland pitching struggled to find its rhythm early on. The Terps jumped out to a two-run lead early in the game, but their pitching had issues soon after. Ott and Van Buren combined to give up eight earned runs before the fifth inning even arrived. Despite the struggles from those two, Maryland’s pitchers held the Hoyas to just one run over the final five innings, to provide a much-needed bounce back on the mound the rest of the way.
  2. Georgetown has got some serious bats in the dugout. Maryland couldn’t find a way to slow down the Hoyas’ hitters all evening, despite eventually getting the win. Georgetown finished with 11 hits, two more than the Terps managed to collect, and eight different players recorded at least one hit. Georgetown kept putting up runs in the early portion of the game, though it wasn’t able to maintain its hot hitting in the final stretch of the game. Still, it was a very impressive showing from the Hoyas, who were just one clean inning away from getting an upset win.
  3. This team is finding ways to win. Even though the pitching hasn’t been elite for Maryland this season, it usually isn’t behind for most of the games. Still, Maryland has had to fight back a few times this season, including coming back from a major deficit today. Being in a four-run hole isn’t easy for a team to get out of, but the Terps managed to make an improbable comeback.