No. 24 Maryland finished Saturday’s doubleheader with a sweep of Siena College after a disappointing loss to Delaware back on March 15.
With the pair of wins on Saturday in College Park, the Terrapins improve to 15-3 this season, which is the second-best record in the Big Ten, only behind Purdue’s 16-1 overall record.
The Terps started off a little bit rocky, being down after the first four innings of game one. But they led in every other inning of both games, winning 14-9 and 7-0 behind some excellent pitching in game two.
Maryland’s offense leads the way in 14-9 victory in game one
After a scoreless first inning to kick off the doubleheader, Maryland started gaining a little confidence after some success on the mound.
The Terps’ typical Friday starter, junior right-handed pitcher Nick Dean, threw two strikeouts in the top of the second to send the Saints back to the field. That opened the door for Maryland to take control of an early opportunity in the bottom of the same inning.
Second baseman Kevin Keister and catcher Luke Shliger rattled off back-to-back doubles in quick succession with Shliger’s hit bringing in Keister, along with right fielder Troy Schreffler to give the Terps an early lead. After two innings, Maryland found themselves with a two-run advantage.
The top of the third found the Terrapins in a rut, and it all started with a lead off home run from Siena first baseman Matt Livingston. Livingston smacked a ball that just kept carrying to put his team on the board. But the scoring didn’t stop as designated hitter Vincent Dinicola and right fielder Vincenzo Castronovo combined to hit a pair of RBI doubles, just like Keister and Shliger did in the second. Dinicola and Castronovo ended up bringing three runs home, suddenly giving Siena a 4-2 lead after three innings.
The Saints just kept on coming to play in the fourth with shortstop Devin Kruzinski coming up with the team’s second RBI double off Maryland’s Dean. That rip into left field made that inning Dean’s last inning of work after Siena went up by four runs.
Right-handed pitcher Sean Heine attempted to give his team, which had just three hits through four innings, a bit of a spark to lead off the fifth. His quick 1-2-3 inning included two strikeouts, handing his team something to work with despite being down 6-2.
Using this newfound momentum, Maryland turned the bottom of the fifth inning into a comeback party.
First baseman Maxwell Costes and right fielder Troy Schreffler both notched RBI doubles followed up by a sac fly from designated hitter Zach Martin. Keister came up after Martin and had an RBI single bringing Schreffler home, but the inning kept on going in Maryland’s favor.
Shliger’s RBI double brought Keister home, marking the second time in the game Keister and Shliger collected RBIs in consecutive at-bats, giving the Terps a critical 7-6 lead.
Outfielder Chris Alleyne proceeded to crack a homer over the right-center field wall with Shliger rounding home with him. After being down four, Maryland was suddenly up three runs after a chaotic five innings.
Maryland’s hitting didn’t fade away in the sixth either as the Terps responded to a Siena solo homer with a three-run rocket from Schreffler over the centerfield wall, which put Maryland up 12-7.
The Terps kept on finding ways to add runs to their total and just about everyone was getting in the mix. After pitcher David Falco threw a few strikeouts to get Maryland back at the plate, third baseman Nick Lorusso cracked the bat deep himself with a moonshot over the wall, putting Maryland up by six and making him the third Terp to homer in the game.
Siena tried to get something going in the eighth as Livingston hit his second solo homer of the day, but Shliger came back in the bottom of the inning with his third RBI of the day, this time a single to keep the Terp lead at six going into the ninth. Siena was only able to put one run in the ninth, giving Maryland the 14-9 win in the opening game of the doubleheader.
Ramsey’s stellar outing on the mound leads the Terps to 7-0 win in game two
A positive first inning for the Terps featured two strikeouts from Saturday starter Ryan Ramsey and a sac groundout from Costes brought Alleye home to award Maryland the early 1-0 lead.
Schreffler continued his hot performance from the first game to expand the Terps’ advantage. In the bottom of the second inning, Schreffler laid down a very clutch bunt that made its way down the third base line, which forced an error and brought one run home in the process. After eventually advancing to third following his RBI, the right fielder managed to sneak home on a wild pitch from Ben Seiler.
Mistakes from the Saints handed Maryland a decent lead after just two innings as it went up 2-0.
Ramsey started to get hot over the course of the next two innings, which allowed Maryland to maintain its lead. Ramsey took down the Saints 1-2-3 in the top of the third and then he struck out another batter in the fourth inning to preserve his team’s advantage.
Ramsey, who entered Saturday’s start with a dazzling 2.84 ERA and a perfect 4-0 record, continued to build on the Terps’ momentum. The top of the fifth inning was highlighted by the left-handed junior striking out three consecutive batters in 1-2-3 succession.
Ramsey’s nearly perfect outing only got better as the game went on. In the sixth inning, the Montvale, New Jersey native struck out his first two batters. After the streak was broken and he allowed two runners on, Ramsey composed himself and threw a nasty strike on a 2-2 count to Castronovo for his 11th strikeout of the day.
Even though the bats had been struggling all second game, they decided to respond to their pitcher’s performance in the bottom of the sixth inning by loading the bases with no outs. Outfielder Bobby Zmarzlak stepped up and hit a solid RBI single to left field, bringing a run home and loading the bases with no outs. Schreffler then hit a sac fly, bringing in another run and bringing the lead to 5-0 in favor of Maryland.
Freshman Noah Mrotek replaced Ramsey to start the seventh inning, and it seemed like the great pitching was just in the College Park air. He threw three strikeouts in the seventh to keep Siena scoreless.
With the pitching staying consistent all game, the bats started to find some of that consistent mojo as well. Alleyne smashed a solo homer and Zmarazlak continued his strong day with an RBI single. Maryland went up 7-0 after seven fill innings, looking just as comfortable as it had been all day.
Nigel Belgrave came in to pitch for Maryland in the eighth, got himself a strikeout and still kept the Saints scoreless.
Freshman Andrew Johnson came into the game to close it out in the top of the ninth. Johnson also collected a strikeout, and got the first win of his career as every pitcher got a strikeout in the second game of the doubleheader for Maryland.
Three things to know
- It was an uncharacteristic day for Nick Dean. The normal Friday starter had a .93 ERA before today’s start, but his performance on the mound Saturday didn’t help his numbers. He only lasted four innings after allowing nine hits and six runs in that span. It seemed like his confidence was diminishing with how the Saints were getting hits off of him. The Terps were able to win despite Dean’s start, possibly just a bad day at the office for Maryland’s ace.
- The Maryland bats bounced back from the Delaware game. In the Terps’ loss to Delaware midweek, the Blue Hens had a streak when they retired 18 straight Maryland batters. This was not the case today. Maryland had a combined 25 hits and 21 runs in Saturday’s doubleheader. Maryland muscled out just three total runs in the loss to Delaware, but this doubleheader was a huge turnaround offensively.
- The Terps look ready to prove their ranking. While this may be somewhat of an uneven matchup for the highest-ranked team in the Big Ten, this is a good morale booster for the Terps. They are going into a tough week in which they have to face a UMBC squad midweek that they beat on a walk-off earlier this year. Then they head to Texas to take on Dallas Baptist in a three-game series. The Patriots will be one of the more challenging opponents Maryland is set to face. So after what head coach Rob Vaugh called a “blip on the radar” midweek loss to Delaware this week, it’s nice to have these two games in the bag for Maryland.