With No. 24 Maryland baseball struggling offensively through the first three innings, its matchup against Siena was up for grabs. But soon enough, the Terps’ 2022 home run leader prevailed.
First baseman Maxwell Costes stepped up to the plate to begin the bottom of the fourth and smashed a moonshot over the right field wall, giving Maryland a two-run lead.
Costes’ eighth home run of the season sparked the Terps’ offense as the solo shot was followed with five more runs in the same inning. Maryland’s six-run fourth inning was more than enough for the Terps to secure the 19-2 win over Siena on Sunday afternoon in College Park.
After sweeping the three-game season series against Siena, Maryland will hit the road on Tuesday to take on UMBC for the second time this season. The Terps scored a combined 40 runs in the Siena series sweep en route to improving their record to 16-3 this season.
Maryland’s total of 19 runs in the third game of the series was a season-high.
Sophomore right-handed pitcher Jason Savacool found his rhythm early, retiring his first six batters, including five straight strikeouts as the Saints didn’t know how to deal with his off-speed pitches.
But while Savacool was hot, the Terps’ offense was not. Through the first two innings, Maryland was unable to produce any baserunners, which forced Savacool to stay perfect on the mound.
After striking out the first batter, Savacool showed he was human, walking two of the next three batters he faced. With a runner on second, the Terps got out of the inning unharmed as Savacool forced a ground ball to third in the top of the third inning as it remained scoreless.
Maryland finally put a man on first as right fielder Troy Schreffler singled to center field. After designated hitter Sean Lane walked, second baseman Kevin Keister and catcher Luke Shliger each struck out. With two outs and runners on second and third, center fielder Chris Alleyne beat out the throw from third base, giving Maryland a 1-0 lead heading into the fourth.
Savacool got back to dominating in the fourth, striking out two batters in his third 1-2-3 inning.
The Terps’ offense then found a way to explode in the bottom of the fourth, manufacturing six runs. First baseman Maxwell Costes wasted little time, sending the second pitch of the inning over the right center field wall. With shortstop Matt Shaw standing on first, Schreffler drilled a two-run homer that bounced off of the top of the wall.
A walk and an error gave Maryland base runners on first and second with Shliger at the plate. After a rough first two at-bats, he smacked a stand-up triple down the right field line, pushing the lead to six. Shliger found his way home before the inning ended thanks to a sacrifice fly by Alleyne. With two outs, the Terps loaded up the bases, but weren’t able to add on to the six-run inning.
Siena got its first hit of the day in the top of the fifth as Maryland held a comfortable 7-0 advantage, but nothing was made out of it as Savacool’s shutout continued.
Maryland’s reign of offensive terror continued in the bottom of the fifth, pushing its lead to double-digits. Keister got things rolling with a two-run shot, the first home run of his career. Third baseman Nick Lorusso and Shaw followed in suit with back-to-back doubles, scoring two more runs for the Terps.
Savacool continued his masterclass in the sixth, striking out the side for the second time on the day with his team holding an insurmountable 11-0 lead.
While the Terps couldn’t put up any runs in the bottom of the sixth, their lead remained as Savacool tacked on his 14th strikeout of the day.
Maryland got back on track in the seventh inning, adding five more runs to its total. With the bases loaded Schreffler collected his fourth hit of the day with a single to right field. Soon after, Lane cleared the bases with a grand slam, which was his first career homer.
Graduate student pitcher Nick Robinson replaced Savacool in the eighth, but the results remained similar with another 1-2-3 inning for the Terps.
The offensive remained dangerous in the eighth despite most of the starters being pulled. Back-to-back RBI doubles added on two more, and a Lane single scored the final Maryland run of the game.
In his first appearance of the season, sophomore Gavin Stellpflug loaded the bases with no outs. After striking out the next two batters, Siena scored its first runs of the day with an RBI single to right field. Stellpflug collected himself and struck out the last batter of the game, giving Maryland a 19-2 win.
Three things to know
1. Savacool was dealing. The sophomore had his way today as there was absolutely nothing the Saints could do. He recorded a career-high 14 strikeouts through seven innings, allowing just one hit and no runs. The outing adds on to his already elite season. He entered Sunday with a 2.70 ERA, .93 WHIP and 30 strikeouts.
2. Lorusso and Keister had themselves a weekend. The two infielders were dominant this weekend, leading Maryland to a series sweep. With Lorusso batting in the third slot and Keister in the ninth, the Terps’ lineup is looking scary as they have legitimate threats throughout. After another mesmerizing day, the two combined for 14 hits, 11 runs and three home runs this weekend.
3. The Terps’ confidence should skyrocket with this commanding series sweep. Even though Siena isn’t necessarily a very compelling opponent, the Terps were near flawless nonetheless this weekend. Maryland clicked on both offense and defense, shutting the Saints out through eight innings, while putting up 19 runs. After outscoring Siena by 29 runs this weekend, the Terps should be feeling good as they travel to Dallas Baptist next weekend.