No. 18 Maryland baseball found itself in an offensive lull heading into the bottom of the fourth inning, only producing one baserunner in the previous two innings.
Sophomore second baseman Kevin Keister then stepped up to the plate and crushed a fastball to deep right-field that bounced off the top of the wall. After scoring on an error by Georgetown junior catcher Adam Dapkewicz, the Terps offense found their rhythm, scoring seven more runs in the bottom of the fourth.
While Maryland’s eight-run fourth inning set the tone, runs came from all over in a whopping 19-1 beatdown of Georgetown on Tuesday evening in College Park. Maryland completed the three-game, season series sweep over Georgetown with the win.
The Terps will head to New Jersey this weekend to face Rutgers in a Big Ten weekend series.
“You got a big weekend ahead, you’re wondering if the guys are looking past the midweek game, and they didn’t. They showed up today, rang the bell, and now we got two days to prepare for a really, really good Rutgers team,” head coach Rob Vaughn said.
Graduate student right-handed pitcher Nick Robinson got his first start of the season and was able to get out of the first without surrendering a run.
Maryland’s offense instantly got to work in the top of the first, putting runners on first and third with no outs. Junior third baseman Nick Lorusso flew out to left-center field, but it was deep enough to score sophomore designated hitter Luke Shliger.
Junior right fielder Troy Schreffler went 4-for-4 on Sunday against Northwestern and continued his hitting streak with an RBI single to left field. With senior left-handed pitcher Angelo Tonas now on the mound, sophomore second baseman Kevin Keister ripped a line drive single to left field, doubling the Terps lead to four.
Georgetown was able to respond in the top of the second after freshman left-handed pitcher Andrew Johnson replaced Robinson. Johnson struggled to throw strikes, walking three batters and hitting one as the Hoyas pushed one run across the plate. Freshman right-handed pitcher Noah Mortek relieved Johnson to record the last out of the inning.
Mrotek found success in the top of the third, striking out two batters en route to a 12-pitch inning.
After back-to-back uneventful innings for the Terps offense, Keister smashed a leadoff double that hit off the top of the right field wall. Then, Dapkewicz tried picking off junior catcher Riley Langerman at first, but sailed the ball over sophomore first baseman Christian Ficca’s head.
The costly error scored Keister and advanced Langerman to third. Maryland wasn’t done there as fifth-year senior Chris Alleyne, Lorusso and sophomore shortstop Matt Shaw each hit RBI singles.
The Terps tacked on four more runs before the end of the fourth inning to take a commanding 12-1 lead.
Sophomore left-handed pitcher Logan Ott shut out the Hoyas in the fifth and sixth innings, only throwing 16 pitches in back-to-back perfect innings.
Keister hit a leadoff single through the left side to begin the bottom of the sixth as Maryland looked to expand its lead. With two outs on the board, Lorusso ripped a double down the left field line, scoring Keister and advancing Shliger to third.
Senior first baseman Maxwell Costes was responsible for the final three runs scored in the sixth, smacking a double to left-center field with the bases loaded. The five-run inning pushed Maryland’s lead to 16.
The Terps made some substitutions in the bottom of the seventh, but the offense didn’t skip a beat. Redshirt sophomore catcher James Heffley went yard in his third at-bat of the season, and was followed by another home run from freshman outfielder Zach Martin, his first of the season.
After a scoreless eighth inning, freshman left-handed pitcher Michael Walsh shut the door in the top of the ninth, retiring the side in four batters to clinch Maryland’s dominant win.
Three things to know
1. Maryland took a different pitching approach. Instead of starting Ott, freshman southpaw Andrew Johnson or freshman right-handed pitcher Ryan Van Buren – the Terps usual midweek starters – head coach Rob Vaughn took a different approach. Maryland rolled out three different pitchers in the first three innings as it didn’t give the Georgetown batters a chance to see them twice. The Terps only allowed one run in the first three innings, so it will be interesting to see if Vaughn reverts back to this strategy in Maryland’s last midweek game against James Madison on May 17.
2. Maryland’s offense is hot. Another phenomenal offensive performance for the Terps marks the fourth time in the last five games that they have eclipsed double-digit runs. In those four games, Maryland has recorded 60 runs, 54 hits and eight home runs. The Terps offense is peaking at just the right time with postseason play on the horizon.
“It just shows what they’re capable of, I mean it’s a dangerous offense,” Vaughn said. “That’s what you’re striving for is consistency of scoring runs because it takes some stress off some of your arms out there.”
3. Logan Ott was dominant as a relief pitcher. Ott has been Maryland’s go-to midweek starter and has started in all but two of his appearances. The sophomore didn’t start Tuesday’s game, but still pitched three solid innings, surrendering just one hit. This is a good sign for Vaughn who may elect to use Ott as a primary relief pitcher in the postseason.
“I thought Logan Ott did a great job of kind of changing the momentum of the game on the mound for us,” Vaughn said. “He’s a strike thrower, you know you’re going to get two or three innings out of him at some point in the game.”