It didn’t take long for No. 1-seed Maryland baseball to make its presence felt in its opening game of the regional against No. 4-seed Long Island. The bottom of the second inning saw the Terps explode on offense and ultimately end the game before it even started.
Maryland got on the board first with an errant throw by Long Island shortstop EJ Exposito that saw Terps junior outfielder Troy Schreffler Jr. score Maryland’s first run.
The Terps wouldn’t stop there. Its offense would seemingly continue to showcase its electricity in dominant fashion. A three-run RBI double by third baseman Nick Lorusso, a two-run homer by shortstop Matt Shaw and a string of contributions throughout the lineup allowed Maryland to take a commanding 9-0 lead after just two innings.
Maryland’s crushing continued throughout the night in front of its electric home crowd in College Park, cruising to a 23-2 win over Long Island on Friday night in the regional opener to advance to the next round and a pending matchup against No. 3-seed UConn on Saturday.
The atmosphere at Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium was electric and buzzing for postseason baseball, as Maryland hosted a regional in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history in front of a sold-out crowd.
The offensive explosion continued in the third inning after Lorusso doubled to left center field, scoring catcher Luke Shliger. Then, Schreffler hit a two-run RBI double to left field that scored both Shaw and Lorusso, pushing the Terps lead to 12.
The onslaught continued in the fourth inning when Shliger bombed a two-run homer over the center field wall. Five more runs were scored in the seventh inning, making it a 19-0 ball game after just four innings.
The Terps pushed their lead even further in the sixth inning with a home run from designated hitter Ian Petrutz – his third hit of the day – that made it 20-0.
Left-handed pitcher Ryan Ramsey, who had a stellar day on the mound pitching five innings, throwing 11 strikeouts while allowing no runs and just four hits, exited the game after five innings and a more than comfortable lead. He was replaced by southpaw reliever Logan Ott.
Ott allowed Long Island to get on the board for its first run of the day with a home run in the seventh inning.
However, the Terps refused to take their foot off the gas. In the bottom of the seventh, first baseman Maxwell Costes knocked a two-run RBI single to center field, extending the lead to 22-1.
As if it needed any more insurance, Maryland tacked on one more run in the eighth inning to solidify its 21-run victory.
Once the Maryland bats got going, Long Island truly never had a chance. The Sharks were overmatched and overpowered on Friday night, and the Terps closed out a performance to remember.
Three things to know
- Ryan Ramsey pitched five strong innings. The Terps’ left-handed pitcher got out to a blazing start and negated Long Island’s offense. Ramsey kept batters off rhythm with different pitches and swift rotations by his teammates. He registered 11 strikeouts and did not relinquish a run during his five innings on the mound. The Terps will need that type of performance from their starting pitchers as they advance in the regional.
- The Terps offense proved once again how formidable it can be. Maryland’s offense took control of this game from the second inning forward and seemingly never looked back. Contributions were coming from multiple Terps, and their collaborative effort should grab the attention of UConn and Wake Forest. The Terps have shown the nation how lethal their offense can be when it’s clicking, but to do it in postseason play is even more remarkable. Maryland scored 23 runs on 20 hits, showing out for what was its first-ever home postseason game.
- Maryland will play UConn on Saturday in the next round. The regional is a double-elimination style bracket, meaning a team has to lose twice before it is eliminated. Maryland put itself in good position to advance to the super regional with a dominant win on Friday night. Now Maryland will play No. 3-seed UConn, which upset No. 2-seed Wake Forest on Friday afternoon, on Saturday night to advance to the regional championship. If Maryland beats UConn, it will have to win one more game to win the College Park Regional. If they lose to UConn, the Terps will have a must-win game on Sunday.