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Maryland baseball erupts in 25-10 victory over Maine

The Terps had 19 total hits and six home runs.

Photo courtesy of Maryland Athletics
Twitter @TerpsBaseball

A three-hour rain delay did not stop the Maryland bats from putting on an offensive clinic.

The Maryland offense collected 19 total hits with six home runs, giving it a 25-10 win over Maine for its second straight victory. It will look to continue the beatdown on Maine on Saturday and Sunday.

Maine got on base early, as redshirt junior shortstop Jake Rainess started the game with a lead-off single. Rainess then stole second to give Maine an early runner in scoring position with one out, but junior right-hander Jason Savacool was able to force two straight groundouts to escape the early jam.

Maryland wasted no time getting its bats going, as junior third baseman Nick Lorusso and junior short stop Matt Shaw belted back-to-back solo homers to give Maryland an early 2-0 lead. Lorusso’s homer was a moonshot over the left-center field fence, and Shaw roped a screaming line drive over the center field wall.

“You know we haven’t exploded like we did tonight. So getting to do that tonight really is something special, and something that we can continue to do all year,” said Lorusso.

In the second Savacool allowed the lead-off hitter to reach base for the second consecutive inning, but Maine stranded the sole runner.

Fifth-year right fielder Matt Woods hit a frozen rope to center to start the bottom half of the second inning with a single. The next at-bat, sophomore first baseman Eddie Hacopian drew a walk to give senior left fielder Bobby Zmarzlak runners on first and second with no outs. Zmarzlak laid down a successful sacrifice bunt to advance the runners.

Sophomore center fielder Elijah Lambros continued to stay productive at the plate, as he knocked in Maryland’s third run with a fielder’s choice. Maryland continued to take advantage of Maine miscommunications, as Hacopian took home on a wild pitch to give Maryland a 4-0 lead.

In the bottom half of the third, the Maryland offense erupted for an eight-run inning. A walk by sophomore designated hitter Ian Petrutz, a double by junior second baseman Kevin Keister and a hit by pitch for Woods loaded the bases for the Terps. Hacopian was able to score one on a fielder’s choice, extending the Maryland lead to five.

A walk by Zmarzlak gave Maryland the bases loaded for the second time in the inning. The very next at-bat, Lambros annihilated the second pitch over the left-center field fence for a grand slam, making it 9-0.

Maryland couldn’t stop hitting dingers if it tried, as Lorusso and Shaw went later back-to-back for the second time in the game to give Maryland a whopping 12-0 lead after three innings. The Terps shelled Maine starter Colin Fitzgerald, as he gave up 12 earned runs off nine hits with zero strikeouts. Fitzgerald was replaced in the fourth.

Woods reached base for the third straight time in the fourth inning, as he crushed a ball off the wall for a one-out triple. Hacopian recorded his second RBI of the game with a sacrifice fly to score yet another run for Maryland, making it 13-0. Two straight base hits by Shliger and Lorusso scored two more.

In the top of the sixth, Maine scored its first run of the game on a single from senior designated hitter Connor Goodman, ending Savacool’s shutout bid.

Maryland refused to take its foot off the gas pedal, though, as Lambros went opposite field for a two-run homer — his second long ball of the game.

Savacool was taken out of the game after the sixth inning for sophomore right-handed pitcher Ryan Van Buren. Savacool threw a gem, as he only allowed a single run and allowed only two hits, recording four walks and six strikeouts.

“He had a great start. He got out there and he was able to hang zeros up every time we scored, and got us into the sixth inning with a big lead. That’s what the Friday night guy is supposed to do,” Vaughn said.

Maine was able to scrape across a second run in the seventh thanks to a single by fifth-year center fielder Dylan McNary.

In the bottom of the seventh, Maryland head coach Rob Vaughn began giving his younger players opportunities at the plate. Freshmen Devin Russell, Luke Zeisloft, and Simmi Whitehill had their first collegiate at bats. Russell and Whitehill drew walks while Zeisloft roped an RBI double, making the score 18-1.

After a wild pitch made it 19-1, redshirt junior James Heffley pounced on the first pitch of his at-bat with a two-run single.

The Black Bears’ bats began to wake up in the eighth inning, as they put up an eight-spot of their own. But at that point, of course, the result was secure, and Maine was just padding its offensive stats.

Maryland scored four runs in the eighth inning to reach the 25-run mark, a season high.

Three things to know

1. The Maryland offense exploded. It looked like batting practice for the Terps Friday, as they scored a whopping 25 runs in the beatdown. The offense had 19 total hits with six home runs. Four of those homers were back-to-back homers by Lorusso and Shaw, which occurred twice. Lambros was responsible for the other two with one being a grand slam.

2. Savacool tossed a gem. Jason Savacool was dominant from start to finish Friday, shutting down the Maine offense. Savacool threw five scoreless inning, allowing his sole run in the sixth. Savacool only allowed two hits with six strikeouts. This was a much-needed dominant start from him.

3. Freshmen got some opportunities. A handful of freshmen had the opportunity for their first collegiate playing time. They all looked sharp, considering the nerves they may have faced.