Since the beginning of Big Ten play, Sundays have been an issue for Maryland. The Terps had won every conference series, but were yet to complete a sweep.
But, after battling through two weather delays, Maryland baseball was able to rally for a 14-8 victory over Indiana, picking up its first Big Ten series sweep.
Sunday’s win improved the Terps’ season-best winning streak to seven and their overall record to 30-15 (11-4 in the Big Ten).
Maryland got its bats going in the second inning. Back-to-back doubles by sophomore first baseman Eddie Hacopian and fifth-year right fielder Matt Woods gave the Terps an early lead before sophomore third baseman Jacob Orr pulled off a safety squeeze to plate another run.
In the third inning, Maryland continued to capitalize with runners in scoring position, as sophomore left fielder Ian Petrutz and and Hacopian roped consecutive singles to extend the Terps’ lead to four.
In the bottom half of the frame, though, Indiana got itself back in the game with one swing of the bat when freshman right fielder Devin Taylor annihilated a 479-foot three-run homer over the right-center field wall.
Maryland was able to get one of those runs back in the top of the fourth, thanks to an RBI single from senior designated hitter Nick Lorusso — his fifth straight appearance with a run batted in.
In the fifth inning, Maryland’s offense was looking like it was going to get blanked for the first time since the first, but sophomore center fielder Elijah Lambros wouldn’t allow that to happen. He crushed a two-out solo homer to tack on another run for the Terps, making the score 6-3.
But Indiana refused to go away, as its bats came alive for a four-run fifth inning that provided its first lead of the weekend. Junior center fielder Bobby Whalen got the scoring going with a sacrifice fly to right field, and Taylor, who had junior right-hander Jason Savacool’s number all day, blasted his second home run of the game to knot the score at six. Then, sophomore designated hitter Carter Mathison smacked an RBI double to give Indiana the lead.
Junior shortstop Matt Shaw wouldn’t let the Hoosiers’ lead last for too long, however, as he smacked a solo shot to dead center to even the score.
In the middle of the sixth, the game entered a 40-minute lightning delay. Following the first delay, it only took a half-inning before the game came to a halt again.
But once play resumed for good, Maryland took advantage. Junior catcher Luke Shliger laced a two-RBI single to give the Terps a 9-7 lead right out of the break, and in the top of the eighth, Maryland found some insurance runs. Back-to-back singles by Orr and junior second baseman Kevin Keister each scored a run to bring the Terps’ lead to four.
Indiana responded with an RBI double from senior shortstop Philip Glasser to keep it a three-run game, but the Terps put the contest away in the top of the ninth. Lambros capped off the weekend’s offensive outburst by belting a no-doubt two-run homer to seal the series sweep.
Three things to know
1. Maryland’s bats were on fire. Maryland’s offense had yet another stellar performance Sunday; It recorded 14 runs on 18 hits and scored in every inning except the first. As a whole, the Terps scored 43 runs over the weekend.
2. Maryland picked up its first Big Ten sweep. Maryland has won all five of its conference series, but hadn’t yet swept an opponent before Sunday. The Terps ended that drought and secured a massive win to solidify their place atop the Big Ten.
3. Elijah Lambros shined. Lambros went 4-for-4 with two homers, three RBIs and two walks. Behind his near-perfect day at the plate, Maryland cruised to victory. It was his third multi-homer game of the season.