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Maryland baseball flops in 13-3 loss to William & Mary

Ineffective pitching cost the Terps in a blowout loss to William & Mary.

Photo courtesy of Maryland Athletics
Twitter @TerpsBaseball

Trailing William & Mary by four in the top of the seventh inning, Maryland baseball was relying on junior right-handed pitcher Logan Ott to keep it within striking distance. He gave up two hits to start the inning, forcing head coach Rob Vaughn to hand the ball to freshman right-handed pitcher Joey Colucci.

Colucci couldn’t put it together in his second career pitching appearance, giving up a two-RBI single to Nick Lottchea, which ultimately served as the dagger in the Terps’ 13-3 loss to William & Mary.

The early goings of Tuesday night’s game were promising for Maryland. Senior outfielder Bobby Zmarzlak made a diving catch to kick things off, and sophomore right-handed pitcher Ryan Van Buren allowed only one hit in his first inning of work.

After Luke Shliger’s bid at a leadoff homer was snagged at the wall, senior third baseman Nick Lorusso hit a double, extending his hitting streak to 27 games. Junior shortstop Matt Shaw followed it up with a single, and a sacrifice fly by Matt Woods put the Terps on the board first.

In the second, though, the Terps’ fortunes began to turn for the worse. Van Buren surrendered another hit, and an error by junior second baseman Kevin Keister meant two runners were on with no outs. Then, graduate infielder Cole Ragone hit a ball that ricocheted off of Van Buren’s leg and into the outfield, bringing a runner around from second. Right after, freshman infielder Ryan Bhojwani hit an RBI single to give the Tribe the lead, and an RBI groundout by sophomore outfielder Lucas Carmichael extended it to two.

But, Maryland fought back in the second, getting back on the board with a hit, walk and an RBI single by sophomore outfielder Elijah Lambros. Afterwards, a sacrifice bunt by freshman catcher Devin Russell and sacrifice fly by Shliger tied things up at three.

In the fourth inning, Van Buren gave up another hit, and with two outs, Max Winters came up to the plate. He hit a ball to the right-field wall that Matt Woods couldn’t track down, and he smashed into the fence, which allowed Winters to round the bases for an inside-the-park home run. Woods, despite being shaken up and exiting the game, was able to walk off the field on his own.

Ott relieved Van Buren, and Joe Delossantos welcomed him with a nuke over the left-field scoreboard to make the lead three for the Tribe.

Maryland couldn't respond, as senior right-handed pitcher Tom Mayer shut the Terps down with three straight hitless innings.

The Tribe extended their lead to four when Ott gave up his second home run, this time to sophomore infielder Luca Danos.

After another hitless inning from the Terps, the Tribe were able to get two runners on in the top of the seventh, which forced Ott out the game. After walking the bases loaded, Vaughn turned to a freshman, right-handed pitcher Wagner Morrisette, who was able to get out of the inning with a double play.

After two strikeouts started the seventh, hits by Shaw and freshman outfielder Luke Zeisloft — who replaced Woods in right field — broke a four-inning cold streak. Keister then hit a grounder to third base that promised to end the inning, but Shaw narrowly beat freshman infielder Corey Adams to the bag to load the bases. First baseman Eddie Hacopian worked a full count with two outs, but struck out to end the rally.

Vaughn continued to go from freshman to freshman on the mound. Three walks by Morrisette took him out of the game, and right-handed pitcher Eli Stowe had three walks of his own to bring two more runs home, as the game truly fell out of reach.

Maryland couldn't get anything else going in the next two innings; Rojo Prarie shut the Terps down, extending a six-inning scoreless drought. Sensing the game being out of reach, Vaughn turned to his bench, which resulted in freshman infielder Alex Irizarry getting his first collegiate hit.

Another three-walk inning and a dropped third strike resulted in another run for William & Mary. The Terps’ sixth pitching change of the game featured senior right-handed pitcher Matt Orlando, who finally ended the inning.

Uneventful and quiet late innings eased Maryland into a 13-3 loss.

The loss broke Maryland’s five-game midweek winning streak, dating back to its first midweek game against West Virginia. The Terps get to play at home again this weekend, as they face Rutgers in a three-game series.

Three things to know

1. Another rough pitching outing. Maryland's pitching cost it Sunday’s game against Iowa, and while it wasn’t the sole factor in the loss against William & Mary, it was far less than ideal. Ott and Van Buren surrendered four earned runs each and 11 hits total, and the Terps walked 11 batters after Ott exited in the seventh inning. Vaughn made a questionable move by putting in a freshman in a high-leverage situation in the seventh, but he may need to save arms for an important conference series against Rutgers this weekend.

2. The bats fell asleep. After a great start, the Maryland bats went silent after the second inning. The Terps had seven straight scoreless innings to end the game, including three straight hitless frames in the middle of the game. By the time they tried to rally in the later innings, it was too late.

3. Great crowd, great weather. The temperature at the start of the game was over 80 degrees and sunny, bringing in an energized crowd as the night went on. Maryland may not be in position to host a regional this season, but it will need its home fans to show up with conference series on the docket.