It’s hard enough to break the career RBI record in two years, but it’s even harder when you’re chasing the player that bats right in front of you.
That was the case for Maryland senior third baseman Nick Lorusso, who broke the program’s all-time RBI record in the third inning with an RBI double that brought in junior shortstop Matt Shaw.
That lasted one whole inning. Shaw drew even with him in the fourth with a three-run home run, giving the Terps a 7-1 lead. With their respective hits, they each broke a 35-year record held by Scott Patterson, en route to a 14-5 win over Minnesota.
The Terps got things going when sophomore Eddie Hacopian hit an RBI single in the first, jumping out to an early 1-0 lead.
Junior right-handed pitcher Jason Savacool posted his best start in weeks against the Golden Gophers, shutting down the offense that put up four home runs the night before. He surrendered five hits and only one run in his first five innings pitched. His sole run was surrendered in the fourth when Ike Mezzenga hit a home run to put the Gophers on the board.
But the bats started to unload in the bottom of the fourth. Shaw’s three-run blast was followed up with a two-run home run by fifth-year outfielder Matt Woods to put the Terps up 9-1. The fifth was similar, with Lorusso taking back the RBI lead on a groundout, an RBI groundout by sophomore outfielder Ian Petrutz scoring another and yet another home run by Woods plating three.
Both defenses were not up to par on Saturday. Several errors for the Gophers brought in runs in the fifth, including one that would have gotten the Gophers out of the inning. The error would prove costly with two outs when Woods hit his second blast. But the Terps also were not good in the field on Saturday — in the sixth, a hit batter and a single were brought in via an error and a fielder’s choice, which made the game 14-3. Both runs in the sixth were ruled unearned, and when all was said and done, the Terps had three errors, and the Gophers had two.
Sophomore left-handed pitcher Andrew Johnson pitched two innings surrendering one run and freshman right-handed pitcher Caleb Estes made his collegiate pitching debut, allowing one unearned run to finish off the game.
The Terps will look to take their 22nd straight Big Ten series on Sunday, with the game at noon on Big Ten Network.
Three things to know
1. A much-needed win. Maryland tumbled 16 spots in RPI after a loss to the Golden Gophers on Friday and needed a win Saturday to keep its Big Ten series winning streak alive. It did just that, cruising to a nine-run victory.
2. Savacool bounced back. Savacool had struggled in his past two starts, but on Saturday, he shined. He surrendered one earned run on seven hits. Although Minnesota’s offense is at the bottom of the Big Ten, it was encouraging to see him pitch this way with the postseason on the horizon.
3. Another offensive onslaught. Huge performances by Woods, Shaw, Lorusso and Shliger propelled the Terps Saturday. The game was a huge bounce back from the seven-run performance they put up on Friday. The Terps had 12 hits and drew 11 free passes.