Maryland baseball entered Saturday’s game looking to secure its sixth straight Big Ten series victory to start the season and extend its winning streak to 10 games.
That didn’t go as planned, though, as Nebraska started the game with a bang, putting up five runs in the top of the first inning. The Terps battled the whole way, but were ultimately unable to dig themselves out of their early deficit, dropping game two of the series, 12-10.
The Cornhuskers started the game just as they did Friday night’s — scoring runs early. Sophomore left fielder Gabe Swansen got Nebraska on the board first after a costly error by Maryland senior third baseman Nick Lorusso. Then, fifth-year designated hitter Griffin Everitt capped off the inning by demolishing a grand slam to give Nebraska a commanding 5-0 lead.
“[McCoy] was just kind of really flat and out over the plate, you know, to a really good hitting team,” head coach Rob Vaughn said. “Just a lot of pitches ended up in the middle...and [Nebraska] made him pay,”
Both squads’ bats were hot early, as junior shortstop Matt Shaw smashed a line drive over the left-center field fence for a two-run homer that began to chip away at the deficit.
In the bottom of the second, the Terps added two more runs, courtesy of solo shots from junior second baseman Kevin Keister and a second from Shaw.
“[Shaw’s] an elite player and he gave us a chance today,” Vaughn said.
Nebraska had an immediate response to the Terps’ homers, hitting three of its own in the top of the third. Junior second baseman Max Anderson and Swansen crushed back-to-back homers, and fifth-year first baseman Efry Cervantes also hit a two-run shot over the left field wall to make the score 9-4.
Maryland’s bats woke back up in the bottom of the fifth with a double off the wall by Shaw, which put runners on second and third with no outs for senior third baseman Nick Lorusso. Lorusso capped off an 11-pitch at-bat with a monster three-run home run to cut Maryland’s deficit to two.
Nebraska wouldn’t let the Maryland rallies last, as it put up three more runs in the top of the sixth.
Maryland crept back in it in the bottom half of the frame, when Keister and junior catcher Luke Shliger took home on wild pitches.
But the Terps couldn’t get runs across in the seventh or eighth, and it was too little, too late for Maryland in the ninth. Despite an RBI single from sophomore outfielder Elijah Lambros, the Terps’ nine-game winning streak came to an end.
Three things to know
1. It was a home run fest at “The Bob.” Between both squads, there were a combined eight home runs. The two biggest were Nebraska’s grand slam in the first and Lorusso’s three-run jack in the fifth.
2. Kyle McCoy struggled. The freshman looked like he was fatigued from the the start. It started with a a disastrous five-run first inning, and despite a scoreless second, he gave up four more runs in the third. He allowed four home runs in 2 2⁄3 innings.
3. The Terps’ conference series win streak is in danger. Nebraska’s win means that Maryland needs a win in Sunday’s rubber match to win the series. The Terps have won their first five conference series this season and have not dropped a conference series in 20 tries.