Maryland baseball’s offense came out swinging in the early innings Saturday against Bryant, which was the difference in the Terps’ 9-2 win in the first game of a doubleheader. It was also coach John Szefc’s 150th win with Maryland, making him the fastest coach in program baseball history to do so.
The Terps (8-5) benefitted from offensive production and inconsistent pitching by the Bulldogs (3-9) in the early innings. Bryant pitchers threw five walks through the first three innings, which accounted for four of Maryland’s first five runs.
Maryland was first on the scoreboard for the first time during the homestand. The Terps put up a three-spot in the first inning, starting out with a Zach Jancarski walk. Marty Costes drove him home with an opposite-field double, Will Watson drove Costes home with an RBI single, and Kevin Smith drove Brandon Gum, who walked earlier in the inning, home with a sacrifice fly.
In the third, Bryant pitching loaded the bases with two walks and an infield bunt single. Bryant starter Chris Wright (0-2) was pulled for Craig Lacey, who walked home a run and gave up another from an RBI groundout, putting the Terps up 5-1 by that point.
Bryant got its run in the top of the frame from a walk, an error by third baseman Kevin Biondic, and an RBI single.
Maryland struck again in the fifth, starting out with a walk to Biondic and an error that allowed Jamal Wade to reach base. Biondic then got picked off at second base before Justin Morris singled up the middle and Jancarski drove them both home with an RBI double.
Bryant got one back in the sixth after Jimmy Titus reached on an error by Kevin Smith, advanced to second on a passed ball, and came around from two groundouts.
The Terps got two of their own back in the bottom half of the inning. Marty Costes hit a double down the line and advanced to third on a passed ball. Then, Gum hit a towering fly ball down the left field line that carried out for a two-run home run, his first of the season. That put the Terps up 9-2, and sealed the game.
Maryland also benefitted from a stellar pitching performance out of Taylor Bloom (2-2), who pitched seven innings of 2-run ball, striking out three. This was a redemption outing for Bloom, who had given up 14 runs in only 12 innings of work coming into the game.
Of the Maryland bats who came through today, three stood out: Jancarski, Costes, and Gum. Jancarski went 3-for-4 on the day, with the two-run double and two stolen bases. Costes went 3-for-3 with two doubles, three runs scored, one RBI, and two walks. Gum went 2-for-3 with the two-run homer, three runs scored and a stolen base.
Bryant pitching ended up walking eight Maryland batters on the day, compared to only two for the Terps.
The second game of the doubleheader starts at 3:40. You can listen on Maryland Baseball Network.