Seven hours and 31 runs later, Maryland clawed its way back atop James Madison 19-12 to take the season series between the teams on Tuesday night.
Shortstop Kevin Smith was the undeniable hero of the game, totaling seven RBI to go with his two hits and two runs scored.
Right fielder Madison Nickens opened the game with a solo bomb to quickly put the Terps up 1-0, but the Dukes tied it up in the bottom of the inning. Eight batters later, Nickens took to the batters box again with the based loaded, but kept his composure and forced a walk-in run. With the bases still loaded, Smith launched a four-run shot to give the Terps a five run lead by the second inning.
Things weren't exactly smooth sailing from here on out though. Starter Tayler Stiles had to be relieved in the bottom of the second after giving up two singles, allowing a runner to advance on a wild pitch and hitting catcher Bobby San Martin. Ryan Selmer came in but didn't exactly provide needed relief, giving up four runs to let JMU completely erase their five run deficit.
The game continued to roll downhill for the Terps, with three different pitchers in the third inning still allowing two runs to score. AJ Lee doubled in centerfielder Zach Jancarski to bring the game to just on score, but JMU's Adam Sisk crushed a solo shot in the bottom of the frame.
But everything changed in the sixth inning, almost like some cheesy symbolic form of divine intervention. Smith scored two runs on an outfield single to tie the game up at 9-apiece. After lightning struck Virginia and the surrounding areas to force a 2-hour weather delay, the Terps put three more runs on the board
The Dukes slowly inched their way back into the game, and in the bottom of the ninth placed two runners on base facing a two run deficit. Maryland's Andrew Green stood at the mound with two outs and two strikes in his back pocket, with just one more strike against Kyle Weston to seal the game.
It just wasn't in the cards right then, as Weston launched the possible game-ender into deep center to score both base runners and tie the game up in the bottom of the ninth.
Now breaching midnight, extra innings would determine who wanted the mental marathon more.
The Terps would mount a furious two-out rally in the top of the 10th inning by laying off on bad looks to force an abundance of walks. Following two walk-in runs, pinch hitter Andrew Bechtold spurred a five score run by singling through the third base-line. Maryland's seven run lead would not be erased, and they would finally pull out the win to improve to four games over .500.
Three things to know
1. Maryland's pitching almost let the offense down
You never want to throw teammates under the bus, but had the Terps lost, you would have to chalk it up to the pitching roster and not the whole team. The offense produced six runs in two innings to give Maryland an extremely comfortable lead, and the pitchers are just lucky the offense struck lightning in a bottle after the delay.
2. Andrew Bechtold stepped up big
Where would the Terps have been without the pinch-hitting freshman? With the way the game went, who even knows? But Bechtold essentially clinched the victory in extra innings. The third baseman's clutch at bat against JMU was exactly what the doctor ordered. It might give him confidence for the rest of the season.
3. Nothing was going Maryland's way until the weather delay
Hot take: Maryland probably wouldn't have won without the lightning setting back the sixth inning almost two hours. Tying it up at nine runs apiece was a huge momentum swing, but the Terps went on an offensive tear after they got a little rest and relaxation. They played loose, and maybe its a product of some team bonding dancing.