Maryland baseball enters March with a disappointing 1-5 record after the team lost, 9-5, in its series finale against LSU thanks to a bevy of missed chances and shaky pitching. It was the first time that Maryland was swept in a weekend series since May 2014.
The Terps started out the game hot with two home runs from Zach Jancarski and Will Watson in the top of the first. However, the club failed to score again until the seventh inning.
Unlike the shutout in Game 2 of the series, the Terps did put some pressure on LSU’s pitchers, picking up 11 hits on the day. However, Maryland squandered multiple opportunities to put crooked numbers on the board, while the Tigers took advantage of just about every opportunity Maryland gave them.
Offense dominated the game early, as Tyler Blohm was forced to exit in the third inning after surrendering four walks and allowing five runs in his second start as a Terrapin.
LSU freshman Eric Walker did enough to hold the lead through four innings, and the Terps shaky bullpen did the team in once again.
Maryland’s relievers allowed four runs after Blohm’s day was done. The Tigers relievers only allowed two runs in a game that was out of reach late.
Jancarski led off the series finale by hitting a bomb over the left field wall for his first homer of 2017, and designated hitter Will Watson got a hold of the first pitch that he saw for his first home run as a Terrapin a few batters later to give John Szefc’s club an early 3-0 advantage.
After Blohm pitched a scoreless first inning, his control started to get away from him. Freshman designated hitter Rankin Woley got the Tigers on the board with an RBI double before fellow freshman Josh Smith drove him in with with a double of his own. Blohm was able to pick Smith off at second to help preserve Maryland’s early 3-2 lead.
After the Terps couldn’t capitalize on a Jancarski double in the top of the third, LSU made them pay on in the bottom half. Kramer Robertson hit LSU’s third double of the afternoon to tie the game after Maryland first baseman Brandon Gum failed to haul in a foul ball.
The Tigers continued to rally after they forced Blohm out of the game with one out in the third inning. Szefc turned to Ryan Selmer, but the reliever couldn’t stop the outburst. Selmer hit a batter and allowed a couple singles in his second relief appearance of the year. By the time he got out of the third inning, LSU had put up five runs and stretched its lead to 7-3.
Selmer’s struggles continued in the bottom of the fourth, as he gave up a two-run home run to Greg Deichmann. That was the final straw for the redshirt junior as Szefc turned to Andrew Miller to close out the inning. Selmer allowed four runs (two earned) in his lone inning of work.
The game settled down in the fifth and six innings. Maryland relievers Andrew Miller and Ryan Hill combined for two and a third scoreless innings. Hill struck out all three batters he faced.
Maryland snapped a five-inning scoreless streak in the seventh inning on a Marty Costes RBI single. Madison Nickens singled in a run three batters later, but Costes was thrown out at home to end the scoring opportunity.
The Terps rallied one last time in the top of the eighth, loading the bases for the third time in the game after LSU reliever Nick Bush walked all three batters he faced with two men out. But manager Paul Mainieri turned to closer Hunter Newman, who recorded a four-out save.
The Terps will play in their first home game this coming Wednesday for a midweek affair with James Madison at 4 p.m.