Maryland baseball’s starters have had trouble keeping opponents at bay in midweek games this season, and that trend continued Tuesday in a 10-7 loss to UNC-Wilmington.
UNCW scored five runs in the first inning, and eventually built up an 8-0 lead. Unlike two of the previous games where the Terps were able to respond quickly and come back, no such quick outburst occurred Tuesday. Instead, the Seahawks kept increasing their lead before Maryland eventually scored.
The Terps didn’t give up. Maryland smashed three home runs, two in consecutive at bats for Kevin Smith and another by Marty Costes. Zach Jancarski helped out with a double and a triple, but the Seahawks’ early lead held up.
Seahawks put up a crooked number in the first inning
Mike Rescigno got his first collegiate start on Tuesday. He was facing UNCW freshman Zarion Sharpe, who also got the starting nod for the first time in his career. Sharpe blanked the Terps in the first inning, but Rescigno was not as fortunate. Casey Golden singled to right, then went to second on an errant pick-off attempt. Brian Mims followed with a four-pitch walk. Brian Feight chopped a high ball over AJ Lee’s head for an RBI double. Mason Berne hit a grounder that Nick Dunn mishandled, and Mims scored the second Seahawk run. When Ryan Jeffers was hit by a pitch, the sacks were filled with still no one out. The lead grew to 4-0 when Daniel Stack lined a single to center. After a strike out, the Seahawks scored again when Robbie Thorburn hit a sacrifice fly to right. After one inning UNCW had a five-run lead.
UNCW increases their lead
Mims led off the bottom of the second with a liner to left. That finished Rescigno, and marked the fourth straight midweek game where the starter couldn’t get out of the second inning. Ryan Hill came on for the Terps, and UNCW put up another run when Ryan Jeffers hit a sharp grounder just past the diving Lee for a double.
Sharpe, who had come into the game with a 20.25 ERA, breezed through the first three innings. The freshman allowed just a single to Marty Costes, and registered five strikeouts.
John Murphy took the hill in the bottom of the third. A walk to Thorburn and a single by McDowell put runners on the corners. McDowell went to second on a wild pitch. Although Golden struck out swinging, the ball got away from Danny Maynard and Thorburn scored. Golden swiped second. McDowell came home on a ground out.
Terps get back in the game on Smith’s two blasts and Costes shot
The Terps got on the board in the fourth when Costes hit his third home run of the season. In the bottom of the inning the Seahawks threatened, but Murphy was able to pitch out of a jam unscathed.
UNCW brought in one of its best relievers, Cory Gantz, to start the fifth inning. Kevin Smith greeted him by hitting a howitzer over the center field fence. Kevin Biondic hit a hard grounder through third baseman Stack’s legs. Danny Maynard stung a double against the wall in center-right field. Lee struck out swinging, however, a passed ball and a Zach Jancarski double pulled the Terps within 8-4.
Jamal Wade came in to pitch in the Seahawk fifth. He struck out McDowell, but the pitch was off target and went to the backstop. McDowell made it easily to first. A balk moved him to second, then Golden slapped an RBI single. Wade ended up striking out the side, recording four Ks in the inning. In fact, Wade struck out the side in the following inning, giving him 7 Ks in two innings.
Smith connected for his second home run of the game in the sixth to bring the Terps within four runs again.
Andrew Green made his first appearance of the year in the seventh inning. He allowed a run on an infield single, sacrifice, ground out, and a two-out wild pitch. UNCW led 10-5.
Maryland’s rally came up short
In the top of the eighth Smith was plunked on the back with a pitch. After Kevin Biondic skied out, Nick Cieri walked. A wild pitch moved up the runners. Another wild pitch scored Smith, to make the score 10-6. Lee struck out, then Jancarski hit a ball up against the left field fence for an RBI triple.
Freshman lefty Jon Dignazio made his collegiate debut for Maryland in the eighth. he retired the side in order.With one out in the top of the ninth, Will Watson hit one to the wall that the left fielder couldn’t corral, resulting in a triple. The Terps couldn’t muster any more hits, and ended up on the wrong end of a 10-7 score.
The Terps fall to 12-7 overall, and Mike Rescigno took the loss to go 1-1.