Maryland baseball scored early and often, thoroughly outplaying No. 6 North Carolina State in a 9-2 win. It was the Terps’ first win over a top-10 team this season, and will certainly help their RPI.
Taylor Bloom pitched in 2016 fashion, allowing only two runs through seven innings. His off speed pitches had the Wolfpack off balance all evening.
Terps take a lead they never relinquish
Maryland had more runs than hits, and was the beneficiary of seven walks and two hit batsmen. But they also had home runs off the bats of Marty Costes and Madison Nickens, and took advantage of every opportunity to score in six of the eight innings. The Terps were also solid in the field.
Maryland scored two runs in the first, but might have had more. Zach Jancarski went inside out to flare a single to right, and then stole second. Nick Dunn and Marty Costes both walked to load the bases. Brandon Gum also walked, giving the Terps a 1-0 lead. That finished the Wolfpack starter, Cory Wilder. Sophomore RHP Austin Staley came on in relief and got Nick Cieri to ground out to third, scoring Dunn. But the inning ended when Gum was thrown out trying to steal third and Cieri was picked off first.
Terps muscle their way to a big lead
The Terps went up by three runs when Costes hit a blast to left center field in the third inning. In the next inning, Cieri drew a leadoff walk and Madison Nickens hit a towering home run to put the Terps up 5-0.
The lead grew to 6-0 in the fifth, but not without an anxious moment. Dunn laced a double down the right field line. Gum was struck on the leg by a pitch and went down in visible pain. He stayed in the game, but was erased when Cieri hit into a force out. With two outs, Nickens laid down a beautiful drag bunt that scored Dunn from third.
Wolfpack get on the board, but Terps more than match it
Bloom had breezed through the first five innings, looking every bit like he did in 2016. However, the Wolfpack were able to push a run across in the top of the sixth. Will Wilson was hit by a pitch, and advanced to second on a wild pitch. A ground out sent Wilson to third, and he scored on another ground out. In the next inning, Shane Shepard hit a solo home run to make the score 6-2.
Maryland struck right back without getting a hit. Dunn and Costes led off with walks. Gum put down a nice bunt, and the pitcher’s throw to first was off target. Dunn scored, and runners were on second and third. After two Terrapin hitters fanned, a wild pitch brought home Costes.
Ryan Selmer came on to pitch in the eighth inning. Bloom’s final line: 7ip, 2 r, 2 er, 5 h, 2 bb, and 5 k. A leadoff single and a swinging bunt on a slow rolling ground ball put runners on the corners with one away. Selmer fanned the next two hitters, pumping his fist as he left the mound.
An infield single by Smith and a muffed play on Morris’ bunt put the two Terrapins on base. Jancarski was hit while trying to bunt, loading the bases. A fly out by Dunn made it 9-2 Terps.
Taylor Bloom recorded his first win of 2017 to go 1-2 so far. The win marked the first time this season the Terps have won back-to-back games. Their record improves to 3-5, and they take on Dayton in Sunday’s finale game.