In an important midweek game, Maryland baseball rallied for a 7-6 victory over West Virginia. Madison Nickens drove in four runs and Danny Maynard homered.
West Virginia’s RPI is No. 12, which made Tuesday’s matchup more than just a typical midweek game. The Terps sent weekend starter Taylor Bloom to the hill after he pitched a short stint on Saturday, but the Mountaineers used the long ball to build a big lead. However, the Terps took advantage of a weak West Virginia bullpen to put up a five-run seventh inning and made yet another come-from-behind win.
Madison Nickens, who had been mired in a slump, had four rbis, two on a home run and two on the game winning single.
Another midweek game, another big deficit
West Virginia jumped out to a three-run lead in its first at-bat. After two singles, Cole Austin homered to center to give the Mountaineers a 3-0 lead. The Terps got two runners on in the bottom of the first, but stranded both.
A dreaded leadoff walk in the top of the second almost proved damaging. After a sacrifice and a force out, a passed ball sent the runner at third to home, but he was nabbed at the plate by Bloom.
In the bottom of the second, the Terps got runners aboard for the second straight inning, thanks to A.J. Lee’s hit-by-pitch and Patrick Hisle’s walk. But once again, the Terps left two runners on base.
After Bloom retired the first batter in the top of the third, he was pulled for senior LHP Taylor Stiles. The strategy backfired, as Jackson Cramer greeted Stiles with a homerun to right, making it 4-0 Mountaineers.
Stiles was effective after that, not allowing another run in 2.2 innings pitched. John Murphy came on to pitch in the top of the sixth inning, and retired the side 1-2-3.
Nickens’ shot gets the Terps back in the game
Freshman right-hander Alex Manoah had stymied the Terps, throwing five scoreless innings, allowing just an infield single. Given West Virginia’s spotty bullpen, this was a huge outing for the Mountaineers.
The Terps finally got to Manoah in the sixth inning. Nick Dunn led off with a double off the center field wall. With two outs, Nickens cranked a no-doubt home run to right, to pull the Terps within two runs.
But a throwing error gave West Virginia an unearned run in the top of the seventh. Kyle Gray led off with a single to left. With Brandon White at the plate, Danny Maynard tried to pick off Gray. The throw sailed into right field and Gray made it all the way to third. He came home when White hit a deep fly to Nickens, and West Virginia now led 5-2.
Terps feast on Mountaineer bullpen
Sidearm righty Jackson Sigman relieved Manoah in the bottom of the seventh. Maynard led off the inning with a home run to left. After Jancarski fanned, Gum drew his third walk of the day. Costes followed with a single. Dunn laced an RBI single to make the score 5-4. Will Watson walked to load the bases. Lee dropped down a great bunt to tie the score (Sigman didn’t even have a play at first). Nickens sliced a single through the hole in short to give the Terps a 7-5 lead.
Ryan Selmer had entered the game with two outs in the previous inning, and it was his game to win. He set down the side in order in the eighth, but walked the leadoff batter in the ninth. After a ground out, a single put the tying run on base. Cramer hit an infield single to load the bases. Austin hit a sac fly to right to make the score 7-6, with the runner from second also tagging. Ryan Hill relieved Selmer and struck out the hitter to close out the game.
Selmer got the win to move to 2-0. Ryan Hill got his first save as a Terrapin, and Maryland is now 21-10 in 2016.