Maryland baseball controlled Saturday afternoon’s game from the get go, scoring early and riding a strong pitching performance from Tyler Blohm for the 8-3 win over Penn State.
Blohm was the star of the afternoon, pitching seven innings and only allowing two earned runs. He racked up eight swings and misses in the outing, while surrendering just five hits while he was on the mound. It was the freshman’s sixth win of the season.
Offensively, the Terps rebounded from what was a tough go of it on Friday night, despite the victory.
Will Watson went 3-4 on the day driving in three runs and Nick Dunn broke out of his prolonged slump collecting three hits of his own as well.
Unlike on Friday night, the Maryland offense was hot right out off the gate against Penn State starter Justin Hagenman.
The Terps used their speed to get runners in scoring position in the top of the first. Zach Jancarski swiped second base after he singled to start the game. He was driven in by an opposite field Nick Dunn single to get the Terps on the board. Then manager John Szefc employed a double steal to put two runners into scoring position, which allowed for both runners to score on a Will Watson double. Madison Nickens drove in Watson before the final out of the inning, which gave Maryland an early four-run advantage.
The Nittany Lions looked like they were ready to have a breakout inning of their own in the top of the third. After a perfect first two frames to start the ballgame, Blohm saw his first threat arise because of a sudden lack of control. After allowing a single to kick off the inning, Blohm walked and hit a batter to load the bases with nobody down. However, showing some much needed resiliency, the freshman left hander buckled down and got three outs in a row to stand all three runners and keep the Maryland lead at four.
The teams traded runs in the third and fourth innings. Then the Nittany Lions were able to get within two of the Terps in the top of the fifth.
Penn State started the inning with a single, then a double from the visitor’s center fielder Nick Riotto scored the team’s second run of the afternoon. Riotto was able to get to third because of slight bobble from right fielder Marty Costes. He eventually scored on a groundout before the end of the inning.
But it was the Maryland lineup that ultimately did enough damage in the middle parts of the game to thwart any hopes of a Penn State comeback.
Kevin Smith drove in his first run of the contest on a sac fly that scored Nick Dunn. Then in the bottom of the sixth, Maryland’s Dan Maynard scored from third after Penn State shortstop Conlin Hughes bobbled a grounder, which allowed everyone to reach base. Costes followed the miscue with a SAC fly to bring the score to 8-3.
Blohm left the game after going seven strong innings. The results remained the same as Jamal Wade closed the middle game of the series with two scoreless frames.
The Terps move to 23-11 overall with the win and are now 8-3 in the Big Ten. Maryland will go for the sweep Sunday at 1 p.m. with Taylor Bloom set to make his second start of the week.