Maryland baseball had an outstanding Easter Sunday at the plate, scoring at least one run in each of the first six innings. By the end of the offensive onslaught, the Terps had completed the series sweep, beating Penn State 15-2 on Sunday afternoon.
Maryland finished the day with a season-high 19 hits, with the team getting production throughout the entire lineup. All nine Terps starters recorded a hit in the series finale, with Marty Costes and A.J. Lee providing the highlight performances of the afternoon.
Costes hit a single, double and triple to start his day, but ultimately wasn’t able to hit that cycle-clinching long ball. Lee hit two homers late in the contest to match Costes with five RBIs of his own.
Not to be overlooked, Taylor Bloom had a bounceback seven-inning, two-run outing after he struggled in a midweek contest Tuesday.
After scoring four runs in the top of the first yesterday, Maryland was able to put together another rally, which led to a three-run first inning. Zach Jancarski hit a single up the middle to lead off the game, then Brandon Gum clanked a double off the wall in center field. Costes reached when the Penn State shortstop underthrew a ball to first base, which allowed both runners to score. Costes flashed some quality baserunning in the inning, tagging up twice on fly balls to advance to third. The sophomore right fielder eventually scored on a wild pitch that got rolled far past the Nittany Lions catcher.
After a solo home run from Penn State right fielder Braxton Giavedoni, the Terps capitalized again on a fielding miscue in the bottom of the second inning. Lee and Jancarski both singled, but it was Costes that again took advantage of a Nittany Lions miscue to drive in those baserunners. With the count at 2-1, Costes flung a ball high into the sky in deep center field. It looked like Penn State center fielder Nick Riotto was ready to make the play, but he misjudged the ball and allowed it to fall over his head for the two RBI triple to push the Maryland lead to four runs.
The Terps continued the offensive fireworks over the next three innings, scoring six runs and effectively putting away the Nittany Lions.
Lee and Nick Dunn both produced RBI singles in the third and fourth innings, respectively, but it was a four-run breakout bottom of the fifth that put the Terps comfortably ahead. Nick Cieri singled in a run for his first RBI of the game and Maryland loaded the bases for Costes, who came to the plate with a chance for the cycle if he hit a home run. Instead, Costes settled for another double that drove in two. Kevin Smith capped the rally with a sacrifice fly, which pushed the Maryland lead to double digits.
Penn State added another solo home run in the sixth, but the Terps quickly answered in the bottom half when Lee lifted a pitch for a two-run blast. Lee would homer again in the bottom of the eighth, picking up his fourth of the year.
With the sweep, the Terps are now 23-11, and with Minnesota losing to Indiana Sunday, Maryland’s 8-3 conference record is tied for the top spot in the Big Ten. Maryland will be back in action on Wednesday night for a midweek contest at William & Mary.