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Maryland baseball sweeps doubleheader vs. Michigan State

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Maryland jumped out in front in both games, and the Terrapin pitchers made it stick.

Nick Dunn
Andrew Kramer @mercator88

Maryland baseball took both games of Sunday’s doubleheader against Michigan State, 2-1 and 6-2, for a sweep over the Spartans. The Terps never trailed at any point during the series, and outscored Michigan State 20-6.

Maryland scratched across two runs in the first game and the Terps pitchers made it stand up. In game two, Dan Maynard had two RBIs, one on a mammoth home run. Zach Jancarski had two hits and three RBIs. Taylor Bloom had perhaps his best start of the year, going 7.2 innings and holding the Spartans to two runs. It was Bloom’s longest outing this season.

Game 1: Maryland 2, Michigan State 1

The pitchers’ duel that never occurred Friday night materialized in the first game of Sunday’s doubleheader. Maryland was able to eke out a 2-1 victory and in the process took the series from the Spartans.

Nick Dunn’s RBI double in the first got the Terps on top, and Blohm’s excellent performance meant they wouldn’t need much more than that. Despite having seven runners aboard in the first three innings and the leadoff batter on base, the Spartans couldn’t plate a run.

Maryland scored its second run when Brandon Gum laid down a safety squeeze in the fifth. Michigan State catcher Matt Byars’ throw to first sailed into right field, and A.J. Lee trotted home. However, Maryland stranded two runners, and the game remained 2-1 in the Terps’ favor.

Michigan State had a golden opportunity to score in the sixth, but came up short. To start the inning, Blohm struck out Matt Byars, but a passed ball allowed him to reach first. Brandon Hughes followed with single, and Ryan Hill came in to pitch for Maryland. A bunt put both runners in scoring position, but Hill used his breaking pitch effectively to strike out the next two hitters.

A walk and a single put runners on the corners with one away in the Michigan State seventh. A sac fly by Dan Durkin pulled the Spartans to within a run.

Andrew Miller was on the bump to start the eighth. He retired the side in order. With the score 2-1, Ryan Selmer came on in the ninth inning. With one out, Zack McGuire walked. Selmer got Kelley to hit into a 6-4-3 double play to end the game.

Tyler Blohm earned the win to sit at 7-3. Ryan Selmer recorded his fifth save of the year.

Game 2: Maryland 6, Michigan State 2

For the third straight game, it was Maryland that jumped on top. With one out in the bottom of the second, Will Watson hit a high pop fly to right that fell between three fielders for a double, then stole third and scored on a wild pitch. Walks by Smith and Nickens ended the day for lefty Keegan Baar; righty Jake Lowery came in and proceeded to walk Maynard. After Lee fanned, Jancarski singled in two Terrapins to make it 3-0.

The lead grew to 4-0 in the fourth inning when Maynard drilled a fastball over the wall in right center for his third home run of the year.

Taylor Bloom looked like his 2016 self, throwing strikes and getting a lot of groundouts. He had a shutout going until Michigan State got on the board in its half of the sixth. Durkin singled, then advanced to second on a passed ball. Byars singled to center to bring in the run.

The Terps responded by scoring two runs in the bottom of the inning. Smith singled and went to second on a balk. Maynard singled to center to once again put the Terps up by four runs. He went all the way to third on an errant pick-off throw, and Jancarski executed a perfect hit and run by poking the ball through the vacated spot on the right side to drive Maynard home.

In the bottom of the seventh, Michigan State skipper Jake Boss got tossed for arguing balls and strikes. So too did Spartans catcher Matt Byars. Boss was quite animated, and things got a bit unpleasant before he eventually left.

With two outs in the top of the eighth, Will Salter homered to left center, making it 6-2. Alex Troop singled, and Jamal Wade came in for Bloom. Wade allowed a walk but forced a groundout to end the threat.

The Terps had a chance to break the game open in the bottom of the eighth. Maynard led off by drawing a walk, the fourth time he reached base this game. Lee’s single and Gum’s hit-by-pitch loaded the bases, but Costes grounded into a force at home and Dunn grounded to short.

Wade stayed on to pitch the ninth. He struck out the first two batters before issuing a walk. Andrew Miller came in and walked the first batter he faced, then got the next batter to pop out to end the game.

Bloom got the victory to move to 5-2. The Terps are now 28-11 overall and 12-3 in the Big Ten, good for sole possession of first place. They have won four out of five conference series, three by sweeping their opponent.