In what was a wild and long game at Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium, Maryland baseball would eventually use an eighth-inning rally to beat the Richmond Spiders, 12-11, on Tuesday night.
Maryland had trailed by as much as six runs in the ballgame thanks in part to sloppy defensive play and spotty pitching. The Terps finished the game with a total of five errors and an unreal nine unearned runs. Still, the offense ultimately pulled through.
Both teams combined for a total of 25 hits, and every Maryland hitter who had an opportunity to bat recording a hit on the day.
Maryland’s offensive stars were Nick Cieri, who tied the game with a three-run homer in the eighth, and Dan Maynard, who drove in four runs and collected a long ball of his own.
The scoring started right away, with both teams putting together rallies in their first at-bats. The midweek contest began in a rather awkward fashion, with leadoff hitter D.J. Lee getting a free pass to first on catcher interference. The Spiders used the early gift to score the first runs of the contest on a two-run double from Jonathan De Marte and an RBI single from Justin Cook.
However, Maryland showed in the bottom of the first that they would not roll over after the Spiders opening rally. Brandon Gum, making his first start at third base this season, drove in the Terps’ first run of the game on a single to right field. Nick Cieri walked with the bases loaded a few batters later to score another, and a Dan Maynard single up the middle gave Maryland its first lead at 4-3.
Richmond berated the Terps with six runs in the top of the second. Starter John Murphy was forced to leave the ballgame after he allowed a few hits early on in the inning. Ryan Hill would replace him, but the right-hander wasn’t as sharp as usual, allowing four straight RBI hits. Even though Hill was not commanding his pitches, all six runs he allowed were marked as unearned thanks to an error on an underthrow to first from Nick Dunn. By the time the Terps got the final out of the inning, the Spiders led once again, 9-4. All of the damage came with two men down.
Maryland answered again in the bottom of the frame, albeit with only two runs. Zach Jancarski would eventually score on a miraculous slide at home plate after a passed ball bounced right back to the Richmond backstop. A Madison Nickens RBI single later in the inning would bring the Terps closer, as John Szefc’s club only trailed 9-6.
Maryland outfielder/pitcher Jamal Wade would settle things down by pitching two scoreless frames in the third and fourth innings. But it wasn’t until the bottom of the fifth that Maryland would see another run cross the plate.
Maynard brought the Terps to within a run with a two-run shot over the left field wall. This was Maynard’s third hit in a row, and the designated hitter had four RBIs in the first five innings. However, it seemed as if Richmond was en route to closing out the win after they stretched the lead back to three. An Andrew Miller underthrow to first brought one run in, and the Spiders scored on a wild pitch in the following at-bat.
But once again, Maryland’s fight was on full display in the bottom of the eighth. The Terps used a Gum single and Will Watson walk to put early pressure on Richmond. Cieri made the Spiders pay with a game-tying, three-run homer just inside the right field foul pole. But Maryland would not just settle for tying the game, as Zach Jancarski would finish the rally by driving in Patrick Hisle, who had doubled in the at-bat before.
Ryan Selmer worked his third consecutive inning in the top of the ninth to secure the victory.
With the win, Maryland now sits at 19-8 this season. The team will travel to Lincoln, Nebraska, this weekend to take on the Cornhuskers in a three-game series that begins on Friday at 7:35 p.m. ET.