A solo home run by Alex Erro in the 11th inning was the difference in Northwestern’s 6-5 win over Maryland on Sunday in the Terps’ final home game of the season.
Five Northwestern hitters had multiple hits, but the standout stars for the Wildcats were Erro and Connor Lind, who combined to drive in the last three runs of the game in the win.
Northwestern started the scoring in the fifth. Leo Kaplan led off the inning with a double down the third base line. Alex Erro and drove him home with a two-out RBI single, advancing to second on the throw home by Zach Jancarski. Jack Dunn extended the Wildcats’ lead to 2-0 with an RBI single to left field, but ended the inning as he was thrown out at second by Madison Nickens.
In the bottom of the fifth, The Terps answered back with five runs. After a Justin Morris walk, Jancarski reached on a fielding and throwing error, Brandon Gum’s single allowed Morris to score Maryland’s first run of the game. Northwestern starter Josh Davis was pulled after Gum, Sam Lawrence coming in relief.
Marty Costes tied the game up next on an RBI single. Nick Dunn followed with a long single to right field that popped in and out of Ben Dickey’s glove. A Will Watson sacrifice fly gave Maryland a 3-2 lead. Costes then came around to score from second on a passed ball and errant throw to third. A.J. Lee followed with an RBI single to put Maryland up 5-2.
The Wildcats didn’t go down without a fight, tacking on two more runs in the sixth. Joe Hoscheit and Matt Hopfner reached base to start the inning, and Hoscheit advanced to third on a sacrifice fly. Maryland starter Taylor Bloom then seemingly picked off Hopfner at first, but he got into a rundown. Hoscheit broke for the plate during the rundown, and the throw home squirted away after a collision. Hopfner came around to score on a sacrifice fly by Connor Lind, cutting the Maryland lead down to one at 5-4.
Lind came in the clutch again in the eighth, tying the game 5-5 with an RBI double. After Bloom’s departure in the sixth, Ryan Selmer came in relief, keeping Maryland in the game going into extra innings.
Selmer ended up pitching four stellar innings of relief, and was relieved by Andrew Miller, who was coming off of an injury in the 11th. Erro was the first batter he faced, and he teed off on a 3-1 fastball that carried over the left field fence to give the Wildcats the late lead. The Terps went down in order in the bottom half to give Northwestern the series win.
Maryland (33-17, 15-9 Big Ten) finishes the regular season with a weekend series at High Point starting Thursday night. All three games will be broadcast on the Maryland Baseball Network.