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Maryland baseball beats Towson 6-5 thanks to 8th-inning rally

A.J. Lee delivered the crucial shot.

Hannah Evans/Maryland Baseball Network

In a game that saw multiple lead changes and a variety of pitchers, Maryland baseball ultimately had the last laugh when A.J. Lee homered late in the ballgame to give the Terps the 6-5 victory over Towson Wednesday night.

Lee’s sixth home run of the season came after the Terps surrendered three runs late in the game to give the Tigers the lead. However, it was Maryland that ultimately took advantage of a susceptible Towson bullpen to pull out the win.

Apart from Lee, Kevin Smith added two RBIs, both of which came on sacrifice flies.

John Szefc used seven different pitchers to get the job done. Ryan Hill only pitched two innings after starting the game, but it was Mike Rescigno that took the victory after he threw a scoreless inning in the eighth. Ryan Selmer closed the game after Rescigno had to pulled in the top of the ninth.

Both teams struggled to get runners across to start the game. Towson failed to score in three straight frames after having at least one runner in scoring position by the time the third out was made. Jamal Wade and John Murphy picked up where Hill left off after two innings, continuing to make big pitches when Maryland needed them.

This didn’t translate to offensive production early for the Terps, as John Szefc’s lineup answered by stranding runners of their own in the second and third innings.

Both teams eventually shook off the troubles in big moments when Kevin Smith drove in Madison Nickens after he tripled to start the top of the fourth. Towson did offer a quick answer, scoring one run on a single, stolen base, wild pitch and fielder’s choice to even the game at a run apiece.

It wasn’t until the bottom of the sixth when the Terps pulled off a two-out rally to take the lead, thanks in part to a little bit of luck. Maryland loaded the bases with two outs when Lee singled and Zach Jancarski was hit by a pitch. Brandon Gum got a break in the next at-bat when a chopper down the third base line that was going to be an easy play hit the bag and rolled into left field.

But just like earlier in the contest, Towson had a response in the top of the seventh. Tayler Stiles had to be pulled after he allowed a few runners to get on base. The senior gave way to Jared Price, but the right-hander just couldn’t get things going. The Tigers were able to take advantage of pitches in the zone and were able to drive in three runs by the time Price got the final out of the inning.

Smith hit his second sac fly of the game to knot things up in the next frame, but the big moment came in the bottom of the eighth. Lee hit the first pitch he saw over the left field wall to give the Terps the lead once again. Maryland continued to pound away in the inning, adding another run by the time the final out was recorded.

This run was huge, as Towson scored a run of its own in the top of the ninth. Selmer did well to halt the rally even after a few miscues, getting two outs, including a bases loaded strikeout to end the game.

The Terps will travel to Illinois on Friday for the start of a three-game series.