A third-inning rally by Illinois was the deciding factor in the Fighting Illini’s 6-2 win over Maryland in the middle game of their weekend series.
After a commanding 9-4 win on Friday, the Terps look to take their first road weekend series win since their sweep of Rutgers in early April.
Maryland starter Tyler Blohm entered with a team-leading eight wins and a sub-3.00 ERA this season. The first two innings of the game were scoreless, but things got away from the freshman in the third.
Three of the first four batters hit singles, including Ben Troike, who drove home the first run of the game for Illinois. Pat Mclnerney followed with an RBI double to extend the lead to 2-0. Blohm then walked home a run before Bren Spillane cleared the bases with a 3-RBI double, extending the lead to 6-0.
Blohm was taken out after the double, and relieved by John Murphy. Illinois didn't score for the rest of the game, thanks to stellar relief pitching by Maryland. Murphy threw 3.1 scoreless innings of baseball, Tayler Stiles threw 1.1 scoreless innings, and Jamal Wade threw 0.2 scoreless innings.
But the Maryland offense wasn’t able to mount a big enough comeback in the later stages of the game.
The Terps tacked on runs in the sixth and seventh innings, and had opportunities to plate more, but Illinois starting pitcher Cyrillo Watson shut the door on the Maryland offense. Watson threw seven innings of two-run baseball, only allowing five hits overall.
Ryan Schmitt relieved Watson and didn’t allow any runs in the final two innings.
Marty Costes was the only bright spot for the Terps today, going 2-for-4 with an RBI double down the third base line.
Maryland will look to win the series in the rubber match Sunday at 1 p.m. The game can be heard on Maryland Baseball Network.