Maryland baseball took advantage of eight walks in the third and fourth innings and rode four home runs to easily beat UMBC 16-2 and stave off elimination Saturday. The 16 runs were the highest single game amount for Maryland this season.
Kevin Smith went yard twice, and Justin Morris and Marty Costes each hit one out the park as well. Smith ended up driving in six runs and scoring three times. Brandon Gum reached base four times, as did Dan Maynard. Maynard also started the game in left field for the first time.
Taylor Bloom had a stellar outing, holding the Retrievers to two runs on seven hits through eight innings of work. The junior right-hander had UMBC hitters pounding balls into the turf, getting 15 ground outs. A.J. Lee had seven assists at third base.
UMBC took an early lead. In the second inning, Zack Bright hit a solo home run to put UMBC on top 1-0. But the Terps went on top in their next at bat. Smith drew a four-pitch walk, and Morris followed by sending a ball into the trees beyond the right field wall for the lead and Maryland’s first home run in this tournament. However, it was not to be the last.
The Terps put up six runs in the top of the fourth, aided by free passes, a UMBC error, Smith’s power, and more walks. Nick Dunn and Will Watson walked on four pitches apiece. Maynard hit a potential double-play grounder to third, but UMBC’s Christian Torres’ throw went wide of second base. Dunn scored and runners were on the corners. After failing to lay down a bunt, Smith hit a ball to center that continued to carry, smacking off the batter’s eye for a three-run home run and giving Maryland a 6-1 lead.
UMBC brought in lefty pitcher Connor Staskey to try to help, but Retrievers’ problem with plate location continued. After allowing a walk with the bases loaded, he was promptly relieved by right-hander Jacob Christian. Costes walked, and the Terps led by six runs. The Terps added another run when Dunn hit a force out at first and took a 8-1 lead into the fifth.
Maryland kept up the scoring in the next inning. Maynard hit a single, and two outs later Zach Jancarski was hit by a pitch. Lee followed up with a double into the left center field gap for a RBI. Gum hit a grounder through the hole at short to make it 11-1 Terps going into the bottom of the fifth.
The Terps added two more runs in the seventh inning. With two outs, Gum walked and Costes hit a shot over the fence in left. They put three more on the board in the eighth on a double by Patrick Hisle, a walk to Maynard, and a three-run blast by Smith, his team-leading 13th of the year.
A.J. Wright hit a homer in the eighth for the second Retriever run, and Maryland stayed quiet at the top of the ninth. Hunter Parsons came in for Bloom at the bottom of the inning, pitched a 1-2-3 inning, and that was all she wrote for UMBC’s tournament plans.
Bloom improved to 7-2 on the year, and Maryland moved to 38-22 overall. With the win, Maryland stayed alive in the NCAA tournament. The Terps will play on Sunday at noon against West Virginia, who lost 4-3 Saturday night to host team Wake Forest.