Maryland baseball earned its first midweek victory of 2018 on Wednesday with a 2-0 road win over VCU.
The Terps had a trio of young arms and great back-end bullpen pitching to stymie the Rams. Maryland’s hitting woes continued, as only Marty Costes and Taylor Wright had hits. But the Terps were the beneficiaries of six free passes and two hit batsmen, which, along with some aggressive base running, was just enough offense.
Mark DiLuia threw four scoreless innings in his longest outing to date. The freshman right-hander allowed four hits, but two of them were infield singles. He walked just one while striking out seven Ram batters. Elliott Zoellner and Sean Fisher combined for three scoreless innings before Kevin Biondic and John Murphy closed out the victory. Maryland’s hurlers combined for a season-high 14 strikeouts, walking only two and allowing just five hits.
The Terps took the lead in their half of the fourth inning. Taylor Wright led off pulling a double down the right field corner. AJ Lee followed with a walk. The Terps attempted a double steal, but Wright was nabbed at third. Will Watson walked, and the bases were loaded when Kevin Biondic received a free pass. Justin Morris laid down a safety squeeze to score Lee.
VCU’s best opportunity to put runs on the board came in the bottom of the fourth. Mitchell Lacey singled and stole second. An infield hit put runners on the corners. Josh Simon tried a safety squeeze and hit it right back to DiLuia; Lacey was caught midway, but no one was covering third, so he was able to get back safely. However, a flyout to shallow right and DLiuia’s seventh strikeout kept the Rams scoreless.
Maryland scratched out another run in the fifth. Marty Costes was hit by a pitch, went to second on a bunt, stole third and came home on a sac fly by Nick Dunn.
Zoellner took over for DilLuia in the fifth inning. “The Fuzz” was similarly effective, throwing two scoreless innings. Fisher was on the bump in the seventh and kept the Rams at bay, and Biondic set down the side in order in the eighth.
The Terps’ bats remained silent, and it was up to Murphy to close out the win for Maryland. The junior right-hander was on point, striking out the side for his first save this season. Zoellner got his first career win, and the Terps evened their record on the year at 4-4. They will return to action this weekend at the Coastal Carolina Tournament.