What looked to be a comfortable win for Maryland baseball turned into late-inning disappointment, as the Delaware Blue Hens erased a 6-0 deficit to win 7-6 in walk-off fashion on Tuesday afternoon, sweeping the season series.
Maryland (9-6) scored all six of its runs in the first and third innings. The Terps threw Mark DiLuia out on the mound, and despite pitching three good innings of baseball to start off the game, he fell into some major trouble in the fourth inning, giving up five earned runs. Neither team scored again until Delaware (9-5) tied it in the eighth, and the Blue Hens won it with a walk-off homer one inning later.
Despite scoring six runs, the Terps only had four hits on the day, three of them coming from the top of the lineup—Zach Jancarski, Nick Dunn and Marty Costes. Maryland benefited from six Delaware walks, two hit-by-pitches and two defensive errors, the majority of which happened in the Terps’ five-run third inning.
The bullpen was solid for Maryland, only giving up four hits and two runs, but they were the most critical runs in the game. Closer John Murphy, despite striking out two in his outing, missed his spot, and Calvin Scott took advantage of the pitch and the gusty winds in Newark and went deep to win the game.
Maryland started off the scoring in the first inning with a bang. Zach Jancarski led off the inning with a triple, scoring on a Nick Dunn groundout.
The Terps extended their lead in the third, putting up a five-spot without recording a hit. In the inning, there were two walks, two hit batsmen, two errors, a RBI ground out, a RBI fielder’s choice, and a RBI sacrifice fly. Three runs in the innings were unearned. Nick Dunn and Marty Costes recorded RBIs in the inning, Dunn’s second RBI of the day. The Blue Hens used two pitchers in the inning and the Terps brought nine men to the plate.
But the lead slipped away from Maryland in the fourth. DiLuia began to lose control of the zone, giving up four hits, a walk, and wild pitch as Delaware tacked on five runs in the inning to pull within one. DiLuia surrendered two RBI singles, a RBI double, and a RBI triple.
The score would stay put until the eighth, when Delaware tied the game at six. A walk and a single put two men on with one out for the Blue Hens before Kevin Mohollen reached on a RBI fielder’s choice that looked to be a routine double play ball to get Maryland out of the inning. Instead, Delaware pulled even.
Maryland threatened in the ninth, but stranded two runners, giving the Blue Hens the chance to walk it off in the bottom half. With two outs, Scott hit a ball into the jet stream that kept carrying until it cleared the left field fence, winning the game for Delaware.
This is the first walk-off loss of the season for Maryland, snapping a two-game winning streak from the weekend. The Terps will go on a five-game North Carolina road trip, starting with a weekend series at East Carolina.