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Maryland baseball stomped by East Carolina, 18-4

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The Terps weren’t even close.

Maryland baseball AJ Lee vs. Army Lila Bromberg / Testudo Times

Nothing went well for Maryland baseball Saturday as the Terps fell to East Carolina, 18-4.

The Terps’ pitching staff had issues with East Carolina’s lineup all day, while their offense carried over the same struggles they had Friday.

Tyler Blohm started the day strong but slowly lost his effectiveness. In the bottom of the second, he allowed a single and two walks to load the bases. Then, Nick Dunn bobbled what would’ve been an inning-ending double play, only getting one out and allowing a run to score in the process.

In the bottom of the fourth, the game really began to unravel. East Carolina had runners on second and third with one out, when Andrew Hendrickson singled to bring home the Pirates’ second run. Later, with the bases loaded, a wild pitch and sac fly gave the Pirates a 4-0 lead.

Tyler Blohm’s day ended in the fifth, as he left the game after allowing a single and a walk to leadoff the inning. In all, Blohm was wild and inconsistent on the day. allowing six runs on six hits and five walks and failing to record a strikeout in just over four innings pitched. With how much the offense is struggling, the pressure is on the the rotation to give better performances than Blohm had today.

Maryland’s bullpen struggled on the day, as well. Alec Tuohy relieved Blohm, and immediately found trouble. He threw a wild pitch that scored a run, and two batters later, Nick Barber singled to right field to plate two more, which was followed by a Hendrickson single for his third RBI of the day. The Pirates totaled six runs in the inning, batting around in that span.

Elliot Zoellner came in to pitch the sixth, and allowed two runs on three hits, but it actually could’ve been worse had Marty Costes not thrown out a man tagging from third. However, Zoellner loaded the bases in the seventh with no one out, leaving Randy Bednar to try and clean up the mess.

Bednar, who started the day on the bench in favor of Richie Schiekofer in right field, got his first action on the mound this year. He allowed a single, scoring two of Zoellner’s baserunners, and a double, which scored two more runners. Bednar started the eighth as well, but couldn’t finish as he walked the bases loaded. Instead, Billy Phillips came in, who walked in a run and allowed another with a hit-by-pitch, before finally getting out of the inning with the Terps trailing by 12.

The day highlighted how thin Maryland’s middle relief is, as pretty much everyone who pitched in the game struggled. For the Terps to gain more pitching consistency, they need to see some improvement in that area.

Offensively, Maryland’s offense continued its struggles from Friday’s series opener, having difficulties getting that big hit. The Terps got a runner in scoring position in each of the first three innings, and runners on base in the first four, but couldn’t score any of them.

Maryland’s offense finally strung together consecutive hits, with a Marty Costes single and Ty Friedrich double to get two men in scoring position. The Terps were able to get one run in the inning, thanks to a Zach Jancarski RBI groundout, but couldn’t come away with more.

Maryland got its second run in the sixth, thanks to back-to-back doubles by Kevin Biondic and AJ Lee. This rally chased East Carolina starter Chris Holba, who allowed two runs on seven hits and one walk with five strikeouts through 5.1 innings pitched.

Despite Maryland’s slow day on offense, Tommy Gardiner continued to be a bright spot in the lineup. After getting promoted to the second in the order, the freshman hit two doubles on the day, including one to score a run in the seventh inning. He will likely continue getting at bats as the team’s designated hitter or third baseman moving forward.

Although Rob Vaughn moved him down to seventh in the order, Marty Costes also had a good day, as things started to go the left fielder’s way. He had two infield hits and a walk and, despite not hitting the ball too hard, it was great to see him get on base three times.

Finally, Ty Friedrich started the game at catcher, but had to leave with a right arm injury. He has been Blohm’s personal catcher the last few weeks, so if he is out a while, either Justin Morris will get more starts, or Justin Vought will begin getting starts.

Maryland will try and avoid the sweep on Sunday, as the Terps and Pirates face off at 1 p.m. ET to conclude the series.