Maryland baseball struggled in all facets of the game Friday, as the Terps fell 12-3 to Stetson in the first contest of a three-game series.
After a strong performance from everyone on Wednesday, Maryland failed to carry over the momentum, as the offense, defense and pitching all had issues.
Taylor Bloom dealt with trouble immediately in his start. The first batter he faced in the game hit a double and would later score after a sac bunt and sac fly. In the third, Tommy Gardiner and Kevin Biondic both committed errors to lead off the inning, and Stetson once again played small ball, executing a sac bunt, sac fly and single to make the score 3-0.
Stetson hit Bloom the hardest in the fourth and fifth innings, when it compiled three doubles and a single to extend its lead to five. After an easy sixth, Bloom couldn’t get out of the seventh, allowing a run on two doubles and a single before exiting with two outs in the inning.
In total, Bloom pitched 6.2 innings, allowing seven runs—five of which were earned—on nine hits and a walk with two strikeouts. While he was the victim of some poor defense, he wasn’t nearly as sharp as he could’ve been, and Stetson took advantage. Of the nine hits Bloom allowed, five were hard-hit doubles.
Elliot Zoellner pitched in relief of Bloom, allowing a single and a walk in 1.1 innings of work. Grant Burleson pitched the ninth, but struggled, giving up five runs on three hits and three walks in the inning.
Offensively, Maryland struggled against Stetson starter Logan Gilbert, as one of the best pitchers in the country pitched into the ninth against the Terps. Gilbert set down the first 10 hitters he faced in order, as Maryland’s first baserunner didn’t come until Gardiner worked a walk in the fourth.
Maryland’s first hit came on an A.J. Lee single in the fifth inning. While that hit was followed by a Marty Costes single and a Richie Schiekofer hit-by-pitch to load the bases with one out, the Terps only managed one run in the inning thanks to a Justin Morris fielder’s choice.
From there, Maryland’s offense went back into a shell. The Terps only totaled two hits on Gilbert after the fifth-inning rally, which proved to be just a blip on his radar. Maryland couldn’t figure out the Stetson righty, who ranks top 10 in the nation in total strikeouts. Gilbert allowed two runs on four hits and one walk with 10 strikeouts in his 8.1 innings of work.
The Terps put together a mini-rally in the ninth after Gilbert left, scoring two runs in the final frame. However, Costes collided with an umpire rounding first on what looked to be a double, and had to leave the game. Costes was the lone offensive bright spot for the Terps, collecting two hits on the day as he finally seemed to be getting into his groove.
Maryland will look to rebound Saturday in the second game of the series. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m. ET.