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Maryland baseball survives late rally to beat Coastal Carolina, 7-6

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The Terps almost blew a four-run lead in the ninth, but held on to knock off the Chanticleers.

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

Maryland baseball survived a late Coastal Carolina rally to defeat the Chanticleers 7-6 in its second game of the weekend Saturday.

The Terps led the entire way, and while the bullpen struggled down the stretch, Maryland found a way to hang on thanks to its offense and a batter’s interference call to end the game.

Maryland’s offense carried over its hot hitting from Friday’s game. In the first inning, Taylor Wright and Marty Costes got on base with a walk and hit-by-pitch, respectively, and Kevin Biondic knocked Wright in with an RBI single. Later, in the second inning with the bases loaded and two outs, Taylor Wright hit a two-run single, giving the Terps a 3-0 lead.

Coastal Carolina starter Zack Hopeck struggled all day, as Biondic chased him with a double in the fifth inning. Hopeck allowed three runs on four hits and four walks. The Terps made him work all day, as it took him 95 pitches to get just 13 outs. After an AJ Lee single, Randy Bednar brought Biondic home with an RBI double of his own.

Nick Dunn stayed red hot, hitting his fifth home run on the season in the sixth inning, tying his total from all of last year.

Later in the inning, Ty Friedrich lifted a ball to center field, deep enough for Lee to score from third, giving Friedrich his first career RBI and Maryland a 5-1 lead.

After a strong three frames, Tyler Blohm gave up home runs in back-to-back innings. Kevin Woodall Jr. hit a leadoff home run off the lefty in the fourth, and Parker Chavis took Blohm deep in the fifth. Later on, it looked like Blohm was going to get out of the inning with a man on first, but Friedrich was called with catchers interference with two outs. However, with the tying run at the plate, Blohm got Woodall to strike out and strand two on base.

Blohm faced additional trouble in the sixth, but despite runners reaching second and third, he escaped with no damage allowed. The lefty lasted six innings, allowing two runs on five hits and three walks with seven strikeouts.

Maryland’s bullpen struggled to get to John Murphy to close it out. Sean Fisher relieved Blohm, but couldn’t get through the seventh as he allowed a double with two outs in the inning. Elliot Zoellner came in, but he threw a passed ball followed by a wild pitch, allowing the runner on second to score without a hit. Zoellner then walked back-to-back batters, and left the game without recording an out.

With the tying run up with two outs in the seventh, Rob Vaughn wasn’t taking any chances as he brought in his best reliever, Murphy. The righty induced a pop fly in foul territory, and Kevin Biondic made a diving catch and got Maryland out of the inning.

Up three in the eighth, Maryland added some insurance as Will Watson smoked a pinch hit solo home run to left field, and that run would prove to be crucial for the Terps.

After an easy eighth inning, Murphy couldn’t close out the game. Like Zoellner before him, Murphy walked a batter and hit a batter, putting two on to start the inning. Since Murphy was having issues with control, Vaughn went with Biondic, but the righty surrendered a three run home run to the first batter he faced, cutting the lead to 7-6.

With help from Tommy Gardiner at third, Biondic got one out, but hit the next batter to put the tying run aboard. With a man on first, Biondic struck out Kyle Skeels, and, with the man on first taking off for second, Skeels stepped in front of catcher Justin Morris for batter’s interference to end the game and bail Biondic out.

Maryland wraps the weekend up in South Carolina tomorrow against Ball State, as the teams are set to play at 11 a.m. ET.