What looked to be a comfortable win for Maryland baseball became a nightmare Sunday, as a five-run seventh inning turned a 6-2 Terps lead into a 8-6 Purdue win.
Maryland pitching wasn’t sharp, allowing eight free bases—five walks and three hit batsmen. The offense pushed six runs across, but the staff couldn’t hold on. The Terps have now dropped six straight games.
After Taylor Bloom suffered a concussion during batting practice a few weeks ago, the weekend starting rotation for Maryland was slightly altered, so left-hander Tyler Blohm took the mound on Sunday. Blohm went six-plus innings, giving up five runs, striking out four, and walking two.
Blohm benefitted from his defense early on, as the Maryland defense spun up a double play in each of the first three innings of the game. Even weirder, he surrendered a leadoff single in each of those innings.
Maryland began the scoring in the third. AJ Lee singled for Maryland’s first hit of the game. Nick Dunn followed with a single to right as Lee advanced to third, then Lee scored on a wild pitch during Kevin Biondic’s at-bat. Biondic reached on a fielder’s choice, advancing to third after Purdue second baseman Tyler Powers lost a Will Watson pop-up in the sun. Zach Jancarski, the next batter, took advantage of the fielding error, hitting a three-run home run off Trent Johnson to put the Terps up 4-0.
Johnson lasted only three innings for Purdue, giving up only one earned run, but fell victim to some fielding mistakes by the Boilermaker defense, and threw 70 pitches.
Purdue countered with a run of its own in the fourth. After Blohm retired the first two batters of the inning, Ben Nisle hit a solo home run to left field, cutting the Maryland lead to 4-1.
Blohm was cruising until the sixth, when he encountered some trouble as the Boilermakers cut the lead to two. For the fourth inning in the game, Blohm allowed the leadoff batter to reach base, hitting Harry Shipley. He advanced to second on a groundout and to third on a fielding error by Taylor Wright. Purdue first baseman Jacson McGowan—the hero with two late homers Saturday—continued his great season on Sunday, singling home Shipley to cut the Maryland lead to 4-2. Blohm limited the damage to just the one run, stranding two Purdue runners on base to end the inning.
That margin was short-lived, as Maryland extended the lead in the bottom of the inning. Brad Barnett and Lee both walked in the inning, putting two men on for Dunn. The junior doubled into right field, scoring both runners and adding onto the Maryland lead at 6-2.
That four-run Maryland lead was wiped out in the seventh. Blohm allowed the first three runners of the inning to reach base. He departed and Grant Burleson entered, allowing a run on a fielder’s choice the first batter he faced. Burleson walked the next batter, loading the bases for Skyler Hunter, who singled to left, scoring two. Will Watson’s throw home was wide of Maryland catcher Justin Morris, an error allowing Nick Dalesandro to score and Hunter to advance to third, as Purdue tied the game at six. Hunter scored on a wild pitch during the next at-bat, giving Purdue the 7-6 lead.
The Boilermakers added an insurance run in the ninth, but Maryland reliever John Murphy prevented any further damage. Skyler Hunter started the Purdue offense again, doubling to lead off the inning. He advanced to third on a groundout, eventually scoring on a Lee error, extending Purdue’s lead to 8-6. The Boilermakers (19-16, 7-4 Big Ten) loaded the bases in the inning, but Murphy limited the damage to just one run.
The Terps (16-23, 3-8 Big Ten) finish their home stand this week, playing two straight mid-week games, first against George Mason on Tuesday at 4 pm.