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Maryland baseball falls behind early in 9-5 loss to West Virginia

The Terps were down 8-0 after two innings, and their comeback attempt wasn’t nearly enough.

Maryland baseball Illinois Lila Bromberg / Testudo Times

Maryland baseball went down big early and couldn’t dig itself out of the hole Tuesday, losing to West Virginia 9-5.

The Terps found themselves down eight after just two innings, as Billy Phillips struggled in his second start. Despite scoring five unanswered and bringing the tying run to the plate in the seventh, Maryland could only come so far back.

After a strong start last week, Phillips had a rough outing in this one, and he got no help from his defense. The Terps caused three errors in the first, with one belonging to Phillips, and West Virginia took advantage by scoring four runs in the inning. The Mountaineers recorded only recorded one hit in the inning, a two-run double by Kyle Gray.

The second inning wasn’t any better, as West Virginia doubled its lead. Phillips loaded the bases with two singles and a walk, and the Mountaineers cleared the bases with a double to add two runs. From there, Rob Vaughn replaced Phillips with Sean Fisher, but the new lefty allowed a double himself, scoring two more runs.

Phillips only lasted 1.1 innings, and allowed eight runs, five earned, on five hits with two walks and a strikeout. Maryland also registered three errors in that span. With Taylor Bloom almost ready to start games again, this was probably Phillips’ final start barring any other injuries.

Although Fisher allowed that double, he settled down and lasted 2.2 innings, only allowing a hit and a walk with two strikeouts.

On the other side, West Virginia’s Christian Young pitched well. The Terps struggled to put together offense, only collecting two hits off of the righty. Maryland’s best chance to score was in the first, when it had men in scoring position with two outs, but Will Watson struck out to squander the opportunity.

From there, Young only allowed two baserunners in the ensuing four innings. He lasted five innings, allowing no runs on two hits with a walk and one walk on the night.

When Nick Snyder came in to replace Young, Maryland finally put together a rally. A Nick Dunn double and two walks loaded the bases, and West Virginia took Snyder out in the middle of Zach Jancarski’s at-bat, having gone down 2-0. Snyder only lasted an out on the score sheet.

Jancarski greeted new reliever Dillon Meadows with an RBI single, getting Maryland on the board. The next batter was Taylor Wright, and he made up for two errors with a bases-clearing double to right field. With two outs, Wright attempted to steal third, and West Virginia catcher Ivan Gonzalez airmailed the throw to bring Wright home. Maryland left the inning only down 8-5.

The Terps had another great chance in the seventh, with men on first and second with no one out. However, Marty Costes struck out, AJ Lee was thrown out at third on an attempted double steal, and Maryland couldn’t get any runs in the inning.

After Fisher left, Ryan Hill came in, and he pitched well despite allowing a few baserunners. The righty didn’t allow a run in 2.1 innings, working around a hit and two walks.

Hill left with a man on second and one out in the seventh, and Grant Burleson entered to escape the damage. However, in the eighth, Jimmy Galusky took Burleson deep to lead off the inning and make the score 9-5. Burleson walked the next batter, prompting Vaughn to go to John Murphy for the rest of the inning, and Murphy sat the Mountaineers down in order.

However, Maryland’s offense couldn’t complete the comeback. After Lee was thrown out at second, the Terps couldn’t get a hit, only collecting two walks in the final two innings.

Maryland begins a huge series at Nebraska, as it needs a big weekend to stay alive in Big Ten play. The Terps and Cornhuskers begin the series on Friday at 7:35 p.m. ET.