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Maryland baseball routs Rutgers, 17-2

The Terps scored early and often, and they’ve taken the weekend series.

Projected Saturday starter Taylor Bloom

On a hot day in College Park, Will Watson was even hotter, hitting two home runs in an inning and driving in eight runs overall to power Maryland to a 17-2 blowout victory over Rutgers.

Lead by Watson and an 11-run third inning, Maryland’s offense had a dominant performance. The Terps’ 17 runs were a season high, while Watson went 3-for-5 with a three-run homer, a grand slam and a sacrifice fly. His eight RBIs tied a team record.

Not to be outdone, Taylor Bloom had a much-needed strong start for Maryland. In his last outing in Bob “Turtle” Stadium, Bloom only allowed one earned run on a homer in the seventh inning. Besides that, he lasted seven frames, allowing six hits with six strikeouts.

AJ Lee got things started for the Terps in the first inning. The shortstop doubled to right center, stole third base and scored on a wild pitch to give Maryland the lead. No to be outdone, Marty Costes walked, advanced to second on that wild pitch, stole third himself and scored on Watson’s sac fly as the Terps led 2-0 after one.

Maryland broke the game open with a strong third inning. Costes doubled and Kevin Biondic reached on an infield single, setting up Watson’s first home run, a three-run shot. Then, after two singles, Maryland added another run as Zach Jancarski scored on a wild pitch.

That was it for Rutgers starter Harry Rutkowski, who struggled all day, only lasting 2.1 innings. He allowed six runs on five hits with four walks and two strikeouts on the afternoon.

Eric Reardon pitched in relief, but wasn’t effective either. While the lefty was pitching, Justin Vought hit an RBI double, Lee walked, Dunn reached on an error, Costes was hit by a pitch to bring in a run and Biondic walked to bring in a run. That all set up another Rutgers pitching change before Watson’s grand slam. Maryland combined to score 11 runs in the third inning, a season high for runs in a single frame.

Maryland piled on again in the fourth, as Morris walked, Taylor Wright doubled, Lee singled in a run and Dunn hit a sac fly.

After a scoreless fifth, Maryland scored a run in each of the next two innings. Two singles led to a Dunn sac fly in the sixth inning, while two walks and two hit-by-pitches brought another run in during the seventh.

Meanwhile, Bloom only dealt with trouble twice in the game. In the top of the third, a Dunn error allowed Kevin Welsh to reach, and after a sac bunt, Dan DiGeorgio brought Welsh in with an RBI double. Later, in the seventh, Chris Folinusz took him deep for his second home run of the year. Bloom proceeded to allow three straight singles, but got a double play to end the inning only allowing one run.

Elliot Zoellner pitched the final two innings, only allowing a walk and a hit in seven batters faced, getting a double play to end the game.

Maryland goes for the sweep on Sunday, as the Terps host senior day at the final game in College Park this spring. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET.