Costly walks and a lack of production at the plate were the difference in Maryland baseball’s 5-1 loss at Indiana on Friday afternoon, temporarily putting the Terps a half-game back of Michigan State for eighth place in the Big Ten.
After a heartbreaking 6-5 loss in the opening game of Maryland’s last series of the season, the Terps looked to even up the series with Taylor Bloom on the mound in what could’ve been his last ever start in a Terps uniform. Bloom labored through eight innings, giving up five earned runs on seven hits and three walks.
Indiana took the early 1-0 lead in the first thanks to a leadoff walk to Logan Kaletha. Kaletha advanced to second on a wild pitch and third on a single, then scored on an RBI groundout from Matt Gorski.
Early on, it was a pitcher’s duel between Bloom and Indiana starter Pauly Milto. After allowing the leadoff walk and single in the first, Bloom retired the next 13 Indiana batters he faced. Milton had his own answer, retiring seven straight batters into the third inning.
Maryland was silent at the plate until the sixth inning, when the Terps tied the score at one. Marty Costes led off the inning with a walk, advancing to third on two wild pitches from Milto. Two batters later, Will Watson one-hopped the left center field wall for an RBI double, scoring Costes. Watson stole third during Zach Jancarski’s at-bat, but was stranded at third.
Indiana, like in the first inning, took advantage of Bloom’s walks and took the lead. Bloom walked the first two batters in the inning, and those runners advanced to second and third on a sacrifice bunt from Gorski. The next batter, Logan Sowers, made Bloom pay, singling up the middle, scoring both runners as Indiana took a 3-1 lead.
The Hoosiers tacked on two insurance runs in the eighth thanks to a pair of home runs. Gorski led off the inning with a solo shot to left field. Two batters later, Luke Miller, the hero for Indiana last night, hit his third home run of the series to center field.
Maryland’s offense had chances to claw back into the deficit, most notably in the seventh inning. Reliever Andrew Saalfrank walked the bases loaded, but the Terps stranded all three runners as Kevin Biondic, who has struggled in the series so far, struck out with two outs.
The Indiana bullpen was lights-out after Milton departed following six innings of one-run baseball. Saalfrank and closer B.J. Sabol kept the Terps at bay, striking out six and allowing two hits in three combined innings of work.
Maryland’s last game of the series and the regular season, which will almost certainly be a must-win for the Terps, will start at 2:05 p.m. ET Saturday.