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Maryland baseball comes back to beat Towson, 8-7, in 10 innings

The Terps prevailed in walk-off fashion in a back-and-forth midweek game.

Maryland baseball

Down 6-2 at one point Wednesday, Maryland went on a 5-1 run beginning in the bottom of the seventh inning en route to a 8-7 victory over Towson.

Tied in the 10th, Taylor Wright walked and Justin Vought singled on a misplayed pop up to shallow right. Then, star second baseman Nick Dunn did what Nick Dunn does, lining a double to right field, scoring Wright from second to win the game. Despite meaning nothing in the Big Ten standings, the win has this team on a high note entering its final six games of the year.

Billy Phillips started the game but only lasted three innings of work, allowing two home runs in that span. In total, he allowed three runs on five hits and one walk, and he did not strike a batter out.

Towson got on the board first, as Richard Miler took Phillips deep to center in the second inning. Later in the inning, after Phillips allowed a walk and a single, Craig Alleyne—brother of Maryland’s Chris—collected an RBI single to give Towson a 2-0 lead. Next inning, Towson added another one as Billy Lennox homered, extending the score to 3-0.

Towson starter Dean Stramara also lasted three innings, but he found more success than Phillips. Stramara held the Terps scoreless through three despite allowing three hits and a walk.

When Towson changed pitchers, Maryland finally scored. In the fourth inning, Will Watson hit a two-run home run, his fourth of the year, off reliever Josh Seils, cutting Towson’s lead to one.

Sean Fisher lasted 1.2 innings, only allowing a hit by pitch and a walk. Ryan Hill replaced Fisher with two outs and a man on second in the fifth, and the righty escaped the inning thanks to a diving catch by Zach Jancarski to save a run.

In the sixth, however, Hill wasn’t so lucky. After Hill allowed a single, Dirk Masters lined a ball just out of Tommy Gardiner’s reach, allowing a run to score all the way from first. Gardiner is the shortest player on the team, listed at only 5’8, and that came into play during this inning.

Burleson relieved Hill in the seventh, but he has trouble locating pitches. He hit the first batter he saw and walked the second, and both runners advanced on a sac bunt. Then, Grunberg brought both runners in with a single, making the score 6-2 after the half inning ended.

Towson changed pitchers in the bottom of the inning, and once again Maryland capitalized, with Jancarski leading off with his fifth homer of the year. Then, after a Justin Morris double. Vought hit his third home run of the season to cut the lead to one. Towson reliever Gavin Weyman only lasted a third of an inning, but allowed three runs on the two homers.

After Elliot Zoellner pitched a scoreless eighth, Maryland completed the comeback. Kevin Biondic sent a no-doubt home run deep to left to tie the game at six, a shot he he knew was gone right off the bat.

With a tie game in the ninth, John Murphy came into preserve the score, but he couldn’t find the strike zone. Murphy walked the first batter he faced on four balls nowhere near the plate, and after a wild pitch, Mark Grunberg hit an RBI ground-rule double to left field to take a 7-6 lead.

In the bottom of the inning, Maryland put together a rally. Vought and AJ Lee got hit by a pitch and walked, respectively, to put the tying and winning runs on base. After Towson botched Dunn’s sac bunt, loading the bases, Marty Costes tied the game with a sac fly. After walking Biondic to load the bases, Towson pitcher Mark Waters looked to have thrown a wild pitch to end the game, but it was called a foul ball. Instead, Waters forced two ground balls to end the inning.

Alec Tuohy relieved Murphy in the ninth, holding the damage to one run, and he continued his strong outing with a scoreless tenth as well. Tuohy’s performance was an unsung hero, saving the Terps from more damage in a difficult inning. He was credited with the win, as Dunn’s double walked the Terps off in the 10th.

Maryland will open its final home series of the year vs. Rutgers on Friday, with first pitch set for 6:30 p.m. ET.