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Maryland baseball drops doubleheader, series to Louisiana-Lafayette

The Ragin’ Cajuns walked off twice to earn the series victory.

Maryland baseball vs. Louisiana Maryland Baseball (@TerpsBaseball)

Maryland baseball entered Saturday on a six-game winning streak, but let two late leads slip away in a road doubleheader against Louisiana-Lafayette.

Game 1: Louisiana-Lafayette 4, Maryland 3 (14 innings)

The Ragin’ Cajuns took an early lead in the bottom of the second. Orynn Viellon singled and stole second base, going to third when the throw sailed into center field. A walk and another stolen base put two runners in scoring position. Both came home on a two-out single up the middle by Sebastian Toro.

Left-hander Dalton Horton was perfect through five innings. It was the bottom of the Terps’ order that got things going in the sixth. Tommy Gardiner lined a single for his first hit of the season. Chris Alleyne then tripled to center for the Terps’ first run. Caleb Walls laid down a squeeze bunt to tie the score.

One inning later in the seventh, the Terps took the lead on doubles by Taylor Wright and Ben Cowles.

Mark DiLuia pitched 1.1 scoreless innings and was succeeded by John Murphy in the ninth, but “The Sherriff” suffered his first blown save of the season. A single, ground rule double, and an intentional walk loaded the bases. A high pitch hit off the umpire’s mask and bounced a few feet away; the runner from third streaked home to tie the score. The next hitter, Handsome Monica, apparently struck out, but the first-base ump overruled the call. Head coach Rob Vaughn got tossed for arguing the call. Monica struck out on the next pitch, and Murphy struck out the next batter, so it was on to extra innings.

In the 10th and 11th innings, the Ragin’ Cajuns threatened to score but made multiple baserunning mistakes. Still, the Terps couldn’t muster any more runs, and Louisiana-Lafayette scored a run on an error in the bottom of the 14th inning to take the victory.

Game 2: Louisiana-Lafayette 2, Maryland 1

For the second straight game, Maryland took a one-run lead into the ninth inning, but couldn’t make it stand up. The culprit was free passes, as Terrapin hurlers issued eight walks and two hit batsmen. Maryland had a few chances to take a large lead, but came up empty.

Given how many pitchers Maryland used in the series’ first two games, it was essential that right-hander Trevor LaBonte go deep into game three. The freshman did exactly that, hurling six shutout innings and allowing only one hit.

The first three innings went without any fanfare as both pitchers went through the batting order without allowing a baserunner. It looked like the Terps would draw first blood in the top of the fourth, as Maryland loaded the bases. Bednar singled through the left side hole, Wright walked and Costes singled, but Cowles lined to the shortstop, who flipped to the second baseman for an inning-ending double play.

In the top of the fifth, Sebastian Holte-Mancera singled, Gardiner doubled, and Kody Milton laid down a squeeze bunt to give Maryland a 1-0 lead.

The Terps missed out on an opportunity to take a large lead in the seventh. Maryland loaded the bases with one out—Gardiner singled and Milton recorded his first collegiate hit, then Alleyne was hit by a pitch. But both Walls and Bednar went down on strikes.

The Ragin’ Cajuns returned the favor in the bottom of the inning. With two runners in scoring position and one out, Andrew Vail struck out Daniel Laharre and then got a ground out.

The Terps took a 1-0 lead to the bottom of the ninth. A leadoff walk was followed by a bunt which Holte-Macera threw for a two-base error. A squeeze bunt tied the score. Then, a ground ball on which Milton threw low to the plate sent the second run across, and Louisiana-Lafayette won the game 2-1. Sean Heine, who entered for Vail after the leadoff walk, took the loss.

Maryland falls to 6-4 on the year. The Terps return home to play Delaware on Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET.