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Maryland baseball swept by Creighton, dropping finale 8-6

The Terps’ offense woke up late for an early game Sunday.

Maryland baseball Taylor Wright vs. East Carolina Maryland Baseball (@TerpsBaseball)

Maryland baseball’s offense took a long time to wake up for the 11 a.m. start Sunday against Creighton, as the Terps dropped Game 3 of the series, 8-6, suffering a series sweep for the second straight weekend.

Creighton finished the game with eight runs on 14 hits and two errors. Maryland had one run on three hits through eight innings, and a surge in the ninth wasn’t enough.

Creighton starting pitcher Evan Johnson put together a dominant start against the Terps. He gave up two hits and struck out five batters over 6.1 innings pitched. Maryland’s Trevor LaBonte gave up one run on four hits and struck out eight batters through 4.2 innings. As a result of his eight strikeouts, though, his pitch count was elevated, forcing head coach Rob Vaughn to go to the bullpen early.

Will Robertson, Isaac Collins and Jake Holton were the leaders for the Bluejays. Robertson went 3-for-5 at the plate with an RBI single and two RBI doubles, driving in three of Creighton’s runs. Collins went 3-for-5 with two doubles and a triple. He scored three runs off of Robertson’s successful day. Holton went 2-for-4 at the plate with a two-run home run adding to the Bluejays’ lead.

To lead off the game, Collins ripped a triple off the high wall in center field. Robertson singled to center field to drive in Collins, giving Creighton a 1-0 lead, striking first for the third time this series.

Johnson then set the Terps down in order in the first, third and fourth innings. LaBonte, meanwhile, settled in and kept Creighton scoreless after the first inning. Maryland’s bullpen started out solid, but then struggled in the top half of the seventh.

Tuck Tucker started the seventh inning and gave up a leadoff double to Collins. Robertson, the next batter, traded places with Collins with a double of his own driving the run in to take a 2-0 lead. Vaughn went to the bullpen again, this time calling on freshman Will Glock. He gave up a two-run home run to Holton, the first batter he faced, giving Creighton a 4-0 lead. Glock struck out Jack Strunc and Parker Upton, but the inning kept going with Jordan Hovey drawing a walk. Billy Phillips came in to relieve and gave up an RBI double to Jason Allbery, the first batter he faced, giving the Bluejays a 5-0 lead.

John Murphy came in to pitch in the eighth inning in a non-save situation. He gave up a leadoff single to Will Hanafan, but Hanafan was thrown out attempting to steal second base. Collins then doubled to center field for his second double and third extra-base hit of the day. Once again, Robertson drove in Collins with an RBI double to tack on another run making it 6-0.

In the bottom of the eighth, the Terps looked like they would have a huge inning. Tommy Gardiner lead off the inning with a double off of the fence in left field. Then Chris Alleyne and Randy Bednar worked two straight walks to load the bases with no outs. Maryland’s two best hitters, Taylor Wright and Max Costes, both struck out with the bases loaded. Senior captain AJ Lee worked a walk on a full count to bring in Gardiner for the first run of the day to make it 6-1. Justin Vought then struck out to end the inning. They only scored one run after having the bases loaded with no outs.

Hovey blew the game open with a two-run home run over the right field fence in the top of the ninth, making the score 8-1. The Terps then climbed back starting the bottom of the ninth with two straight walks. Gardiner grounded into a fielder's choice, moving Walls to third with one out. Alleyne and Bendar hit back-to-back RBI doubles, cutting the lead to 8-3. Wright then ripped a two-run double into right field making the score 8-5. Lee stroked an RBI single to straight away center field driving in Wright making the score 8-6. But Vought then popped out to first base to end the rally and the game.

The Terps look to bounce back from this series as they host the Indiana Hoosiers in the Big Ten opener in College Park on Friday at 6:30 p.m. ET.