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Maryland baseball splits hectic doubleheader vs. Northwestern, wins weekend series

The Terps dropped the first game Saturday, but held on in the second for a series victory.

Maryland baseball vs. Delaware Maryland Baseball (@TerpsBaseball)

Maryland baseball split Saturday’s slugfest of a doubleheader against Northwestern, giving the Terps two out of three in the weekend series.

Saturday turned into two crucial games for the Terps (18-17, 5-4 Big Ten) as they looked to take a road weekend series at Northwestern (16-16, 5-4 Big Ten). Maryland started out the weekend well, taking the series opener 13-8 on Friday.

Friday’s offensive onslaught from both teams turned into a theme this weekend, as the two teams combined to scored 42 runs in the two games Saturday. Northwestern outscored the Terps 23-19, but Maryland was able to capture a win in the second contest.

Maxwell Costes led the Terps overall, going 3-for-7 with five RBIs and two runs scored. Michael Pineiro, Justin Vought and Ben Cowles all drove in three on the day. Seven of the nine Maryland batters also had multiple hits in the doubleheader.

Game 1: Northwestern 13, Maryland 7

Despite tying the game twice, Maryland faltered in the eighth inning as Northwestern took the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader, 13-7.

Zach Thompson took the mound for Maryland. He threw 6.1 innings, giving up five earned runs, hive hits and two walks while striking out five. Maryland scored seven runs on seven hits, hitting three home runs, but it wasn’t enough as Northwestern put up that big six-spot in the eighth.

Unlike Friday, Northwestern was the team that jumped out to an early lead. In the first, the Wildcats used the long ball as Willie Bourbon hit a two-run home run to take a 2-0 lead. In the second, Casey O’Laughlin tripled home Charlie Maxwell and Michael Trautwein and Alex Erro followed with a sacrifice fly, extending the lead to 5-0.

The Maryland bats were held in check for the game’s first four innings, but they finally came alive in the fifth. Pineiro and Randy Bednar both hit solo home runs to cut Northwestern’s lead to 5-2. A running catch from O’Laughlin in right field on a hard-hit ball from Costes prevented any more runs from scoring.

In the sixth, the Terps tied the game after loading the bases with no outs. They scored three straight runs on two hit-by-pitches of Cowles and AJ Lee and a Pineiro RBI walk. However, Maryland stranded the bases loaded with no outs, as the next three batters struck out.

In the seventh, Maryland had runners on the corners with one out, and again, two strikeouts ended the inning as the Terps left a man on third. Northwestern made them pay in the bottom half, as Shawn Goosenberg doubled home Jack Dunn and O’Laughlin to give the Wildcats a 7-5 lead.

The Terps answered back in the eighth off the bat of Maxwell Costes. The freshman continued his stellar first season with a two-run home run on an 0-2 count to tie the game at 7-7.

Northwestern answered with a six-spot in the bottom half. O’Laughlin had an RBI fielder’s choice. Jack Dunn followed with an RBI bunt single to go out to a 9-7 lead. Alex Erro broke the game open with a three-run home run, increasing the lead to 12-7, and a Ben Cowles error allowed another run to cross. Maryland couldn’t cut into the margin in the ninth, falling by six.

Game 2:

Thanks to a 12-run offensive outburst, Maryland took the second game by two and secured a series win against Northwestern by a 12-10 score.

The Terps had quite the offensive game, scoring 12 runs on 13 hits. Three Terps had multiple RBIs, with Costes and Vought each leading the team with three. All nine Terps scored a run, with three scoring multiple runs, and four Maryland players had multiple hits.

Trevor LaBonte was on the bump for the Terps, throwing 5-plus innings, and while he gave up eight runs, three came in after he exited in the sixth. LaBonte had an up-and-down outing, striking out three, walking three and giving up seven hits. Mark DiLuia struggled in the sixth, but pitched two innings and earned the win, and John Murphy registered a six-out save.

Like in game one of this doubleheader, the Terps fell behind early thanks to Willie Bourbon. In the first, Bourbon doubled home Goosenberg to take a 1-0 lead.

The score stayed that way until the fourth, when Maryland put up a five-spot. Costes continued his great day at the plate with an RBI single to tie the score. Maryland then took the lead on a Vought two-run shot. Several batters later, Cowles hit an RBI single and Pineiro reached on what became an RBI sacrifice bunt to take a 5-1 lead.

The Wildcats cut the lead to one in the bottom half as Michael Trautwein doubled home David Dunn and Bourbon and Leo Kaplan drove home Trautwein on a sacrifice fly to make the score 5-4.

Two innings later, the Terps put up a four-spot, loading the bases before scoring runs on four straight plate appearances. Taylor Wright singled home Cowles, Costes was hit by a pitch, scoring Pineiro, Vought singled home Randy Bednar and Josh Maguire walked, scoring Wright, putting Maryland comfortably ahead at 9-4 ... but not for long.

Northwestern tied the game at 9-9 in the bottom half as Kaplan singled home Dunn, Jack Dunn singled home Charlie Maxwell and Michael Trautwein and Alex Erro tripled home Dunn and Kaplan.

Maryland retook the lead in the seventh as Cowles led off the inning with his first collegiate home run, a solo shot. Bednar drove home a run on a sacrifice fly and Costes doubled home Lee for his third RBI of the day to give the Terps a 12-9 lead.

Head coach Rob Vaughn decided to put in Murphy, his closer, for a six-out save to win the series. He gave up a run in the eighth, as Goosenberg singled home Jack Dunn to cut Maryland’s lead to 12-10, but Murphy shut the door in the ninth for the save and the series-clinching victory.

The Terps will play two midweek games this week, starting at home against James Madison on Tuesday at 4 p.m. and at George Mason on Wednesday at 3 p.m.