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Maryland baseball drops Easter Sunday rubber match vs. Ohio State, 5-1

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The Terps’ offense went cold as the Buckeyes secured the series victory.

Maryland baseball team vs. James Madison

Maryland baseball closed its weekend against Ohio State on a sour note, falling 5-1 on Easter Sunday afternoon to drop the series in College Park.

The Buckeyes took an early lead and never let the suddenly stagnant Terps offense find a rhythm. After scoring 23 runs in a Saturday doubleheader, Maryland (19-21, 6-6 Big Ten) registered just four hits against sophomore left-hander Griffan Smith, who hurled a complete game.

Ridge Winand was the offensive star, clubbing homers in the second and third innings to give Ohio State early separation. Those two swings were more than enough run support for Smith. While the southpaw allowed eight baserunners—four hits, two walks and two hit batsmen—he never got in serious trouble. Smith fanned 10 batters, and he needed just 110 pitches to complete nine innings.

Freshman righty Trevor LaBonte shook off a slow start to throw six innings of four-run ball, surrendering eight hits and three walks while striking out four. Three of Maryland’s four hits were doubles, but the Terps only capitalized once.

Ohio State threatened in the top of the first, loading the bases after recording two quick outs, but LaBonte escaped the jam. Winand opened the scoring with a solo shot in the top of the second, and two more hits had Buckeyes on first and second with one out before LaBonte struck out the last two batters of the frame. Ohio State left five runners on base in the opening two frames.

The top of the third proved to be the turning point. With two outs and a runner on first, LaBonte walked Zach Dezenzo on four pitches (two of which went wild), bringing up Winand. The redshirt senior delivered again, this time drilling a three-run homer to right center and giving Ohio State a 4-0 lead.

Maryland got on the board in the bottom of the third. Ben Cowles led off with a double and advanced on a pair of groundouts, with AJ Lee recording the RBI. The Terps had another chance in the fourth, as a Justin Vought double and Michael Pineiro hit-by-pitch put two on with one down, but Smith worked out of that jam to preserve his team’s 4-1 advantage.

Both offenses went cold for the next three innings, as neither team had another serious scoring opportunity until the top of the eighth. Dezenzo reached on an error by relief pitcher Mark DiLuia to lead off, and Nick Erwin singled him to third with one out. The lineup rolled over and Dominic Canzone doubled down the left-field line, scoring Dezenzo unearned and moving two runners into scoring position. DiLuia escaped the frame, but Ohio State had its four-run lead back.

Smith cruised from there, retiring the last 10 batters he faced and finishing what he started.

The Terps host VCU on Tuesday afternoon at 4 p.m. ET.