Maryland baseball split a Saturday doubleheader to take two out of three from Illinois in the weekend series. The Terps struggled offensively and dropped game one, but came alive in game two to go home happy.
Game 1: Illinois 5, Maryland 1
The Terps couldn’t get anything going on offense, and Illinois pulled away in the late innings to start the doubleheader with a win.
Illinois starting pitcher Ty Weber threw an absolute gem en route to a win. Weber gave up one run on four hits and struck out three over 7.2 innings pitched. Maryland’s Zach Thompson gave up four runs on six hits and struck out one over seven innings.
Illini third baseman Grant Van Scoy and catcher Jacob Campbell were the standouts. Van Scoy went 3-for-4 at the plate with a double and a triple, as well as two runs scored. Campbell blasted a two-run home run in the seventh for his first career home run, and finished 1-for-2 with three RBIs.
Weber and Thompson were locked in a pitcher’s duel early. Weber allowed doubles in the second and third innings but escaped both unscathed. In the bottom of the third, Thompson walked Jeff Korte and hit Campbell with one out, but the right-hander got out of the jam, dealing a 6-4-3 inning ending double play.
Illinois had something cooking in the fourth inning, but Thompson got out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam without giving up a run. Michael Massey led off with a single followed by a single from Zac Taylor and a walk from Kellen Sarver to load the bases. Cam McDonald then hit a ground ball to third baseman Taylor Wright who stepped on third and threw home to get Massey who was trying to score.
Van Scoy led off the fifth inning with a triple and was driven in by Campbell to give Illinois a 1-0 lead. Van Scoy then ripped a one-out double in the seventh inning and Campbell blasted a two-run home run.
Maryland’s Josh Maguire led off the top of the eighth with a solo home run to make the score 3-1. Thompson walked Massey to start the bottom of the eighth and exited as Mark DiLuia came in. Sarver and McDonald reached base to load the bases with no outs. Van Scoy then drove in two more runs with a single making the lead 5-1.
The Terps got the first two men on in the ninth but were unable to comeback dropping game two of the series and game one of the doubleheader 5-1.
Game 2: Maryland 8, Illinois 4
The Terps’ offense looked like a completely different team in game two of the day getting out in front early and rallying back late to take the second game and the series.
Maryland starter Trevor LaBonte produced a decent performance, giving up four runs (one earned run) on five hits and struck out three over 5.1 innings. Illinois’ Cyrillo Watson gave up four runs on four hits and struck out four over 5.1 innings.
Randy Bednar and Maxwell Costes led Maryland offensively. Bednar went 2-for-5 with a three-run home run and an RBI single. Costes went 3-for-5 with an RBI single and a three-run home run in the seventh inning that blew the game open.
In the top of the third, the bats came alive for the first time for Maryland. Justin Vought led off the inning getting hit by a pitch and Maguire followed with a full-count walk. AJ Lee put Maryland on the board with an RBI single, then Bednar clocked a three-run shot over the left field fence to make it 4-0.
Zac Taylor led off the bottom of the fourth with a double and later advanced to third base on a wild pitch. Kellen Sarver drove him in with a sacrifice fly out to center field, putting Illinois on the board and making it 4-1.
The Illini fought back in the bottom of the sixth. Massey reached on an error by Costes and Taylor reached on an error by Lee. McDonald then walked to load the bases with one out. Yalowitz and Van Scoy had back-to-back RBI singles, making the score 4-3. Korte hit a sacrifice fly to center field that scored McDonald, tying the game at four.
Maryland responded with an enormous seventh inning. Cowles singled and Lee followed with a walk. Bednar singled up the middle to drive in Cowles, making the score 5-4. A couple batters later, Costes blasted a three-run home run to left-center field, blowing the game open as the Terps took an 8-4 lead.
Illinois had light for a comeback in the bottom of the seventh, as a single, hit-by-pitch and walk loaded the bases. Sean Fisher came in to relieve for the Terps and closed the door, getting McDonald to ground into a 6-4-3 inning-ending double play.
Fisher sent the Fighting Illini down in order in both the eighth and ninth innings, putting up one of his best outings as a Terp.
The Terps will play host to the Tribe of William & Mary in a midweek contest Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET.