Maryland baseball’s offense came alive in one inning and the Terps pitchers held Villanova to one hit on Wednesday, as the Terps won their second consecutive midweek matchup, beating the Wildcats 5-2.
Maryland (23-22, 8-7 Big Ten) only tallied hits in the second and ninth innings, and Villanova (11-30, 3-6 Big East) had just one hit and six total baserunners all game. Ultimately, the Terps’ four-run outburst in the second was enough.
Starting pitcher Tyler Blohm made his second start since returning from a shoulder injury, and despite a pitch limit of 50 pitches, the lefty had a successful outing regardless. He gave up one run, no hits and struck out six in 3.1 innings pitched. Maryland relief pitcher Nick Turnbull put together a stellar outing, giving up no runs on one hit and striking out five over 3.2 innings. He retired the last 11 batters that he faced.
Terps shortstop AJ Lee continued his phenomenal tear, extending his hit streak to 11 games. He went 1-for-3 with two RBIs, a walk and a run scored. He smacked a two-run single up the middle in the top of the second inning.
In their fifth meeting all-time and their first since 1972, Maryland got out to an early lead over Villanova. In the top of the second, Caleb Walls led off with a single. Justin Vought followed with a single that advanced Walls to third base. Michael Pineiro reached on an sacrifice bunt, but Walls was thrown out trying to score. Ben Cowles walked to load the bases, and Ben Irvine followed with an RBI groundout, scoring Vought to open the scoring. Lee followed with a two-run single up the middle, making it 3-0. Lee stole second and Randy Bednar kept the two out rally going with an RBI single, extending the lead to 4-0.
Villanova’s offense was quiet until the bottom of the fourth inning. Dylan McNary led off with a walk and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Nick Lorusso drove in McNary with an RBI double to left field for the first hit and the first run of the afternoon for the Wildcats. Villanova cut the lead to 4-1 but stranded two runners on base.
Both teams’ offenses went silent for a while after the fourth inning. In the top of the seventh, the Terrapins finally made some noise offensively. Josh Maguire drew a pinch-hit walk and stole second base. Irvine laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Maguire to third, then Lee walked and stole second. But Bednar struck out swinging, ending the frame with two runners in scoring position.
Villanova got its first three runners on base in the eighth inning. Elliot Zoellner walked Sam Margulis and hit John Heilenbach with a pitch. Daniel O’Connor came in, walked Tyler Bruno and exited for freshman Andrew Vail with the bases loaded and no outs. Vail struck out McNary, but then walked Chris Rotondo, which scored Margulis and made it 4-2. But a 6-4-3 double play got the Terps out of the jam.
In the top of the ninth, Maryland got its first hit since the second inning when Vought cracked a solo home run over the left field wall to extend the lead to 5-2. Vail stayed in to pitch the bottom of the ninth and struck out the side to shut the door and seal the win, putting the Terps back over .500.
The Terps host Big Ten foe Michigan in a very meaningful series starting Friday at 6:30 p.m. ET.