Maryland baseball fell behind big early on Saturday night and couldn’t recover, as Minnesota (23-24, 12-8 Big Ten) took the second game of the teams’ weekend series, 9-3.
Zach Thompson took the mound for Maryland (24-26, 9-11 Big Ten) on Saturday, and the junior froze under the lights in Minneapolis as he gave up a four-spot in the first and five runs in the first two innings. Despite the rough outing—five runs given up, three earned and six hits—Thompson threw seven strong innings, striking out four and walking one over 115 pitches. This was the second straight night that Maryland had its starter pitch seven innings, forcing the Terps to use just two relievers on Friday.
Maryland got production from the middle of its order, as Randy Bednar, Taylor Wright and Maxwell Costes each had two hits. But the rest of the lineup was just 1-for-21, which kept the Terps from posing a real threat all night.
Unlike Friday night, Maryland came out flat and wasn’t able to recover after Minnesota’s big opening frame. While Thompson struggled and had to throw a lot of pitches early on, he also wasn’t bailed out by his defense, who committed two errors in the first inning.
Caleb Walls committed the first error, either misjudging an easy fly ball or losing it in the sunset, allowing Zack Raabe to reach instead of being the first out of the inning. That led to the Golden Gophers’ four-run first, where 10 men came to the plate. They kept the lead at four in the second as both teams traded solo home runs, with Costes going yard for Maryland and Eli Wilson for Minnesota.
Both teams were essentially frozen at the plate for the rest of the game until the eighth, when Maryland made some noise. Walls started the inning with a double, and a pair of RBI singles from Bednar and Costes cut the lead to 5-3. The Terps had the tying run on base, but couldn’t add on.
Minnesota pulled away in the bottom of the eighth, putting up a four-spot via a double, wild pitch and a bloop single just over the drawn-in infield. The Golden Gophers got to Nick Turnbull and Sean Fisher, putting the game away before Maryland had a chance to draw closer. Nine batters came to bat in the inning, much like the first.
The Terps went down quietly in the ninth, and now this series comes down to a rubber match on Sunday at 2 p.m. ET.