What looked to be a close game between Maryland baseball and Michigan turned into more of a blowout Saturday afternoon, as the Wolverines pulled away in the middle innings and cruised to a 10-4 win.
Maryland (23-24, 8-9 Big Ten) starting pitcher Zach Thompson, looking to rebound from some rough outings over the last few weeks, gave up one run through his first 4.2 innings. However, he lost the strike zone in the fifth, issuing four walks and one hit by pitch. He departed, giving up five earned runs on two hits, six walks and three hit batters on 98 pitches.
Tommy Henry was dealing for Michigan (34-11, 13-3 Big Ten) on the mound, giving up six hits and three earned runs over 6.1 innings, striking out seven. Jordan Brewer was the catalyst for the Wolverines’ offense, as he has been the entire year, but not because of his bat. Brewer walked his first three times at the plate, scoring twice, including starting the fifth-inning rally for Michigan. He also stole second all three times he walked.
The game was scoreless until the third inning, when Brewer came around on a Jimmy Kerr RBI single, giving Michigan a 1-0 lead. Maryland tied the game in the bottom half as Randy Bednar hit his eighth home run of the season, a solo shot down the left field line.
It was a pitcher’s duel into the fifth, when Michigan started a two-out, bases empty rally thanks to Thompson’s inability to find the plate. Miles Lewis was hit to drive in a run, Jack Blomgren walked to drive in a run and Joe Donovan singled home two off newly entered reliever Sean Fisher as Michigan blew the game open at 5-1.
The Wolverines tacked on another three in the sixth. Lewis singled home a run, Blomgren hit a sacrifice fly and Donovan singled home a run as Michigan went up big, 8-1.
Maxwell Costes got the Terps a run closer in the bottom half with a solo homer, his ninth of the season, to cut the lead to 8-2. Maryland added another run in the seventh, as Michael Pineiro doubled to lead off the inning and came around to score on an AJ Lee RBI fielder’s choice, making it 8-3 Michigan.
Mark DiLuia held the Wolverines in check after Fisher and Thompson departed until the ninth inning, giving up one earned run on three hits. However, in the ninth, he gave up a controversial two-run home run to Jesse Franklin, his 11th of the season, as Michigan took a 10-3 lead. The ball was hooking down the right field line and looked to hook foul, but first base umpire Jeffrey Arthur pointed fair.
In the bottom of the ninth, Ben Cowles tried to start a rally with a no-doubt solo home run just left of the batter’s eye to make it 10-4, but it wasn’t enough.
The series finale is Sunday at 1 p.m., weather pending.