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Maryland baseball stays hot, beats Rhode Island 9-3 to stay undefeated

The Terps scored three in the third and the seventh to take down the Rams and improve to 4-0 on the season


After going scoreless in the first inning, it didn’t take long for Maryland baseball to figure out that hitting the baseball isn’t the only way to score runs.

To start the second inning, sophomore Maxwell Costes got clipped by a pitch. Junior Justin Vought then followed suit with a single to center field. After, sophomore Ben Cowles also got hit by a pitch from RHP Justin Cherry of the University of Rhode Island.

Soon after, similarly to how the Terps came back to win 4-2 against the College of Charleston last Sunday, Cherry threw a wild pitch that gifted head coach Rob Vaughn and the Terps the first run of the game.

Maryland took advantage of erratic pitching from the Rhode Island all afternoon en route to a 9-3 victory Friday to stay undefeated. The Rams ended the game hitting a total of seven Terps at the plate and walking 12 total.

While the Rams’ pitching was their downfall, junior Sean Fisher controlled the game right from the start, helping Maryland come out with the lead early in the first few innings.

“We needed him to come out and continue pounding the zone and he kept doing that, we played better defense behind him today,” Maryland head coach Rob Vaughn said.

Fisher was able to keep the balls that were hit by the Rams on the ground, leaving easy work for the defense. On the day, he finished with a crisp 6.1 innings, allowing one run on five hits while striking out four. Maryland’s bullpen of Sam Bello and Trevor LaBonte allowed a run each, but it wouldn’t make a difference with their team already plenty ahead.

The Terps were able to put up three runs in the third inning, mainly coming off of sloppy pitching from Rhode Island.

Freshman Tucker Flint and Costes both walked in the bottom of the third, and then Vought got nailed in the upper-body with another hit by pitch to make it bases loaded. Then, freshman Bobby Zmarzlak cracked a single to center field, allowing Flint to extend the Terp’s lead to 2-0.

But, the bleeding didn’t stop there inside Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium.

After Cowles got hit again by another pitch from the Rams to let Costes score, junior infielder Tommy Gardiner smacked a grounder to third base letting Vought reach home to give Maryland an insurmountable 4-0 lead.

“I think we did a good job taking what they gave us,” Vaughn said. “You know we had 14 guys left on base I told the guys you know if we’re going to get 19 freebies that should have been about a 14 to three game.”

Despite the Terps finishing with just four hits compared to Rhode Island’s seven, Maryland was able to close out the Rams the rest of the way after the third inning, putting up one run in the fifth off of an error before exploding offensively in the seventh.

Junior outfielder Randy Bednar cracked his first RBI of the game in the bottom of the seventh off a single to left field, allowing Gardiner to score for the Terps.

Then, the Rhode Island pitching staff continued to struggle with more sloppy play.

After Costes walked to reach base, Bednar was able to score off of another wild pitch from the Rams. The pitch got away from Rhode Island catcher Jordan Laske and Bednar was able to make it to home plate with ease.

The Terps ended up scoring three in the inning as they chased five of Rhode Island’s pitchers through the bottom of the seventh.

Maryland’s impressive offensive performance trickled into the bottom of the eighth inning, as a soft grounder towards first base from junior Chris Alleyne helped Cowles find home plate to put the team up 9-2. The Terps then closed out the Rams to improve to 4-0 in 2020.

“I think we did a good job taking what they gave us,” Vaughn said. “You know we had 14 guys left on base I told the guys you know if we’re going to get 19 freebies that should have been about a 14 to three game.”

Vought was the only Terp to collect multiple hits, going 2-2 on the day. He also got hit by two pitches and scored one run in the third to cap off the Terps’ early offensive run.

Gardiner and Cowles notched one RBI each, with four other Terps collecting RBIs on the afternoon.

Three things to know

1. Sean Fisher continued his dominance in his second start for the Terps. Fisher went over five innings for the Terps in his first collegiate start against Charleston Southern, and he was able to maintain his poise this afternoon against the Rams.

The junior led the way for the Terps on the mound all afternoon with a solid 6.1-inning performance. He collected four strikeouts and allowed just five hits en route to his second win of the season, surrendering just one run across the pair of starts.

Maryland’s pitching has been stellar to start the 2020 campaign. The Terps have allowed just two runs in each game to help propel them to a perfect start.

2. Maryland got hit by pitches often. The Terps were hit seven times against the Rams, making it now 18 total on the season, which is close to leading the nation in that category. Maryland players are having a tough time avoiding getting hit at the plate, but that’s been a huge advantage for the Terps, as it has led to scoring opportunities with men on base.

3. The offense is pouring it on for the Terps. After scoring no less than four runs in their first three games, the Terps scored in bunches against the Rams, putting up three runs in the third and three in the seventh.

Six different Maryland players cracked an RBI in the win over Rhode Island. With the offense rolling and the starting pitching coming at a premium, Maryland will have a tough time losing with its current formula.