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Maryland baseball swept for first time this season after 3-2 loss to Coastal Carolina

The Terps were outscored 29-5 by the Chanticleers over the three-game series.


As Maryland baseball headed into the eighth inning, it found itself in an unfamiliar position against Coastal Carolina: tied in a close game. But head coach Rob Vaughn’s team couldn’t make a dent in the Chanticleers’ defense and went down in order.

Once again, Coastal Carolina proved to be able to do what the Terps couldn’t in the bottom half of the inning and took control of the game. The Chanticleers erupted and took advantage of young righty Connor Staines, drawing a walk and hit to put men on before driving in a run on an RBI single to give Coastal Carolina a one run lead.

The Terps couldn’t punch back in the ninth inning, with the offense unable to live up to a much-improved defensive performance in a 3-2 loss to the Chanticleers Sunday. Maryland was swept for the first time this season, losing all three games of its series in South Carolina.

Down one run, Maryland found itself in a familiar position as junior outfielder Chris Alleyne stared down Coastal Carolina pitcher Nick Parker in the top of the third.

The Terps had gotten men on the corners thanks to a leadoff double from freshman infielder Matt Orlando and single from Ben Cowles with only one out. As the fastball sailed toward the plate, Alleyne smacked it through a gap in the right side of the infield, scoring Orlando and sending the Maryland bench in a frenzy.

With two men on and only one out, the Terps were looking to capitalize on already successful inning. However, they found themselves in a familiar funk as junior outfielder Randy Bednar walked back to the dugout after striking out to end the third inning battle.

Once again, the story of the day was how Maryland’s bats weren’t able to get it going nearly enough against a Coastal Carolina pitching staff that had been dominating the Terps’ lineup throughout the weekend series.

Following the one-run third inning, Maryland still looked like it could muster some offense in the next frame as Maxwell Costes dropped a single into left field to start off the top of the fourth.

With the hot-handed Costes on first, it looked like Maryland was poised to put some more hurt on the Chanticleers pitching staff. Though, the lone hit would be all Terps got from pitcher Nick Parker, as the righty retired his next three batters to get out of the inning.

Maryland took the lead in the top of the sixth inning thanks to Bednar. Following a leadoff walk from Alleyne and a reached-on-error by Tucker Flint, Bednar was looking at a similar situation to the third inning. However, unlike earlier, the veteran outfielder took the situation by the horns and singled up the middle.

Bednar’s RBI single not only gave the Terps their first lead of the game, but their first lead of the entire weekend series and also resulted in Nick Parker getting pulled from the game. But once again, Maryland struggled to build on a successful inning with its next three batters being retired by bullpen arm Shaddon Peavyhouse.

Sunday’s game echoed Saturday’s contest in the sense that it remained a starting pitcher’s duel for most of the day. While Chanticleer pitcher Nick Parker limited Maryland to just two runs over five innings, Sean Burke gave the Terps everything he had on the mound.

Things looked like they were going to take a turn for the worst in the bottom of the first, when Burke gave up leadoff home run to the hot-hitting senior infielder Scott McKeon. While certain pitchers may have let the early bomb dictate the rest of their game, Burke used it as fuel. The Massachusetts native struck out his next three batters to get out of the opening inning without any further damage.

Burke completely steamrolled the Chanticleers offense, holding them scoreless in the second, third, fourth and fifth innings. During this stretch, the junior struck out four batters while allowing just one hit and two walks.

But Burke couldn’t hold off the Coastal Carolina offense in the sixth inning.

After batter Nick Lucky reached third following a walk, stolen base, and wild pitch, it looked like trouble was on the horizon for the 6’6 righty. A misplaced pitch to his next batter spelled bad news, as redshirt junior infielder Fox Leum drove the fastball into shallow right field to score the tying run. Although Burke retired his next two batters to escape the inning, the damage was already done.

Ultimately, Maryland couldn’t make the run it needed to in the top of the ninth. After redshirt junior catcher Tavan Shahidi drew a one-out walk, Vaughn brought in freshman outfielder Bobby Zmarzlak to pinch run in hopes that the Terps could create some late game magic.

Alas, Maryland’s offense once again couldn’t get the job done. Redshirt sophomore Michael Pineiro immediately grounded into a double play to end the game at 3-2 in Coastal’s favor.

Three things to know

1. Sean Burke’s performance carried Maryland’s defense. Following two eight-strikeout appearances, Burke had already proven himself to be a valuable piece to Maryland’s pitching rotation, but faced a true test on Sunday against an explosive Coastal Carolina offense. The redshirt freshman gave Maryland an outing it desperately needed, striking out eight batters over six innings and only giving up two runs.

2. Maryland’s defense was finally able to contain the Chanticleers. Although Maryland didn’t end its series against the Chanticleers the way it would have liked, the defense showed massive improvements in Sunday’s finale. In addition to Burke’s eight strikeout performance, Maryland limited Coastal Carolina to just three runs on five hits. After giving up a combined 26 runs in the first two games of the series, limiting the margin of defeat to just one run is a high note that the Terps will take from their game Sunday.

3. Coastal Carolina stole every base it could. With junior catcher Justin Vought still day-to-day with a lower body ailment, the Chanticleers continued to take advantage of his backup Tavan Shahidi by stealing six bases. Maryland’s backstop issues also contributed to its eventual defeat, as Coastal Carolina’s winning run stole second base before coming home on the following hit.