With a 2-2 count and no one on base in the bottom of the second inning, junior infielder Austin Chavis needed a little bit of help from the umpires to get the Maryland offense rolling early on against Bryant.
Chavis cracked a line drive to deep left center field and it seemed that Bulldogs’ outfielder Derek Smith came up with a miraculous diving catch for the second out of the inning.
Then, head coach Rob Vaughn came out of his dugout right away to question the catch, believing it hit the ground. The call was surprisingly overturned after a long conversation amongst the umpires and the Terps were back in business offensively.
Chavis then advanced to third on a wild pitch, and junior outfielder Chris Alleyne walked and stole second base. An ensuing Randy Bednar did just enough to drive in Chavis from third with a soft line drive towards second base to bring the Terps back in front by one run.
After, a double steal attempt from Allyene and sophomore Maxwell Costes led to a fielding error from the Bulldogs’ second baseman, allowing Alleyne to round third and reach home to extend the Terps lead to two in the second inning.
Maryland poured it on offensively early against Bryant, just as the team had done all series long, and the Terps were able to hold on and defeat the Bulldogs 13-3 Sunday.
“Anytime we beat anybody three times in a row it’s not an easy thing and so the boys came out I thought really good offensively,” Vaughn said.
Vaughn’s squad outscored the Bulldogs 35-9 in their second home series of the season.
After Bryant jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the first inning, Costes responded from the plate with a blast.
On a 2-0 count, the sophomore swung on a fastball that he rocketed towards center field. Costes emphatically flipped his bat towards the roaring Maryland bench as the ball sailed far over the wall for the first Terp run of the afternoon to tie the game at one apiece.
Then, a Bobby Zmarzlak full-count walk and a Tucker Flint hit by pitch brought catcher Tavan Shahidi to the plate. The redshirt junior then smacked a ball to right field, bringing in Zmarzlak to give the Terps their first lead of the afternoon at 2-1.
After one run from the Bulldogs and two from the Terps in the second inning to push the score to 4-2 Maryland, Bryant put up another run in the top of the third off of redshirt freshman pitcher Sean Burke.
But, after scoring four runs in the first two innings, the Terps remained relentless offensively.
Shortly after Flint’s second hit by pitch of the afternoon, Cowles drove a deep double to left center field to bring in Flint and push the Maryland lead to 5-3 in the bottom of the third inning.
While Maryland’s offense was rolling, Burke pitched another solid outing in his fourth start of the season.
Burke once again showed what he’s capable of with another crisp 6.0 innings of work. The redshirt freshman allowed just five hits and two earned runs to go along with a season-high 11 strikeouts.
“It was big, man,” Burke said of his performance to help the team clinch the sweep over Bryant. “I mean, every time you get a sweep — especially at home — it’s going to be good and it’s going to be fun.”
Burke surrendered one run in each of the first three innings, but dominated afterwards allowing just three base runners moving forward.
After the fourth inning, it was all Terps as the batters broke open the series finale even further.
A Matt Orlando single up the middle followed by a Chavis walk led to Bednar grounding a ball towards the shortstop, bringing in Orlando to bring the lead to 6-3. Costes followed suit with a bases clearing two-run double to center field to extend the Terps’ lead to five runs in the fifth inning.
But, Maryland wasn’t finished scoring just yet.
In the bottom of the seventh, Bednar barely reached first base after a soft grounder towards the pitcher. Then, Costes was hit by the pitch, followed by a wild pitch which allowed Bednar to find home to score the Terps’ ninth run of the game.
In the same inning sophomore infielder Ben Cowles capitalized on a bases loaded opportunity with two outs. Cowles dropped the ball in the gap towards shallow right field, bringing in two runs to push the lead to 11-3. Then, Chavis drove in another RBI single towards left field to tack on the Terps’ twelfth run.
“It’s gonna be huge if we can get production up and down the lineup, because that’s gonna be a big thing, you know,” Vaughn said after seven different Terps got hits on Sunday. “It’s big having guys kind of continue to have good at-bats.”
Then, Maryland finished with an exclamation point in the bottom of the eighth inning. Freshman infielder Michael Bouma advanced home from third after a grounder to first base from Flint to push the Maryland lead to double-digits at 13-3.
Maryland had done enough offensively and the pitching staff stepped up to shutdown the Bulldogs for the rest of the game.
Right-handed pitcher Sam Bello came in to relieve Burke in the seventh inning. The freshman performed exceptionally, tossing 1.0 inning and striking out two Bulldogs. Junior pitcher Mark DiLuia and redshirt junior pitcher Mike Vasturia combined to close out Bryant in the final two innings to give the Terps the win and the series sweep.
Three things to know
1. Costes continues his offensive dominance. The reigning Big Ten Freshman of the Year consistently produces from the plate for Vaughn. The sophomore cracked a home run in the first inning — his team-leading fourth of the season.
“I get to come out here and release stress do what I love to do and be around some of my best friends you know — like I’m having fun out here,” Costes said.
Costes came into the final game of the Bryant series batting an eye-opening .410 from the plate with a .667 slugging percentage. The first baseman finished the afternoon going 2-for-2 with three RBIs and two walks in the series finale against Bryant.
2. Burke’s strikeout totals keep rising on the season. After allowing one run in each of the first three innings against Bryant, Burke bounced back in a big way for the Terps. The redshirt freshman struck out 11 batters in just 6.0 innings to push his season total to 35. That’s an average of almost nine strikeouts per start. Burke has been dealing in his first four starts of the season, accumulating just a 1.99 ERA.
“His composure throughout that game was incredibly impressive, because we were dropping flyballs behind him caused him to throw extra pitches,” Vaughn said.
3. Maryland gets its first true series sweep of the season. The Terps rattled off three straight victories against Bryant, making it four consecutive wins for Vaughn’s squad. Maryland’s offense has been on a roll during the longest winning streak of the 2020 season, as the Terps outscored Bryant 35-9 in the three game series. The Terps scored no less than eight runs in the past four games, causing zero concern that the Maryland bats have gone cold.