By Ethan Cadeaux (@Ethan_301)
Behind Taylor Bloom’s fifth complete game of the season, the Terrapins were able to split the double header with Illinois as they won the nightcap, 3-1.
Bloom would pick up his sixth win of the season, allowing just one run and six hits while striking out six.
“Taylor [Bloom] is tough,” said head coach John Szefc. “He gave us a big start when we needed it,”
Bloom wasn’t the only starter that turned in an excellent pitching performance this afternoon. Illini southpaw Doug Hayes went seven strong innings, allowing just three runs on four hits. Hayes had no-hit the Terps through the first four innings.
The Illini would break the scoreless tie in the top of the seventh, when Pat McInerny singled in Michael Hurwitz to give the Illini a one run lead. The Terps did not take long to respond.
After just one hit through the first six innings, the Terps put together three hits in the bottom of the seventh. Zach Jancarski and Dan Maynard would hit back-to-back one-out singles, and after Maynard broke up a double play, shortstop Kevin Smith launched a three-run shot over the left field wall to give the Terps a 3-1 lead.
“We were just trying to hit the ball hard and make good things happen,” said Smith on the team’s hitting approach in the seventh.
The Illini threatened in the eighth, as they had the tying run at second base with two outs and star catcher, Jason Goldstein, at the plate. But Bloom got Goldstein to ground out, with the help of third baseman Andrew Bechtold’s excellent throw across his body to get Goldstein and preserve the lead.
Bloom struck out the last two batters of the game to complete his nine-inning slate.
“We have a lot of tough guys on this team,” said Smith. “Nothing really fazes them.”
Smith categorized the second game of the double-header as a “must-win,” and his one swing of the bat was the only offense the Terps needed to pull out the win.
“Our goal is we are trying to win series,” said Szefc. “Again, we go to a Sunday with a chance to win a series. We came into the series with a goal to win it and we still have a chance to win it. We have [Brian] Shaffer on the mound tomorrow, and I like our chances.”