By Megan Smedley
With the impending winter weather expected on Saturday, the Maryland Baseball team opened up their weekend series against Ohio State with a day/night double header on Friday afternoon. Taylor Bloom was on the mound to start with Mike Shawaryn getting a couple more days of rest since he has been struggling, Bloom came out absolutely dominant. The Terps won 3-0.
Smart base running put the Terps on top in the bottom of the first. Madison Nickens had a leadoff walk before Nick Dunn hit a grounder to short. An error by Ohio State resulted in both runners in scoring position. Nick Cieri hit a blooper to left field, scoring Nickens. Dunn came into score following a passed ball. At the end of one, the Terps were up 2-0.
Taylor Bloom was absolutely dealing through the first five innings. He had two strikeouts, and kept his pitch count down by getting lots of groundouts. Bloom was perfect through five innings having only thrown 40 pitches. Bloom said he was informed he would be starting on Friday night early during the week.
“I tried to look at it as it not [being] really different,” said Bloom. “I tried to keep the same mentality. Just go out and attack the hitters, try and fill up the zone.”
The perfection would come to an end in the sixth. Bloom hit second baseman Grant Davis in the right calf, making Davis the first base runner for Ohio State. Craig Nennig then broke up the no hitter with a single to right-center field, advancing Davis to third. A heads up play by Bloom followed. He faked to third, before firing off to Biondic at first, picking off Nennig. Bloom was able to get out of the jam striking out right fielder Jacob Bosiokovic. The Terps still led 2-0 at the bottom of the sixth.
With two outs in the bottom of the sixth, Marty Costes took his first pitch and sent it flying over the center field wall. That homerun is Costes’ team-leading seventh homerun of the season. At the end of six, the Terps were on top 3-0.
Justin Morris prevented a potential rally for Ohio State in the seventh inning. A bunt from Ohio State only went a couple of inches in front of the box. Morris picked it up and fired it to second, and Smith threw it to Biondic at first for an unorthodox double play. Bloom returned for the eighth inning and quickly got out of it. His pitch count was below 75 through eight innings.
Bloom went out into the ninth to finish the game. As he was all game, Bloom was dealing. With a quick 1-2-3 inning, Bloom secured his complete game- shutout. He improves to 5-2 on the season and his ERA dropped to 1.99. Bloom only threw 90 pitches in the victory. Bloom hopes his strong performance will motivate the other starting pitchers.
“It definitely saves our bullpen,” said Bloom. “It’s funny, me and Shaffer always seem to one up each other. Me and him are like best friends so it’s not like we’re doing it negatively. But it’s just a fun game, me and him trying to like one up each other every time we go out.”
The Terps went on to sweep the double header and therefore win the series. They are back in action Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m.