Bullpen falters as Terps drop 5-4

By Megan Smedley

Finally, the sun was shining and there was no rain making it the perfect night for Terps baseball. A night that has been somewhat missing for most of the season. Mike Shawaryn was on the mound to open up a weekend series against Rutgers as Maryland is fighting for their spot in the Big Ten Tournament. Shawaryn was able to work out of first-inning trouble after allowing a leadoff walk and double to left-center. Maryland bats came out swinging in the first inning. Zach Jancarski and Anthony Papio got two quick singles but the Terps were unable to capitalize.

Rutgers took the lead in the second inning. Luke Bowerbank slapped a single to shallow left to score John Jennings, who was on base with a leadoff double. But thanks to strong defense, the one run would be all Rutgers would get in the inning.

In the third inning, Shawaryn found himself in trouble once again. With two runners on, Rutgers attempted a double steal. Bechtold applied the tag but the umpire called the runner safe, resulting in an argument from Head Coach John Szefc. The next play, a dropped third strike was called so Morris fired down to Biondic at first. The runner tried to score on the play but Biondic was aware the entire time and fired it back to Morris. A head-on collision occurred but Morris was able to hang on to secure the out.

Maryland bats continued to struggle with five strikeouts through the first three innings. Rutgers was able to tack on another run in the fourth to expand their lead to two. Kevin Smith nabbed a single to left to start of the bottom of the fourth. Nickens ripped a single to right, resulting in right fielder Tom Marcinczyk flipping as he threw to third but Smith was called safe. Bechtold worked a walk and the Terps were threatening with the bases loaded and one out. Morris stepped to the plate and ripped a single to right. Smith and Nickens came in to score and the game was tied. Zach Jancarski laid down the perfect bunt for a suicide squeeze but Rutgers pitcher Howie Brey threw the ball to the Terps dugout. Bechtold came in to score and the Terps took the lead. Two quick strikeouts ended the inning, but Maryland took the lead 3-2 headed to the fifth.

Shawaryn’s night would be done after five innings. He allowed two runs on eight hits while striking out four. Sophomore Andrew Green came in as his replacement in the sixth and pitched a quick 1-2-3 inning. Green’s day was done in the seventh after hitting a batter and walking one. Rob Galligan entered, hoping to keep the Terps lead. He allowed another walk and a single to tie the game. Still with no outs, Mike Rescigno entered trying to prevent any further damage. After two quick strikeouts, Rescigno allowed a two-run single to left with Rutgers regaining the lead, 5-3.

Ryan Selmer came in to pitch the eighth and got a quick 1-2-3 inning. Kevin Smith kept the Terps hope alive, smashing a solo homerun run off the left-field scoreboard. Tensions flared after Nickens flied out to left. Szefc began arguing and both benches were warned. Rutgers bench had been loud all game. Rutgers starter Grey continued his dominance and was able to get the next three batters out. But that would it for the Terps, as they drop the series opener against Rutgers 5-4. At the end of the game tensions rose again, as the teams continued shouting at each other even though the game was over.

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