Combined one-hit shutout clinches series win for Maryland baseball.

Courtesy of Maryland Athletics

Maryland baseball took its second straight series win on Sunday afternoon, besting Albany 4-0 in a game that took barely over two hours to complete. After coming one inning away from their first shutout of the season on Friday, the Kyle McCoy-Nate Haberthier pitching tandem completed the act as the two racked up nine strikeouts while relenting just one hit and one walk over the frigid outing.

“Kyle and Nate were both outstanding,” Maryland Coach Rob Vaughn said. “That’s what you need today. It was a miserable day out here. It’s hard to pitch when your hand’s freezing and those two were pounding the strike zone.”

The Terps (11-8) entered the tiebreaker matchup coming off of a rare home loss after Albany (3-9-1) shut them down in a 6-3 win on Saturday. Maryland had won six games in a row before that day, including a wild 18-3 series opener for the home team. Starter Nick Dean continued to struggle for Maryland, letting up five hits and five runs in 4.1 innings to put his team in an early hole they couldn’t crawl out of.

The majority of yesterday’s scoring was done without much flash until Albany’s Dan Tauken homered with two players on base, breaking the game all the way open. It was only the third game the Great Danes had won in their young season, and their first since Mar. 10.

Kyle McCoy led off for the Terps on the mound, his second Sunday start in a row after he last performed a week ago for the final win against Maine. He entered this afternoon winless, posting a 5.68 ERA and 1.42 WHIP over 12.2 innings and six total appearances.

Both he and his Albany counterpart, Thomas Quinn, looked thoroughly in control through the first pair of innings as they each mercilessly sawed through opposing batters.

While McCoy continued to deal in the third, striking out two of the three Great Danes he faced in the frame, Quinn finally ran into trouble. After plunking Elijah Lambros, he relented a double deep into the left field corner to Luke Shliger, letting the runner score. A Nick Lorusso single through the gap brought home his catcher, and the Terps wrapped the third inning up 2-0.

McCoy only looked sharper as the afternoon progressed, wrapping up his outing with a rapid-pace fifth inning. He consistently threw the pitch under 10 seconds after receiving the ball from the catcher, and Albany couldn’t keep up. He finished with five strikeouts and one hit over five innings, the deepest he’s gone in a game this spring.

“We’re getting ready to take the training wheels off, because that guy is ready to go and he’s chomping at the bit to keep going,” Vaughn said.

Nate Haberthier entered in relief for McCoy in the sixth. Haberthier, who’s started three games himself, was also the second pitcher out after McCoy started last Sunday. This is a combination Vaughn has stated his interest in experimenting with due to their opposing pitching arsenals. 

Matt Shaw provided some additional run support in the seventh to double the lead, as his two-run homer sliced through the bitter air and sailed over the centerfield wall. This marked his fourth home run of the season and fifth RBI of the weekend.

Though Haberthier has posted an unimpressive 6.61 ERA over four appearances, he was lights out last week in four innings against Maine when he collected eight strikeouts in only four innings. He was on it again this time, adding six more Ks over four dominant innings in relief to keep Albany pinned down. He and McCoy would be the only pitchers used by Maryland, the fewest in a game this year.

“If you get pitching like we got today and play clean defense, you win,” Vaughn said. “If you contrast that with yesterday, we were just behind hitters a lot…we played sloppy defense…I thought we were elite defensively today.”

The afternoon win helped the Terps continue to boost their winning record as they continue to make up for a rocky start against some of the nation’s best, and two days after their offense got the job done, it was the Maryland defense that propelled the home team to their third series win.

Maryland gets right back at it against George Washington on Tuesday as they look to continue dominating at home.