Maryland’s winning streak ended at six, losing to Albany in the second game of the weekend series, 6-3.
The Terps came into the second game of the series after an offensive onslaught on Friday. Maryland scored 18 runs in the game, the majority coming in the eighth inning. Eight Maryland batters recorded an RBI in the contest, and the win increased the Terps’ winning streak to six games.
In the pursuit of extending the winning streak, Maryland sent Nick Dean to the mound for his fifth start of the season. Dean came into the game with an ERA of six, having struck out 23 batters in 21 innings of work. Connor Eisenmann got the starting assignment for Albany. Eisenmann came into the game sporting a WHIP of 2.21 in three starts this season.
Both pitchers pitched well through the first three frames, but Albany struck first in the second inning. Dean struggled to find the strike zone in the inning, walking two and giving up a hit to Owen Silliman to load the bases with only one out. Carson Dunkel hit a sacrifice fly to center to push across the first run of the game, the only run in the inning.
The Terps struck back in the third, scoring two in the inning. Luke Shliger and Nick Lorusso walked to start the inning and both advanced into scoring position on a wild pitch. Matt Shaw drove in Shliger with an RBI groundout to second. Later in the inning, Kevin Keister drove in Lorusso from third with an RBI single, taking a 2-1 lead.
Despite giving up just one run in the first three innings, Dean had to labor through the game. Dean was at 67 pitches through the first three frames, and the workload seemed to catch up with him in the fifth.
Victor Mazzara tripled to start the inning, hitting the ball to the right field. Matt Woods tried to make a play on the ball, but battling the sun, he was unsuccessful. Mazzara scored from third on an error by Keister at second, tying the score.
Dean got Will Feil to ground into a fielder’s choice for the first out of the inning and then walked Will Binder to put runners on first and second. In the following at-bat Dan Tauken broke the tie with his fourth home run of the year. Tauken’s home run marked the end of Dean’s time on the bump.
Kenny Lippman entered the game to get the final two outs of the inning, doing so successfully. Dean ended the game by giving up four earned runs and allowing five batters to reach on walks, pitching four and third innings.
Maryland and Albany traded runs in the bottom of the sixth and the top of the seventh, making the score 6-3 going into the bottom of the seventh inning. Maryland scored their run by manufacturing it from first base. The Great Danes’ run came from a solo homer by Binder.
The bottom of the seventh meant the end of the game for Eisenmann. Eisenmann pitched one of (if not the best) games of his season. He made it through six innings of work only allowing one earned run to cross home plate and giving up just one extra-base hit.
Dylan Banner took over the pitching duties for Albany and was stellar out of the bullpen. Banner finished the game pitching three innings, giving up only three hits and striking out three.
Banner made his mark in the bottom of the eighth inning, pitching out of a tricky situation.
Banner got Ian Petrutz to ground out to first for the first out of the inning. Eddie Hacopian and Bobby Zmarzlak hit back-to-back singles, bringing the tying run to the plate, Elijah Lambros.
On the second pitch of the at-bat Lambros grounded the ball to second baseman Victor Mazzara. Mazzara tagged out Zmarzlak on his way to second and fired the throw into first to get the speedy Lambros out. The double play ended the Maryland threat.
The Terps went down in order in the ninth inning to end the game.
Maryland’s lineup did not have a horrible day. The team had ten hits in the game and only struck out seven times. The lineup did struggle with runners in scoring position going 2-11 in those situations, leaving nine runners on base in the game. The Terps’ only had one extra-base hit in the game, a Lorusso double in the fifth.
The bullpen, which has been a question mark this season, performed well. The only run to score against the bullpen was the solo homer by Binder. Lippman and Kane combined to pitch four and two-thirds innings striking out seven and allowing only one walk while keeping Maryland in the game.
Maryland will hope to hit better with runners on in the rubber match of the series, which will be played on Sunday in College Park.