Maryland sweeps Bryant for eighth-straight win

By Megan Smedley

Despite the sub 40-degree temperatures, Maryland Baseball was already warmed up for game two of Sunday’s doubleheader. Tyler Blohm was on the mound as the Terps looked to sweep Bryant and win its eighth straight. Blohm came out strong in the first inning getting James Ciliento to strike out and two groundouts. Maryland bats got things started early in the bottom of the first. After a leadoff walk by Zach Jancarski, Marty Costes singled to left, moving the runner. A sacrifice fly from Brandon Gum scored Jancarski putting the Terps up 1-0 after one.

Blohm continued dealing in the second, nabbing two strikeouts. Bryant pitcher Vito Morgese settled down in the second getting a 1-2-3 inning.

Blohm pitched another 1-2-3 inning in the third even after he took a stinging groundball to the left hand in the chilly weather. He said the ball came in slower than he had expected it to, resulting in it not hurting as much.

“It tightened up for a little bit but my few warmup pitches looked good so I decided to stay in the game,” Blohm said. “And then from there, I ended up throwing harder after it which is kind weird. The curveball was biting more so maybe it worked out for the best.”

Bryant nabbed its first baserunner of the afternoon when Jimmy Titus walked on a full count in the top of the fourth.

Nick Cieri worked a full count walk in the bottom of the fourth. Will Watson reached first with an infield single to short, moving Cieri to second. Witb a 2-0 count, shortstop Kevin Smith drilled a ball to the right field wall, scoring Cieri and Watson. Smith’s double put the Terps up 3-0. He would later score on a balk by Morgese after Smith stole third. At the end of four, Maryland led 4-0. Morgese’s day was done after four innings. He allowed four runs on four hits.

Bryant broke up the no-hitter in the top of the fifth with two singles to right from Chris Wright and Jacob Marotta. Blohm was able to get out of the inning by striking out Bryan Hart leaving both runners on base.

Justin Snyder came in for relief in the bottom of the fifth and Maryland hitters quickly went to work. Gum singled to left field and Cieri walked on four pitches. Both runners stole but Watson flied out to left to end the inning.

Tyler Blohm gave up a leadoff single in the sixth but his defense helped him out. A classic 6-4-3 double play from Smith to Dunn to Gum cleared the bases. Blohm struck out Ttitus to end the inning.

Danny Maynard singled to left to start the bottom of the sixth after striking out in his previous two at bats. Zach Jancarski singled up the middle and AJ Lee reached on a fielder’s choice. With the bases loaded, Kevin Smith flied out to left to end the inning.

Ryan Hill took over for Blohm in the seventh inning. Blohm went six innings allowing no runs on three hits while striking out six. Head Coach John Szefc called the performance the best Blohm has thrown all season.

“I think that was Tyler’s best start too,” said Szefc. “If you watched his starts, they’ve been gradually getting better. I think he had his best off-speed stuff today for sure. He made some big pitches when he had to…he did what he had to do.”

Centerfield Zach Jancarski also had plenty of praise for the freshman pitcher.

“He had a great start,” Jancarski said. “It was fun to kind of be behind him and see his success. Overtime he goes out there we feel like we have a pretty good chance to win.”

Hill ran into some trouble in the top of the eighth inning. Two walks and a fielder’s choice later, Hill’s day was done. Andrew Miller came in with two outs and the bases loaded hoping to get out of the inning safely. Mickey Gasper grounded out to third and the Terps escaped a based-loaded jam.

In the bottom of the eighth, Kevin Smith ripped a double down the left field line. Smith was halfway to third for a steal when AJ Lee took a pitch to the back sending Smith back to second and Lee to first. Zach Jancarski struck out looking to end Maryland’s shot at tacking on a couple of more runs.

Andrew Miller closed out the game for his second save of the season. Maryland improves to 9-5 on year and are currently on an eight game winning streak. The team heads to North Carolina on Tuesday for a midweek matchup against UNC.

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