Maryland baseball (16-13 BIG) wins three-of-four in a pod series versus Iowa and Northwestern.
In Game 1 on Friday, Iowa starting pitcher Trenton Wallace was under pressure early. Center fielder Chris Alleyne reached base on an error by Iowa third baseman Matthew Sosa, and then Alleyne stole second. Wallace walked shortstop Ben Cowles and first baseman Maxwell Costes followed by getting hit by a pitch to load the bases. Wallace stranded Maryland to end the first inning by striking out catcher Luke Shliger and right fielder Tucker Flint.
“We had the bases loaded with less than two outs twice, and we don’t punch one across in either one of those,” Coach Rob Vaughn said.
Wallace allowed one unearned run and struck out nine batters over 4.1 innings pitched but did issue six walks.
“We got one of the best pitchers in our league out before the fifth inning,” Vaughn said. “That is an accomplishment.”
Maryland starting pitcher Sean Burke began his day by walking center fielder Ben Norman. Designated hitter Izaya Fullard then flew out, and first baseman Peyton Williams walked. Burke escaped a bases-loaded jam with consecutive strikeouts of second baseman Dylan Nedved and right fielder Zeb Adreon, keeping the game scoreless.
Maryland took the lead after Alleyne singled to lead off the third inning. Alleyne proceeded to steal second and advanced to third on an error by Iowa catcher Austin Martin. A sacrifice fly by left fielder Matt Shaw drove in Alleyne to give Maryland a 1-0 lead in the top of the third.
In the top of the sixth, Maryland extended its lead to 2-0 on an RBI single from Shaw that scored second baseman Kevin Keister after reaching on a single.
In the bottom of the sixth, the momentum shifted in favor of the Hawkeyes. Adreon advanced Martin to second with a single after Burke walked Martin. Sosa reached on a fielder’s choice and then stole second. Burke threw a wild pitch, which allowed Adreon to score and Sosa to advance to third. Burke walked left fielder Brayden Frazier, and shortstop Brendan Sher followed with a two-run double, which gave Iowa a 3-2 lead.
Relief pitcher Sean Heine entered the game in the sixth in relief of Burke. Burke struck out 10 over 5.1 innings; however, he did walk six Iowa batters.
Heine did not last long after a walk to Fullard and a double by Williams. David Falco came in to relieve Heine in the seventh. Nedved extended the Iowa lead to 4-3 after a squeeze bunt drove in Williams. Iowa added another run to make it 5-2 with another squeeze bunt from Adreon.
Zack Thompson entered the game in the bottom of the eighth in relief of Falco. Thompson proceeded to walk Norman. Fullard hit a single to left field to advance Norman to second. Iowa won Game 1 6-2, after an RBI single by Williams scored Norman giving the Hawkeyes more insurance runs.
In Game 2 against Iowa on Saturday, Maryland jumped on Iowa starter Drew Irvine early in its 8-6 victory. Alleyne led off with a walk; Irvine then walked Shaw, and Cowles crushed a three-run homer that gave Maryland a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Cowles has now homered in every series this year and has 12 home runs, which leads the Big Ten.
Alleyne doubled and advanced to third on an Irvine wild pitch. Maryland took a 4-0 lead on an RBI single by Shaw that scored Alleyne. Irvine allowed four runs on five hits with six walks, was pulled for reliever Jacob Henderson after 3.0 innings.
Maryland starter Nick Dean kept Iowa off the scoreboard until the bottom of the sixth. Williams hit a double off Dean followed by a walk to Martin. A two-run double by Nedved that scored Williams and Martin. Nedved scored on an error by Keister and Iowa trailed 4-3.
Dean allowed three runs, one unearned with six strikeouts, and one walk over 6.0 innings.
In the top of the seventh, Maryland padded its lead. Shliger walked, and third baseman Tommy Gardiner hit an RBI double that drove in Shliger. Flint singled to drive in Gardiner. Flint followed with a two-run single that scored catcher Riley Langerman and Flint, which gave Maryland an 8-3 lead.
After a single by Adreon followed by an RBI single by Nedved, Adreon scored on an RBI single by Sosa.
Maryland reliever Sam Bello clinched his fifth save of the season but allowed a sacrifice fly to Williams, who scored Sher. Maryland maintained an 8-6 victory.
Game 3 of the weekend was a pitching duel between Maryland and Northwestern (12-14 BIG).
Logan Ott allowed one earned run on five hits over six innings, struck out five, and walked none.
“What an unbelievable start for his first time out there,” Vaughn said. “Logan found out he was starting in between games.”
Mike Doherty allowed two runs, one earned, on five hits over five innings with five strikeouts and only one walk.
Northwestern took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second on an RBI double by center fielder Ethan O’Donnell that scored right fielder Leo Kaplan.
Maryland tied the game 1-1 in the top of the third. Alleyne reached on a walk. Nest, Shaw singled to advance Alleyne to second. Cowles followed with an RBI single that scored Alleyne. An error by Northwestern third baseman Evan Minarovic scored Shaw that put Maryland on top 2-1. Neither team scored another run, and Maryland held for a 2-1 victory.
Game 4 saw Maryland take a 9-7 victory of Northwestern to finish its weekend series in Iowa City.
Northwestern scored an unearned run in the top of the first. Shortstop Shawn Goosenberg singled and stole second. The Wildcats took a 1-0 lead after an error by Shliger scored Goosenberg.
Maryland exploded for three in the bottom of the first after a single by Cowles, followed by an RBI single by Costes. Gardiner hit an RBI single that scored Shliger. There was baserunner interference advanced Gardiner and scored Shliger. Maryland ended the first inning up 3-1.
Maryland pitcher Jason Savacool walked O’Donnell. O’Donnell stole second and was drove in by an RBI single by Kaplan. Northwestern pulled within one in the top of the second with a score of 3-2.
Northwestern starter Tyler Uberstine allowed a single to Alleyne, followed by an RBI single by Shaw to extend the Terrapin lead to 4-2.
O’Donnell led off the top of the fourth with a solo homer. Kaplan followed with a single and drove in by Goosenberg’s RBI double to tie the game 4-4.
Northwestern took a 6-4 lead when Sean Fisher relieved Savacool in the top of the fifth. O’Donnel hit a 2-run single that scored left fielder David Dunn and catcher Michael Trautwein.
Savacool allowed six runs, five earned on seven hits over four and one-third innings.
Maryland regained the lead in the bottom of the fifth on a two-run single by designated hitter Bobby Zmarzlak after a Costes walk, followed by a Shliger walk. A walk to Keister followed by an RBI single by Alleyne put Maryland on top 7-6.
Gardiner led off the seventh with a walk, followed by a walk to Flint. Northwester reliever Boeckle loaded the bases with a walk to Zmarzlak. Gardiner scored on a ground out by Keister that gave Maryland an 8-6 lead.
Alleyne walked and stole second. A throwing error by Goosenberg scored Flint to give Maryland the 9-6 lead.
Northwestern pulled within two on an RBI single by second baseman Vincent Bianchina that scored Goosenberg.
Fisher pitched the final four and two-thirds innings and allowed one unearned run with five strikeouts to seal the 9-7 victory for Maryland.
“Today, the story of the game is Sean Fisher,” Vaughn said. “Sean Fisher carried us today. Against an excellent offense, he was lights out.”
Maryland hosts the Minnesota Golden Gophers for three games at Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium April 30-May 2.