Rain Delay Does Not Stop Terps From Offensive Explosion

By Ethan Cadeaux (@Ethan_301)

In a game that finished over six and a half hours after it started, a two-hour rain delay did not stop the Terps from an offensive showcase, as they defeated James Madison University 19-12 in 10 innings.

The Terps mustered 19 runs on 15 hits. Every Terrapin in the starting lineup had at least one hit.

After both teams traded a run in the first inning, the Terps exploded for a five-run second inning, highlighted by shortstop Kevin Smith’s grand slam. But the Dukes did not waste any time to respond, as they put together their own five-run inning in the bottom half.

The Terps would put together another five-run inning in the sixth to give them a 12-9 lead, but the Dukes would score one in the seventh and two in the bottom of the ninth to force the game into extras.

After a two-hour rain delay, the last thing the Terps wanted to do was be stuck in Harrisonburg, Va. for free baseball. The Terps scored seven runs in the top of the tenth to finally separate themselves from the Dukes for good.

The Terps scored all seven runs in the tenth with two outs. Catcher Justin Morris was hit by a fastball with bases loaded, and then center fielder Zach Jancarski walked to give the Terps a 14-12 lead. With the bases still juiced, Anthony Papio laced a two-run RBI triple to give the Terps a four run lead and put this game out of reach.

Smith would lead the way for the Terps’ offense with seven RBI’s. Right fielder Madison Nickens, Papio, designated hitter Nick Cieri, and third baseman Andrew Bechtold would each finish with two RBIs respectively.

Of course, in a game that featured 31 runs and 29 hits, the pitching performance was less than spectacular.

Tayler Stiles, who has been one of head coach John Szefc’s go-to starters for midweek games, lasted just one and a third innings pitched. Five of the nine batters Stiles faced ended up scoring.

The bullpen gave up seven runs over the remaining seven and two thirds innings pitched. Relief pitcher Andrew Green saved Szefc’s bullpen from having to use many arms, as he pitched the final five innings and picked up the win for the Terps.

Dukes starter Tucker McCoy lasted just two innings, allowing six runs on four hits. James Madison used seven other pitchers over the final eight innings.

The Terps are back in action Friday, when they travel to Penn State for a weekend Big Ten conference series. First pitch on Friday is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.