By Megan Smedley
Mike Shawaryn made a rare Saturday start for game two of the series against Purdue. Shawaryn proved that a change in the day would not affect his performance as he led the Terps to a 6-0 victory. He came out of the gate firing, allowing only one base runner through the first two innings. In the bottom of the second with two outs, freshman Marty Costes smashed a solo shot just inside the left field pole. Costes’s homerun was his eighth of the season and gave the Terps an early 1-0 lead. Head Coach John Szefc had nothing but praise for the freshman.
“He’s made as big of gains as any one of our new players this year by far,” said Szefc.
Shawaryn went back to work in the third. After a one-out single, Shawaryn was able to get two quick out to end the inning. The Terps had something cooking in the third inning with two outs. Madison Nickens sliced a single to left field before Kevin Smith hit a dribbler up the middle. Strong base running by Nickens resulted in him taking third. Nick Dunn came to the plate and hit a shot to third base. Purdue third baseman Brett Carlson was able to knock it down and throw it to first but Nick Dunn’s speed beat out the throw. Madison Nickens scored, giving Dunn his 19th RBI of the season. At the end of three, Maryland led 2-0.
Mike Shawaryn continued his dominance, recording seven strikeouts through five innings. To start off the bottom of the fifth inning, Andrew Bechtold drew a leadoff walk. Zach Jancarski stepped up to the plate, and while he initially squared to bunt, Jancarski pulled back and chipped a single over the head of Carlson. The hit caught Purdue off-guard and Bechtold was able to advance to third. Nickens was up next and took the first pitch to right field. Bechtold came into score on Nickens’s single. Kevin Smith’s sacrifice bunt moved both runners into scoring position with one out. Nick Dunn hit a fly ball to shallow center but Jancarski was able to get a good jump on the ball to score. At the end of five, the Terps led 4-0. In recent games, Jancarski has been receiving more playing and Szefc credits it due to Jancarski’s hard work.
“Good things seem to happen to that guy,” said Szefc. “It’s hard to explain but he seems to always be in the middle of good stuff…He’s an easy guy to root for because he plays hard and gives you a real good effort.”
Shawaryn retired 10 straight batters before allowing a two-out single to Kyle Wood. Wood seemed to be the only Purdue hitter giving Shawaryn trouble with two singles off of him. Shawaryn was able to get out of the inning with his eighth strikeout of the game. In the bottom of the sixth, Maryland thought they had something cooking. What started out as bases loaded with no outs, turned into no runs and the inning over.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, Dunn ripped a double down the left field line followed by a Cieri walk. Cieri’s walk meant every Terp had gotten on base at some point during the game. But, Biondic grounded out to third to end the inning. Mike Shawaryn continued his strong performance and recorded his tenth strikeout in the eighth inning. Shawaryn, himself was pleased with his performance.
“I thought I attacked the zone really well,” said Shawaryn. “I thought today I had a good mindset going out…Everyday I kind of come out with the game plan that I’m going to get a little bit better”
Shawaryn threw eight scoreless innings allowing only three hits. His ERA dropped to 3.60 and he improves to 3-3 on the year. Head Coach John Szefc was happy to see Shawaryn had bounced back from his previous struggles.
“He’s a lot more relaxed,” said Szefc. “His tempo is quicker. He just looks more comfortable.”
Anthony Papio sealed the victory with a monster two-run homerun in the eighth inning to expand the Terps lead 6-0. Mike Rescigno came in for relief and ended the game quickly thanks to a Kevin Smith orchestrated double play. With this win, Maryland improves to 20-18 on the season. Looking forward, the Terps are hoping to finish the season strong to make the Big Ten Tournament.
“We have to stay consistent,” said Madison Nickens. “You see sometimes we come out here and we’re flat. And sometimes like today, we play a ballgame like today, there’s really not many teams, that I think could beat us. I think we can play with a lot of baseball teams in the country. I know we’re a really good ballclub, we just have stay consistent the way we do.”
The team hopes to take the rubber match and the series tomorrow at 1 p.m.