By Connor Bell
In the second game of their five-game home stand, the Terps again overcame an early second inning deficit to defeat the St. Joseph’s Hawks 11-5.
Sophomore Cameron Enck’s time as a starter was short on the mound after the Hawks lit him up for four earned runs on just 31 pitches. This marks the second consecutive game Head Coach John Szefc has had to pull his starter before the third inning.
However the Terp bats found a way to strike back after Enck’s early exit by AJ Lee knocking in the first run with a groundout to second base that scored Will Watson to make the game 4-1. Then, junior Justin Morris drove a solo home run to left center field for the Terps first homerun in at home this year, yet the still trailed 4-2 heading into the third.
With senior Tayler Stiles on the mound to calm things down in the third, the Maryland offense picked up where it left off thanks to Marty Costes who hammered a two-run home run to right. The Terps looked poised to take the lead heading into the fourth. A.J. Lee touched home for the second time in the sixth when he sent one into the football practice fields to give the Terps a 5-4 lead.
After giving up one run in the seventh due to a well executed hit and run by the Hawks and not getting any offense going on the other end, the Terps managed to get out of a bases loaded situation in the top of the eighth due to stellar relief pitching from Mike Rescigno.
The Terps bats came alive today as evident by four home runs. Senior transfer Madison Nickens, who had gone 0-3 on the day, smacked one over the center field wall to give the Terps a one run lead. The Terps had not hit four homeruns in a game since last season versus Rhode Island.
“In general the whole year, we have confidence when we’re playing from behind,” Nickens said. “We have confidence. We’re not stressed out. We have a lot of older guys and we understand that it is a really long game. We’re relaxed that’s what makes us good.”
However Maryland was not done in the eighth as Zach Jancarski drove in an insurance run on a sacrifice bunt that turned into a fielder’s choice. From there the Hawks spiraled out of control, as third baseman Marc Giacalone threw away a ball meant for second base which allowed the Terps to tack on two more runs. Then Hawks first baseman Brian Markoski failed to scoop a low throw which allowed Jancarski to score and make it 10-5. Then as if every way to score had not already been done for the Terps, a wild pitch by Brian Lau scored Nick Dunn from third base, giving the Terps a tremendous 11-5 lead.
Ryan Selmer took over closing duties for the Terps in the ninth, after a scary two hits, the redshirt junior calmed down and delivered three straight outs with a double play then a pop fly to right center to end the game.
Szefc contributes the past two comebacks to not only his offense but also his pitching staff and the strength of his lineup, “what we’re trying to do is make it difficult for an opposing pitching staff to work through our lineup for 27 outs” Szefc said.
Maryland scored 11 runs on nine hits and left eight runners on base. Their pitching staff gave up 10 hits, walked four batters and struck out nine.
The Terps are now above .500 for the first time this season and will face the Bryant Bulldogs for a three game series at home starting this Friday at 4:00 p.m.