By Megan Smedley
The newly ranked no. 24 Maryland Baseball team headed out to Lincoln, Nebraska for a weekend series against the Cornhuskers.
Brian Shaffer was on the mound Friday night and continued his strong start to the season. Shaffer went eight innings, allowing three runs on eight hits while striking out four. Jesse Wilkening broke the game open in the fourth inning with a two-run double to put Nebraska up 3-0.
Maryland’s bats struggled the majority of the game due to complete dominance from Nebraska’s pitcher Jake Hohensee. The team started out the first inning with a single but Hohensee didn’t allow another hit until the ninth inning. Hohensee went eight and a third, allowing three hits while striking out eight.
The Terps were able to get on the board in the top of the ninth inning. Brandon Gum hit a single to center, scoring Zach Jancarski but that was all the Terps could put together. Nebraska took game one, 3-1.
Saturday saw a bit of an unexpected turn of events. Typically strong starter Taylor Bloom ran into some trouble early allowing a three-run second inning. Head Coach John Szefc decided to pull Bloom in the middle of that inning. His final line was one and one third inning, allowing three runs on two hits and walking two.
Junior Ryan Hill came in as relief and delivered a strong performance. He kept the Terps in the game through the middle innings going four and two thirds, allowing one run on four hits while striking out five.
Maryland bats were more productive on Saturday, picking up 12 hits throughout the game. The team took the lead in the seventh inning thanks to a Will Watson single, scoring Marty Costes. The Terps further extended their lead with a three-run ninth inning. Nick Cieri had a two-run single and AJ Lee had an RBI double to give the Terps the 8-5 victory.
For the rubber match, Maryland sent Tyler Blohm to the mound. Bloom was in citron through three innings with the game tied at one. In the bottom of the Nebraska took the lead and never looked back. The team tacked on a pair of runs in each of the fifth, sixth and seventh innings. Blohm finished the game going four and two-thirds, allowing four runs on six hits while striking out three.
Maryland grabbed a pair of runs in the top of the sixth inning. Marty Costes hit a two-run shot to left field. scoring Jancarski. The homer is Costes’ team-leading seventh home run of the year. But Maryland would be unable to make the rest of the comeback. The team fell 8-4 in game three.
After this weekend, Maryland sits at 20-10 (6-3 BIG) for the year. The team has a pair of games this week: home against West Virginia on Tuesday and away against George Mason on Wednesday. The Terps will welcome Penn State for the weekend series.