By Ben Tugendstein
Maryland baseball couldn’t overcome an offensive explosion from the Delaware Blue Hens Tuesday afternoon, and the Terps’ late efforts were too little, too late.
Maryland starting pitcher Cameron Enck struggled a bit early in the game, especially with his control. The first inning saw a double, followed by a hit by pitch, two wild pitches, and another walk led to Delaware’s first run of the game. Enck settled down though, and escaped the first, surrendering just one run, leaving the bases loaded.
The Terps offense responded with two runs of their own in the bottom of the first and another run in the second. They capitalized on Delaware mistakes, and played their brand of small ball to push across the lead.
The top of the third signaled the beginning of the end for Terps pitchers. It started poorly with a dropped third strike that allowed Nick Patten to reach first. A walk and a few batters later, Delaware catcher Brian Mayer hit a towering three run homer that knocked Enck out of the game.
Delaware continued to pile on, through the strength of five home runs, and led 10-5 entering the bottom of the ninth. The Blue Hens began to implode, committing an error, and two balks. And pinch hitter Dan Maynard doubled home two runs to cut the lead to two, but with two men on and two outs, Madison Nickens looked at strike three to secure a Maryland loss.
Maryland pitching struggled all day, being wild within the strike zone, and got beat with the long ball. No Terp had multiple hits, but Nick Dunn had a nice game with three RBI, and Anthony Papio drew two walks and scored both times.
Improving middle relief, and eliminating mistakes will be key when the Terps hit the diamond Wednesday afternoon in College Park when they face George Washington.