By Megan Smedley
Maryland’s offense could not come in to contact with the ball during Saturday afternoon’s loss. The team only managed to get one run on four hits and was nearly no hit by Iowa’s Blake Hickman. Saturday also saw the return of center fielder LaMonte Wade after he missed the past five weeks due to an injured hand.
“We were just waiting for him to come back,” head coach John Szefc said. “He’s one of the best players we have.”
The first inning was a quick three up three down for both teams. After a hit batter in the second, Jose Cuas made the heads up 5-4-3 double play to get Stiles out of the inning. Iowa took the lead in the fourth with a leadoff double and sacrifice fly. Emotions ran high in the fifth in after a bunt by Iowa’s Kris Goodman. Stiles fielded the ball and threw it to first baseman Kevin Martir, hitting Goodman. Szefc argued that it was runner’s interference but ultimately Goodman stayed on base. During the next pitch, words were exchanged between Martir and Goodman, prompting the first base umpire to call for time. Szefc once again came out from the dugout to argue with the umps while Jose Cuas dashed across the infield to calm Martir down. The game resumed shortly after.
Tayler Stiles was strong through six innings when he came into some trouble in the seventh. Stiles went 6.2 innings allowing two runs on three hits while striking out four. Stiles is transitioning from a reliever to starting pitcher this season.
“I’ve been treating my starts as if I’m just pitching out of the pen,” Stiles said. “I’ll just go straight at them with my slider, with my changeup. I’ll still throw my fastball, I’ll just use all the pitches in the first and second inning too.”
Ryan Selmer came in to calm things down for Maryland in the seventh but quickly gave up a walk and a single. Robert Galligan replaced him and was dealt an unlucky hand with the bases loaded and no outs. Luckily he worked himself out of the inning thanks to another 5-4-3 double play led by Jose Cuas.
The Terps threatened in the seventh with singles from Martir, and Cuas. Anthony Papio drove in Martir with a single down the right field line. But that was all Maryland could get. With this loss, Maryland drops to 24-9 on the year (8-3 Big 10). The Terps will try to win the series Sunday afternoon at 12 p.m.