By Gill Vesely
A postponement due to rain resulted in the Maryland Terrapins Baseball team playing two games on Saturday at Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium at Shipley Field in College Park, Md.
Game 1 (12 p.m.):
Terps RHP Mike Shawaryn continued his winning streak Saturday in the first game of a double-header against the Nebraska Cornhuskers. The starting pitcher gave up just five hits though seven innings of work en route to an 8-3 Maryland win (Shawaryn moved to 7-0 on the season). The Huskers strung together a few hits to open up the game with a run, but Terps DH Nick Cieri drove in a run for Maryland to knot it up 1-1 at the end of the first inning.
In the bottom of the fourth, second-baseman Brandon Lowe drove in another run off a hit to center, putting the Terps up 2-1. A homer over the right field wall by Cieri off the first pitch of his fifth-inning at-bat tacked another run onto the scoreboard for Maryland.
“I felt pretty good today,” Cieri said.“I got some good pitches early to swing at and I wanted to take advantage of those.”
Nebraska strung together some hits in the top of the sixth to tighten the gap to 3-2, but the Terps had plenty more offense in store. Their breakout inning came in the seventh, which saw two pitching changes for Nebraska and four runs for Maryland. The Terps used a series of bunts, coming from Cieri, Tim Lewis, and Anthony Papio, to double their score and pull away with the lead.
“One guy gets it going,” said third-baseman Jose Cuas. “It’s a like a domino effect.” Both teams would score one more run late to give Maryland the 8-3 advantage.
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Game 2 (3:30 p.m.):
After a brief intermission and jersey change, the Terps and Huskers were back on the field to compete in the final game of the double-header. Although the end result was similar, with the Terps winning 8-2, this game took a much different form than the first.
Tayler Stiles got the win for the Terps, pushing him to 3-2 on the season. Maryland spread out its offense, scoring three runs in the first inning, one in the third, two in the fifth, one in the sixth, and one in the seventh.
Jose Cuas and Brandon Lowe both went 3-4 at the plate; one of Lowe’s hits, which came in the third, was a long ball hit so far that it left the stadium and landed in the football practice facility behind the baseball field.
“That’s what he does,” Cuas said. “His job is to get on base and hit, and he’s doing a great job this year.”
The Terps were aggressive on the base paths in the later game, advancing on balls in the dirt and swiping two bases.
Head coach John Szefc spoke about the steals after the game, saying, “It’s a little bit of a calculated risk, but we’re also up three or four runs at the time [so] you can take that risk.” Nebraska would score their second run in the top of the ninth inning, but it would not be enough to overtake the Terps. Szefc says his game plan for Sunday’s series closer, which is set to start at 12 p.m., won’t be much different than it was for the double-header.
“We’re just trying to go out there and have a good start, have good bullpen stuff and have tough at-bats,” he said. “That’s exactly what we did [today].”