Two Huge Innings Propel Terps to Series Victory

By Ethan Cadeaux (@Ethan_301)

The Terps’ offense came was in full force Sunday afternoon, as they put together two different five-run innings in an 11-3 victory over Purdue to take the series rubber match.

The Terps would only strand two runners on base all game, going 6-11 with runners in scoring position. Three different Terps would have multiple hits. Their 11 runs would only come on nine hits, as four Purdue errors turned out to be very costly for the Boilermakers.

“You’re supposed to win home conference series,” said Maryland head coach John Szefc. “Even though Friday wasn’t a very pretty day, we were able to come back and win the series.”

Szefc cited that the group is full of character and toughness; coming back from a poor loss on Friday the Terps probably should have won, to winning on Saturday and Sunday and taking the series.

After the Boilermakers (7-30) got on the board first in the top of the second, the Terps (21-18) would answer with a crooked number in the bottom of the third. After the first three batters of the inning reached base, right fielder Madison Nickens singled in Anthony Papio to even the score at one.

Two batters later, Nick Dunn would double down the right field line, plating Andrew Bechtold and Zach Jancarski. The next batter, Nick Cieri, would reach first via error, resulting in Nickens crossing home and extending the Terps lead to three. Immediately following, first baseman Kevin Biondic would convert a safety squeeze, scoring Dunn – the Terps fifth run of the inning.

Four of the five Terps’ runs in the third inning were charged to Purdue starter Shane Bryant. Bryant allowed five of the ten batters he faced to reach base, and was pulled after the Terps’ first four batters reached base in the third.

To lead off the bottom of the fourth, Papio would launch a 3-1 fastball over the right field wall for his second homerun in as many days – extending the Terps lead to five.

“I’m just trying to do my best to see the ball deep,” said Papio on how he is getting out of his slump. “I think I was able to see the ball a little better this weekend, just really trying to lock in on that and have everything else take care of itself.”

Besides the Papio homerun, Boilermarkers’ reliever Tanner Andrews came in and calmed the Terrapin bats tremendously. Andrews finished the day with 4 and a third innings pitched in relief, allowing three runs but only one earned.

The Terps pitching over the past two games certainly should not go unnoticed. Today, Hunter Parsons made his first weekend start of his career, and turned in a quality performance. The freshman lasted six innings, allowing just two runs on seven hits. He finished with a career-high five strikeouts.

“I was able to throw my changeup a lot,” said Parsons on what was working today. “I was able to keep [Kyle] Wood off-balance, being able to throw my changeup a lot was probably my biggest upside to this game.”

Although it was only Parsons’ third start of his career, the Terps have won all of them. The Fruitland, Md. native has been much better as a starter than coming out of the bullpen this year, and may see another start this season.

“Even though the team we played today doesn’t have a good record, they are battling to winr a conference series just like we are,” said Szefc. “All the numbers go out the window on a Sunday like this, without a good start, you don’t know where it is going to go.”

After scoring one in the top of the sixth, the Boilermakers were able to tack on another run in the seventh – off Terps’ reliever Robert Galligan. But after Galligan struck out Big Ten homerun leader Kyle Wood, Terps’ reliever Ryan Selmer would come in and force an inning-ending groundout, keeping the Terps’ lead at three.

In the bottom of the seventh, the Terps would put together another five-run inning. The scoring started when shortstop Kevin Smith singled in Jancarski. The next batter, Nick Dunn, would pick up his third RBI of the game, singling in Nickens. After Cieri flied out to left, Kevin Biondic would single, and an error led to Smith scoring. Marty Costes would hit a two-RBI single to center field, scoring Dunn and Biondic, extending the Terps’ lead to 11-3.

Selmer would close out the final two innings, and not allow a hit en route to the Terps’ series win.

The Terps’ are back in action Tuesday, as they travel to Harrisonburg, Va. for a midweek clash with James Madison University. First pitch is at 6:00 p.m.

 

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