Dominant pitching and small ball leads Maryland to series win against Penn State

By Megan Smedley

After a rain-delay-ridden, extra-inning thriller on Tuesday, the Maryland Baseball team travelled to State College for a weekend series against Penn State. Mike Shawaryn returned to his usual Friday night start after some rotation adjustments. The Maryland bats came alive in the first game. Marty Costes got the team out to an early lead with and RBI single to right in the top of the first inning. In the third inning, Zach Jancarski scored from a Kevin Smith single to left. Smith would later score on a failed pickoff attempt. Madison Nickens hit a two-run single in the fifth inning, scoring Papio and Cieri. Penn State was able to get their only run of the game in the sixth inning following a double and a groundout. In the top of the ninth inning, Nickens hit his eighth homerun of the season, a solo shot to right center. Smith ripped a double to right and scored on a sac fly by Costes. Maryland won the first game 7-1. Mike Shawaryn dominated allowing only one run off four hits to pitch a complete game. He became the all-time strikeout leader for the Terps, recording his 273rd strikeout in the third inning. Shawaryn had six k’s in the game. Four Terps had a multi-hit game: Nickens, Smith, Papio, and Jancarski.

With predicted storms on Sunday, the teams faced off in a doubleheader on Saturday. Taylor Bloom returned to the rotation after missing his last start due to an ankle injury. After giving up a leadoff homerun to right fielder Nick Riotto, Bloom settled in and continually shut down the Nittany Lions. Maryland was unable to capitalize on multiple scoring opportunities. In the first three innings, the Terps stranded eight runners on base. For the game, Maryland stranded 12 runners on base. Penn State tacked on another run in the eighth off a single. Taylor Bloom pitched eight innings allowing two runs on nine hits but his ERA remained strong at 2.12. Nick Dunn grounded out to first to end the game as the Terps dropped game two 2-0.

After a quick half hour break, Maryland was back on the field hoping to win the series. Brian Shaffer was on the mound for the Terps. The break allowed the Terps bats to reset and they came out swinging in the rubber match. Marty Costes got the Terps out to an early lead with an infield single to drive Nickens home. Andrew Bechtold singled up the middle in the second to score Cieri. Penn State’s defense faltered in the fourth inning, allowing two runs to score off a throwing error. Brian Shaffer came out firing. At one point, Shaffer retired thirteen in a row. He ran into trouble in the sixth inning following errors by Bechtold and Smith. Penn State was able to get on the board after Bechtold dropped a popup. Maryland broke the game open in the seventh. Madison Nickens scored off a wild pitch and Nick Dunn singled to drive in Smith. Costes doubled to send Smith in and Cieri hit a sac fly to score Costes and extend the lead to 8-1. Shaffer finished after seven innings allowing two runs on four hits while striking out seven. Marty Costes was a homerun away from the cycle after hitting a triple in the ninth. Mike Rescigno closed out the game for the Terps as they went on to win 8-3. Maryland improves to 24-19 (9-6) on the season and will face off against Towson on Wednesday.