Hacopian leads Maryland over Bryant in series opener

Eddie Hacopian dug into the box slated to take on the new Bryant arm, Tyler Tornberg, with the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the fifth. Hacopian worked the count full and on the final offering from Tornberg, stung a line drive through the left side, scoring two. 

“We’ve had some really good offenses the past three or four years but man it’s just like it always seems the bases loaded is like our achilles heel,” said head coach Matt Swope. “We keep talking to the guys that the bases loaded and those big moments, embracing the moment.”

Hacopian’s third hit of the game provided the big inning Maryland had been searching for all afternoon, helping the Terps beat Bryant, 8-3, Friday night. 

Alex Calarco scored the first run of the inning on an Elijah Lambros single through the left side of the infield. Hacopian followed him and then it was the younger Hacopian who brought in the last run of the inning. Chris Hacopian’s ninth RBI of the season came on a double, hugging the third base line all the way to the outfield wall. 

Maryland’s offense was a model of consistency, scoring one run in each of the first four frames. Chris Hacopian brought home the first run on a fielder’s choice, then in the second, it was Eddie scoring the second run on an RBI single to center field. Kevin Keister’s second home run of the season scored the third run in the third, and Sam Hojnar rounded it out with an RBI single up the middle for the fourth run in the fourth. 

Maryland’s scoring stopped after the fifth but in total the offense accumulated 12 hits, two of them for extra bases, and six walks. 

“Just scoring our first five, you know, [in] five innings was huge, ” said Swope. “When you do that on Friday night, you get a good start, you’re just gonna wear the other team down.”

And a good start they got. 

The Terps’ offense was supplemented by an outstanding pitching performance by right hander Kenny Lippman. Lippman came into the game following two prior Friday starts in which he gave up two earned runs total. Lippman dominated the Bulldogs, striking out nine batters matching his strikeout total for the season in just six innings.

“Feeling good, feeling more comfortable,” said Lippman. “Felt like the stuff was a lot sharper today, a lot cleaner, more through the zone. A lot more settled than I had been in the last few starts, so just getting more comfortable.” 

Lippman allowed just three hits and one unearned run, throwing over 100 pitches in his outing, outdueling his Bryant competition, Austin Wainer. Wainer was removed after pitching three and a third innings allowing four earned runs on six Maryland hits. 

Freshman Trystan Sarcone took over for Lippman in the seventh and went the distance, closing the game for Maryland, earning his second save of the season. Sarcone struck out six Bulldog batters while giving up just one run in his three innings of work. The three innings are the most he’s thrown in a game this season. 

“When we use him, we’re going to sprint him a little bit,” said Swope. “An inning, two innings, three innings, so right now you may just see him [in that role] until he can build that back up from the injury.” Swope said earlier in his post game press conference that Sarcone had an injury in the preseason which has limited how they can use him for now.

The win was a welcomed sight after Maryland came into the start of the weekend following a disappointing loss to VCU Wednesday afternoon. The Terps led throughout most of the game before giving up 12 runs in the seventh inning losing, 15-7. 

The Terps will play tomorrow at 2pm for a chance at winning their second weekend series of the year and first at Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium.