Martin’s second walkoff hit of weekend clinches series win for Dirty Terps

Brayden Martin stepped in the left handed batters box with an all too familiar situation presented to him. The Freshman left fielder stood at the plate in the bottom of the tenth and two runners on base. Martin had a 2-1 advantage in the count and for the second time in three nights became a Maryland hero.

The Maryland Terrapins (18-6, 2-1 Big Ten) won their weekend series against Michigan State (9-12, 1-2 Big Ten) using a second Martin walk-off hit to beat the Spartans, 5-4, Sunday afternoon. 

Martin’s third hit of the game was a hard line drive that flew over the head of the Michigan State left fielder. Martin rounded first as Kevin Keister scored and when Keister’s foot touched home plate Martin flung his helmet off in celebration. His teammates swarmed him into shallow right field, all celebrating the Freshman’s clutch performance. 

“It’s pretty unreal,” said Martin. “They kind of set it up for me again there and I just, all the confidence, I know they have all the confidence in the world in me so it was kind of good to get it again.”

The tenth inning wasn’t Martin’s only big moment in the game. 

The freshman stood at the plate with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the eighth. The Terps entered the half inning down three, but an Alex Calarco single and a wild pitch from reliever Nolan Higgins allowed two Maryland runners to score. Martin faced a new Spartan arm, Dominic Pianto, and he never swung, working a four pitch walk to tie the game.

“We have a lot of trust in him,” said head coach Matt Swope. “We put him more in the leadoff spot earlier in the year because we felt that way about him and had that trust about him. [Martin] wasn’t quite getting on enough so we made some changes, you guys have obviously seen another lineup change again, but I really truly believe eventually or whatever he should be in that spot.”

Those three runs were the first Maryland had scored since the third inning. Jacob Orr drove in the first Terps’ run with a little help from the Spartan defense reaching on an error by starting pitcher, Nick Ferazzi, on his throw to first. 

Ferazzi allowed only that one Maryland run to score in his six innings of work. The graduate right hander dominated the Maryland lineup for most of the game giving up three hits and three walks while punching out seven Maryland batters. Ferazzi didn’t allow an extra base hit. 

Joey McMannis rivaled the dominance of his Michigan State counterpart completing six innings and allowing only two earned runs. The six innings is a career high for the Freshman right hander. McMannis didn’t allow a run through the first four frames, keeping a strong starting Spartan lineup without a run in that span for the first time this weekend.

McMannis’ blunders came in the fifth and sixth innings in which he gave up a solo home run to Christian Williams and a two RBI single to Ryan McKay. Only one of those two RBIs from McKay was earned due to an error by Keister that allowed Nick Williams to reach safely. That was one of two errors on the day for Maryland.

Logan Berrier earned his fifth win out of the bullpen pitching the final two innings. Berrier retired all six of the batters he faced, bouncing back from his Friday outing in which he gave up the tying and go-ahead runs in the latter stages of the game. 

“The guy’s been a dude,” said Swope. “I mean there’s nothing else like his career as a reliever, his numbers are ridiculous. I think what it does in those later innings like that, you don’t feel pressure, right. Like if the leadoff guy is not getting on and he’s getting guys out early in counts it makes you feel like you can come back with that confidence.”

“So, you know, it wasn’t even really stressful with him in there.”

Maryland will be on the road all week playing its mid-week game against Georgetown in Virginia and its weekend series against Michigan in Ann Arbor. Maryland is undefeated on Tuesday this season and has yet to lose a weekend series.