Maryland baseball bombarded by early offensive onslaught from Charlotte, fall 9-5

Kevin Keister looked back at the home plate umpire wondering where the previous pitch touched the strike zone. Kiester got his answer and made the short walk back to the dugout, a path worn out by Maryland batters. 

The Charlotte 49ers pitching staff struck out 19 Maryland hitters starting their weekend off with a win, beating the Terps, 9-5, Friday afternoon.  

Cole Reynolds accumulated most of the 49er strikeouts, retiring 10 Maryland batters on strikes. Reynolds pitched five plus innings allowing seven Terps to reach base, two on hits. The start was Reynolds’ fourth of the season after changing roles throughout the early part of the season.

The senior started out as the team’s Sunday starter, then the next week he pitched on Saturday, and now he has taken the Friday starter role. Reynolds’ faced a familiar foe when he took the mound, going against his high school teammate, Kevin Keister. 

Keister was one for three with a strikeout against his former teammate. 

The Terps didn’t get anywhere close to that type of start from starter Kenny Lippman just a week after getting his best. 

Lippman came into the weekend with a 1.2 ERA allowing earned runs in one of his three prior starts. Lippman pitched his best game of the season in the series opener against Bryant last Friday throwing 102 pitches over six innings allowing three hits and no earned runs.

The right hander recorded only one out in this outing allowing three runs to cross the plate on just one hit. Lippman struggled with command, walking four batters and allowing a fifth to reach safely on a hit by pitch. Lippman threw 36 pitches of which 13 were strikes. Freshman Trystan Sarcone relieved Lippman on the mound, getting the Terps out of the inning without any more runs scored. 

Sarcone was one of four relievers the Terps put on the rubber. Maryland relievers pitched seven and two thirds innings allowing six earned runs. Sarcone gave up four of those runs (three coming from two Charlotte home runs) and the other two were registered to freshman Duke McCarron. McCarron failed to record an out in his relief effort, walking all four of the batters he faced in the bottom of the fourth.  

Andrew Johnson was the final Maryland reliever to touch the mound, pitching the final three innings of the game without allowing a run. 

Maryland struggled to score throughout most of the game except in the top of the sixth. The inning started with Chris Hacopian getting on base as the leadoff hitter which was the second time the Terps put the leadoff man on. The 49ers brought in Adam Stanton to relieve Reynolds and the Terps took advantage. 

The next two Terps in the lineup worked walks loading the bases for Devin Russell. Russell struck out looking, but Elijah Lambros followed him with a double into left field, scoring Maryland’s first runs of the game. Freshman Jordan Crosland followed the veteran center fielder looking for his first RBI as a Terrapin. Crosland got more than just his first RBI with a long fly ball that soared over the short wall in left center. Crosland’s first Maryland home run plated three runs, making the score 9-5. 

The bottom of the lineup’s sixth inning effort was all the offense the Terps could muster. The Terps had only one baserunner in the final three innings, unable to score any more runs. The Maryland offense finished with five hits, four of them for extra bases, and eight walks. Four Maryland batters ended the game with three or more strikeouts. 

The Dirty Terps will play a double header on Sunday, due to expected rain on Saturday, to finish out the weekend series against Charlotte. Maryland has not lost a weekend series this season.