Maryland breezes by Rhode Island in 2020 home opener, 9-3

Maryland baseball was leading Rhode Island 1-0 in the bottom of the third inning when Maxwell Costes walked to put one man on for Justin Vought.

Rams starting pitcher Justin Cherry, who pitched in to the seventh inning, giving up one run in the process, appeared to have some sort of an injury. After talking with his trainer, Cherry came out of the game, forcing Ryan Twitchell to come in cold.

Twitchell threw his warmup pitches, and once ready to go he hit Vought on the first pitch he threw, helping lead to a three-run inning for the Terps. It was emblematic of the day, as Maryland only needed four hits to score nine runs, defeating the Rams 9-3 in its 2020 home opener.

Maryland had few chances to hit the ball in their emphatic victory, as the Rams pitchers gave up 19 free bases on the day, 12 walks and seven hit batters. Indeed, It wasn’t a spectacular day at the plate, but Maryland didn’t need it, letting Rhode Island’s wild arms dictate the game. Three Terps were hit multiple times and four had multiple walks, including Aaron Perez and Maxwell Costes, who each had three.

The Terps were well on pace to break the NCAA record for most hit-by-pitches for one team by the fourth inning, having been hit seven times in that span, including three times in the fourth to load the bases.

They had a lot of help from their pitching again as starter Sean Fisher tossed 6.1 innings of one-run, five hit ball, striking out four on 94 pitches. 

Costes didn’t record an at-bat the entire game, but reached base all five times he was at the plate, scoring two runs on the day. Vought also reached base in all his at-bats, going 2-for-2 at the plate, walking twice and getting hit twice, scoring a run as well.

Maryland scored in five different innings, including putting up a three-spot twice, the second one coming in the seventh. Randy Bednar, the team’s RBI leader after last weekend, added onto his total with his sixth RBI of the season, a single to left that scored Tommy Gardiner.

The other two runs in the inning were both unearned thanks to two wild pitches from Brendan Mignone, who replaced Nate Seprosky with two outs in the inning. 

An errant throw to get Tucker Flint, who drifted a bit too far off third base, plated him and a second wild pitch allowed Bednar to come home. Like last week, Sam Bello came in relief for Fisher, throwing 1.2 innings of one-run, one-hit ball, needing 28 pitches to get through the eighth.

Trevor LaBonte made his second appearance in a game-closing situation, but struggled, throwing 26 pitches and walking two Rams in the inning. He gave up just one run, though, as Maryland coasted to a series-opening victory, improving its record to 4-0 on the season.