UMBC Pitching shuts down Maryland, drop second-straight midweek

Baseball is commonly referred to as a game of inches. That was about how far Maryland was away from tying the game in the top of the eighth as Kevin Keister hustled to first base. Keister had just hit a slow ground ball toward second base that was fielded by second baseman Kyle Eddington. Eddington threw to Luke Trythall at first base just as Keister approached the bag. 

The first base umpire called Maryland’s captain out. 

UMBC (11-15, 3-3 America East) completed the upset beating Maryland (22-12, 4-5 Big Ten), 4-2, Wednesday night. It’s the first time Maryland has lost two back-to-back mid-week games since 2019.

Maryland had chances to earn its 14th come from behind victory, but each time Maryland’s lineup fell short. 

The Terps had runners on the corners with one out in the top of the sixth. Keister and Alex Calarco were due up facing UMBC reliever Sam Daniels. Daniels struck out both Keister and Calarco, dissolving Maryland’s threat at tying the game. 

Maryland had another chance with a couple of runners on in the eighth but failed to plate any of them. The Terps left six men stranded for the game. 

The Terps had six hits in the game, all of them coming from the top five hitters in their lineup. The bottom of the lineup was a combined zero for 14.

Maryland’s pitching was solid in the game with the Terps getting a good start from former Sunday starter, Meade Johnson.   

Johnson pitched five innings and allowed three earned runs. The junior right-hander held the Retriever contingent scoreless through the first four innings allowing only two baserunners in that time, both on walks. 

The fifth inning was where Johnson struggled, giving up a lead-off homer to Trythall to begin the inning. UMBC scored two more runs in the inning, hitting three singles in consecutive at-bats occupying the base paths for Matthew Best. Best blasted a double that landed in the left field corner driving in two. The two RBI double flipped the lead to UMBC, 3-2.

Maryland scored its two runs in the fourth inning after being retired in order through the first three innings. The fourth started with UMBC making a pitching change replacing Eddie Sargent — who completed the three scoreless innings — with Sam Bell. Bell walked the first two Maryland hitters and was taken out in favor of reliever Ben Craig. 

Craig got Eddie Hacopian to hit into a double play and was an out away from keeping the game scoreless. Sam Hojnar was at the plate and swung, hitting a slow dribbler that the catcher, Derek Paris, fielded cleanly and threw to first. Hojnar just beat out the throw from Paris and that hustle allowed Brayden Martin to score from third, giving the Terps their first lead of the game. Hojnar later stole second and scored on a hit from Kevin Keister putting Maryland up two. That ended Maryland’s scoring. 

UMBC scored an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth, but it wasn’t needed as the Terps struck out looking twice in the top of the ninth, on their way to being set down in order.

The Terps loss to UMBC breaks a streak of 15 straight wins Maryland has had against its Baltimore neighbors, that dates back to 2007. The loss also marks Maryland’s sixth loss in its past nine games. 

The Terps will look to bounce back this weekend as they head to Evanston, Illinois, to play a weekend series against Northwestern. Maryland has lost both of its last two Big Ten series.