By Andrew R. Koch
The Maryland Terrapins baseball team isn’t ready to let their best season in more than 40 years end just yet.
Down 3-0 to Old Dominion after seven innings in their May 31 opener of the Columbia Regional at the University of South Carolina, Maryland started down the comeback trail. LaMonte Wade, Brandon Lowe and Jose Cuas all singled to load the bases with none out in the eighth inning. Wade scored on a double play grounder off the bat of Blake Schmit to cut the Monarchs’ lead to 3-1. After a leadoff single in the top of the ninth, Terrapins catcher Kevin Martir picked off the pinch runner at first. Reliever Tayler Stiles then struck out the next two batters to end the inning.
In the bottom of the ninth, pinch-hitter Kyle Convissar came in as a pinch-hitter and led off with a double to left-center field. With one out, Martir reached on an error, and Convissar advanced to third. Center fielder Charlie White singled to drive in Convissar. Wade walked to load the bases, and then Lowe and Cuas were each hit by consecutive pitches to force in the tying and winning runs, giving Maryland a walk-off 4-3 win. It was the Terrapins’ first win in an NCAA baseball tournament game since 1970.
The following night, Maryland jumped out to a 4-0 lead over host South Carolina in the first two innings. White doubled to start the bottom of the first for the Terrapins, and scored on a one-out single by Lowe. In the second inning, Martir singled with two outs and advanced to second on an error. He went to third on an infield single by White, and then scored on a double by Wade. Wade and White then scored on a fielding error.
The Gamecocks got back into the game with a run in the fourth and two more runs in the sixth. In the top of the seventh, Terps starter Mike Shawaryn hit South Carolina’s Tanner English with a pitch. English then stole second, and Shawaryn then walked Gamecocks shortstop Marcus Mooney. Bobby Ruse came on for Maryland in relief of Shawaryn, and got a fly-out and a ground-out to end the inning. In the eighth, South Carolina got runners on the corners with two outs, but Maryland reliever Kevin Mooney struck out Gene Cone to snuff out the rally. In the ninth, English and Max Schrock each singled to put runners on the corners with one out, but Kevin Mooney got Joey Pankake to ground into a double play to end the game, securing his 12th save of the season. With the win, Shawaryn improved to 11-3 on the season. The win snapped South Carolina’s 28-game home winning streak in the NCAA tournament, dating back to 2002.
Maryland will play the winner of the South Carolina-Campbell loser’s bracket game at 7 p.m. on June 1.