By Andrew R. Koch
Maryland’s baseball season won’t be complete without at least two more games against a soon-to-be former ACC rival.
The Terrapins’ magical season continued by completing a three-game sweep of the Columbia Regional at the University of South Carolina. Maryland defeated 12-seed and host South Carolina 10-1 on June 1 to become the regional champions and advance to the Super Regional round for the first time in team history. In addition, it was the first time the Gamecocks had been eliminated from a regional at home since 1976.
Terrapins shortstop Blake Schmit went two for three and drove in three runs, and center fielder and leadoff hitter Charlie White went three for four with an RBI. Schmit hit a two-run single in the fourth inning that Maryland up for good, 2-1. The Terrapins scored two runs in the sixth to take a commanding 5-1 lead, and then put the game out of reach by scoring four runs in the ninth.
In addition to timely hitting, Maryland’s relief pitching was also a major factor. Taylor Stiles came on in relief of starter Jake Drossner with runners on the corners and two outs in the bottom of the fourth. Stiles got Gamecocks shortstop Marcus Mooney to fly out to center to end that rally. In the bottom of the sixth, Bobby Ruse came on with runners on the corners and two outs again, and got Mooney to fly out to right. Ruse pitched the rest of the way, allowing just a hit while striking out three in three and a third innings, including a three-up, three-down bottom of the ninth, to record the save. Stiles got the win with two innings of three-hit shutout relief.
Maryland will be at Virginia for the Charlottesville Super Regional, which will be a best-of-three series at Davenport Stadium from June 7 through June 9. Games one and two will be on June 7 and 8 at noon both days. Game three, if necessary, will be on June 9 at 4 p.m. Every game of the series will be televised on ESPN2. The winner of the series will advance to the College World Series at TD Ameritrade Stadium in Omaha, Nebraska, starting on June 14.
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.