This past offseason, the Terrapins baseball team lost 60 percent of its home-run production from last season when five offensive players left the team between the MLB draft and graduation.
But Saturday in the Terps’ second game at Alabama, coach John Szefc’s squad proved it till had the power to blast the ball out of the park without its stars from last season.
Catcher Nick Cieri, right fielder Anthony Papio and left fielder Madison Nickens hit two-run home runs in the fourth inning to give the Terps a 6-1 lead.
The home runs were part of the Terps’ offensive explosion, which came after recording just five hits in last night’s loss, leading Szefc’s team to a 9-5 win over Alabama in Tuscaloosa on Saturday.
The big fourth inning came after the Terps (1-1) fell behind a run for the second straight contest to start the year.
Right-hander Taylor Bloom started for the Terps, allowing three runs over five innings. Right-hander Ryan Selmer recorded the final seven outs for his first save of the season.
Alabama (1-1) designed hitter Cody Henry walked and second baseman Cobie Vance, who went 4-for-5, singled to put runners on base with no outs. After catcher Tanner DeVinny struck out, third baseman Connor Short singled to load the bases.
And first baseman Chase Vincent finished the job, as his single drove in Henry to give the Crimson Tide a 1-0 lead.
The Terps struggled to take advantage of runners on base Friday night, stranding seven runners. But the Terps seemed to fix that issue when they hit three home runs in the fourth inning. Vance responded with his own solo home run in the bottom of the fourth to cut the Crimson Tide’s deficit to 6-2.
After both teams added a run in the fifth inning, a few blunders in the sixth inning let Alabama creep back into the game.
Center fielder Zach Jancarski lost track of Short’s hit, allowing him to advance to second base. Vincent then singled to score Short, but Cieri failed to handle a throw, as Vincent advanced to third base and eventually scored off shortstop Chandler Avant’s groundout to cut the Terps’ lead to 7-5.
But the Terps didn’t let the miscues damage their momentum. In the eighth inning, first baseman Kevin Biondic recorded his first hit of the season when he doubled, scoring designated hitter Jamal Wade and third baseman Andrew Bechtold to give the Terps a four-run cushion they would hold onto.