Maryland center fielder Zach Jancarski turned toward second base and then sprinted for third while caught in a rundown in the sixth inning of the Terps’ 8-3 win over Penn State at Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
It appeared right-hander Cole Bartels, who immediately stepped off the pitching rubber, would complete the put out by quickly throwing the ball to second baseman Christian Helsel. But Jancarski slid into third base safely and then clapped, fueling a two-run sixth inning that helped Maryland add to their late advantage.
It was the kind of break the Terps didn’t get against right-hander Sal Biasi in Friday’s win but one that helped guide their third win of the week and second straight over the Nittany Lions.
Maryland’s offense rallied early against Penn State right-hander Justin Hagenman, scoring four times in the first to help ensure another late-inning outburst wouldn’t be necessary. Second baseman Nick Dunn, designated hitter Will Watson and left fielder Madison Nickens all recorded RBI hits in the first to give left-hander Tyler Blohm a four-run cushion.
Right-hander Taylor Bloom started the Terps’ midweek contest against West Virginia, so Blohm pitched Saturday instead of his typical Sunday spot. He tied his career high eight strikeouts while pitching out of trouble several times.
As Hyattsville firefighters climbed to the top of their truck parked in front of Gossett Team House to watch the contest down the third-base line, the Nittany Lions loaded the bases with no outs in the third. Blohm then retired the next three batters he faced.
Still, a pair of Maryland errors enabled Penn State to get on the board. First baseman Brett Davis’ sacrifice fly in the fourth made it a 5-1 game, and the Nittany Lions added two more in the fifth to come within two. But that was as close as Penn State would get.
Over seven innings, Blohm allowed two runs while walking just one.
Jancarski’s aggressive base running enabled him to score on right fielder Marty Costes sacrifice fly in the sixth, providing Blohm and Maryland’s bullpen a five-run lead to maintain over the final two frames.
Right-hander Jamal Wade did just that to secure Maryland’s series win over the Nittany Lions.