It must be deja vu for Maryland baseball.
A few weeks removed from a sixth inning eight-run explosion that buried the Terps against the Iowa Hawkeyes, Vaughn’s squad faltered on the mound again.
Giving up a pair of runs in the sixth, Maryland fell to Iowa 6-2 Friday night in an outing that saw little offensive presence from the Terps as they fell back to an even 13-13.
Sean Burke, clad in Maryland’s midnight black jerseys and a gold-colored chain, did it his way against the Iowa Hawkeyes.
Bumps and all, Burke towed a dormant Terps offense in the early innings behind a typical seven strikeouts in his first four innings. If he could pull off a vintage performance, Maryland wouldn’t need much offense.
“Burke pitched us out of some trouble tonight,” coach Rob Vaughn said. “He was pretty impressive through most of the game.”
But Chris Alleyne wasn’t too keen on letting the Terps go scoreless. With a single in the third, Alleyne had a chance. Stealing second and then quickly scrambling to third off an error, he was in scoring position before Iowa found an out.
A Matt Shaw sacrifice fly would score Alleyne, a rare run in a night where both squads struggled to take advantage early on when they had runners aboard. Maryland would get multiple runners on in the next two innings and come up empty, however Shaw would strike again with an RBI single in the sixth.
A 2-0 lead for the Terps in the sixth proved tenuous as Burke worked into the low-100s of his pitch count. Despite a shaky start to the inning, Burke remained in after a wild pitch scored one for the Hawkeyes.
Burke walked the next batter, and then Iowa took advantage.
A two-RBI double sent Burke packing and Sean Heine out to relieve him.
“He was at the bottom of the order, we thought he had the matchups,” Vaughn said. “He had been landing the breaking ball…he threw the breaking ball and left it up a bit and [Brendan Sher] put a great swing on it.”
From there, Maryland struggled to maintain the pitching dominance that had carried it through the top half of the outing. An ugly seventh inning highlighted that as they managed nothing at the plate and allowed two runs off of consecutive bunts.
With the bases loaded and Iowa riding a 5-2 lead, the Terps could’ve easily been put away. Thanks to a quick force-out denying the Hawkeyes a run and a throw to first, Maryland managed to limp out of the inning.
Iowa’s pitching staff, unlike the Terps, was unrelenting. Starter Trenton Wallace proved tough enough with near double-digit strikeouts, but relievers Dylan Nedved and Trace Hoffman reinforced the Hawkeyes defense just as well.
“We got ourselves out,” Alleyne said. “[Needed] to take hittable pitches, shouldn’t have took ourselves out of the at-bats … not a good day at the plate for the team.”
Maryland was unable to stage a comeback after Iowa charged ahead, failing to get runners in scoring position in the final three innings. The Hawkeyes would tack one more run to their total in the eighth to hand the Terps a 6-2 loss.
“All we got to do is concentrate on playing a brand of baseball that deserves to win,” Vaughn said.“We didn’t deserve to win tonight.”