Maryland baseball has exploded in its last 15 games, rolling over opponent after opponent with every passing series. Saturday was no different for the Terps.
With a trio of homers, Maryland overpowered Purdue for a 6-1 victory to clinch its fourth straight win and the weekend series.
Coming off a dominant performance, the Terps needed to manage their expectation going into game two of their series against the Boilermakers. Coach Rob Vaughn said this Purdue team routinely takes Saturday games, so Maryland needed to be on its game.
Early on, it appeared Vaughn was right.
The Boilermakers came out in the first inning with an RBI single from Ben Nisle, and they held the Terps to nothing, despite a pair of hits. It seemed Purdue wasn’t going to hand Maryland the series easily.
“I had pretty average stuff today,” right-hander Jason Savacool said. “I was able to make it up with some four-seam command and battling, competing for six innings.”
Though the bumpy beginning could have induced worry in the Terps’ dugout, Savacool and the offense settled in after the opening blip and fired away at the plate.
In the second inning, two bunts put a pair of runs on the board for Maryland. Vaughn’s squad wasn’t bombs away at the plate, but it was keen enough to manufacture runs in a variety of ways.
Savacool also found a rhythm, even if it wasn’t always the smoothest outing. The freshman allowed seven hits, two walks and hit a batter in six innings, but only allowed that one run by the Boilermakers. The pressure of runners on base didn’t seem to faze the young pitcher.
“[Jason’s] a winner,” Vaughn said. “He had average command … but what winners do is they find a way to work out of jams and make pitches when they matter.”
A pair of homers by Chris Alleyne and Ben Cowles in the fifth boosted a slower offense, likely still weighed down by the absence of Randy Bednar and Max Costes in the lineup.
Without their most consistent hitters, the Terps relied on easy runs and bombs to get by.
“If you would have told me we were going to be without Bednar and Costes and we were still going to score runs … I don’t know if I would believe you,” Vaughn said.
With Savacool’s momentum slowing, Vaughn opted to put Ryan Ramsey on the mound in the seventh to close out the matchup. And as the lead grew to five courtesy of a Bobby Zmarzlak solo home run and a run-scoring wild pitch, Ramsey was in good shape.
He finished the job with three shutout innings, allowing just two hits as Purdue’s offense crawled to a standstill. And as Evan Albrecht grounded into a double play to end the game, Maryland gathered in celebration, relishing yet another series victory as it continued peaking at the right time.
“They’re playing like an NCAA tournament team right now,” Vaughn said.