Outside of Friday’s series opener, in which Jason Savacool and Kenny Lippman combined to allow only two runs in nine innings, Ole Miss consistently got the best of Maryland’s pitching. Twelve Rebels crossed the plate in Saturday’s loss to set up a Sunday rubber match.
Nate Haberthier lasted a minuscule two innings Sunday against a relentless Ole Miss lineup that got to him for three homers early. By the end of the series finale, the Rebels slugged six of them.
The Terps lost to Ole Miss, 18-8, in the conclusion to the weekend series. After winning the opener Friday, Maryland dropped the second and third games and failed to secure the series win against perhaps the best team they’ll play until the postseason.
“We didn’t get a great start today,” Rob Vaughn said. “They got hot, so you’re kinda digging out of a hole. … We just couldn’t stop the bleeding.”
Maryland’s pitchers combined for a 9.72 ERA in the series. Game 2 was the first instance of Ole Miss flashing its ability to pile on runs, scoring eight in the final two innings. That roll continued into Game 3.
Jacob Gonzalez led the first inning off with his team’s first homer of the afternoon, Haberthier’s second straight start allowing a first inning leadoff homer. The third inning also started with a solo blast, knotting the game at two.
A walk and hit by pitch in the following plate appearances set the table for a three-run Ole Miss shot, then a single and a walk preceded the second such home run of the inning. In total, eight runs were scored through the first three innings to put Maryland in a significant hole.
Three straight Rebels base hits in the fourth added to their lead, growing it to 10-6 after the Terps got a few back in the top half of the inning.
Maryland’s offense’s comeback attempt fell short as the game progressed. The unit hit four two-run homers, including two from Nick Lorusso and two in the fourth inning immediately after a seven-run third.
The Terps have scored at least six runs in all four of their losses. But in those four games, Maryland’s opponents averaged over 11 runs per game.
“Every time we inched closer, they would separate it,” Vaughn said.
Seven innings was all Ole Miss needed to gain a 10-run advantage to end the game. The Terps’ pitching didn’t record an out in the seventh while allowing five free passes and a grand slam for the Rebels’ game-clinching 18th run.
Maryland finished last season without ever losing consecutive regular season contests. The last time it dropped two regular season games in a row was March 2021, nearly 24 months ago. Ole Miss becomes the first team to topple the Terps two games in a row, ending their chances at securing an important series win.
Rob Vaughn intended to use this weekend as a measuring stick to see how his program stacked up among the nation’s best. Dropping the series and losing the finale on the 10-run rule showed the coach that Maryland is still on the road to joining college baseball’s elite.
“I didn’t think our guys let the moment get too big,” Vaughn said. “I don’t think anyone got overly emotional. … End of the day, we just weren’t good enough.”