By Matt Germack
Tied 6-6 in the bottom of the eighth, Elijah Lambros got plunked to put the go-ahead run on base. UMBC (4-4) went to the bullpen, bringing in sidearm lefty Ben Craig to face the top of the lineup.
Luke Shliger clobbered the first ball he saw, but with the wind blowing in, center fielder Justin Taylor caught it cleanly on the track.
Nick Lorusso had better luck. He ripped a double to left, scoring Lambros and giving Maryland (5-7) the lead.
After a walk and hit-by-pitch loaded the bases — and an RBI walk extended the lead — transfer Matt Woods delivered his first big moment as a Terp, clearing the bases with a triple that extended the lead to five.
Eddie Hacopian used a single to bring him home and after an uneventful top of the ninth, Maryland got back on track after three straight losses with a 12-6 over UMBC Tuesday.
The Terps delivered their best offensive output this season without a home run, just the second time this season they didn’t go yard. With heavy wind blowing inward all night, they adapted to small ball.
“Nights like tonight, you’re probably not gonna come out and hit five or six homers,” coach Rob Vaughn said. “We had to do it by being on the barrel and being flat, and guys did a good job doing that.”
Freshman pitcher Kyle McCoy made quick work in the first, retiring the side on seven pitches. An inning later, he retired the next three batters on just 12 pitches. He would end up throwing four innings, striking out one batter and holding the Retrievers to two runs on two hits in one of the best outings of his young career.
“He [created] a lot of weak contact, and that’s what you want out of your starters,” Vaughn said.
Maryland barrels found Jayden Shertel pitches early, but it came away with nothing to show for it. Shliger and Lorusso ripped balls to the warning track in their first at-bats, but both fell harmlessly into gloves. Matt Shaw singled to center and Ian Petrutz walked, but the latter was thrown out at second on a steal.
An inning later, the Terps had runners on first and second again, but a double play off of a Bobby Zmarzlak groundout left runners stranded again.
After McCoy walked a batter and let up a single to right in the third, Christian Easley bore the benefit of a hop that ate up Shaw. The ball snuck under his glove and into left field for the Retrievers’ first run. A sloppy pickoff play on the next at-bat allowed UMBC to double its lead.
The Terps weren’t down for long. They loaded the bases three times in the third, and while they didn’t hit another patented grand slam, it turned into a five-run inning.
“One thing we talked about is not chasing homers, just keep chasing quality at-bats,” Vaughn said. “I thought we did that tonight.”
On the first bases-loaded opportunity, Shaw roped a ball right to the shortstop, who finished the easy double play. On the second, Kevin Keister dribbled a ball to the outfield that scored two. After two more RBI singles — from Woods and Hacopian — and a walk, pitcher Evan Selmer balked and scored Woods.
One inning later, back-to-back doubles down the left-field line from Lorusso and Shaw made it 6-2 to the Terps. The pair went 4-for-8 on the day, scoring four runs and driving in two more.
Logan Ott made quick work in the fifth, retiring UMBC’s 7-8-9 hitters in seven pitches. An inning later, Justin Taylor singled to set up star freshman Leewood Molessa — hitting .355 coming into the game — in the cleanup spot. Molessa hit a no-doubter well over the left-center field fence to cut the Recievers’ deficit to two.
The next time a batter reached base for either team was the top of the eighth, when Ott walked Dawson Baracini. Three hitters later, Molessa found himself at-bat with two outs and two men on. He smoked a double over Lorusso’s outstretched glove at third, scoring both runners and tying the game.
After the Terps’ eighth-inning explosion, Ott notched the last three outs and the Terps came out on top.
Maryland will look to build off the win in a three-game series against Maine this weekend, its first home series of the season.
“[Being at home] gives us days to practice,” Vaughn said. “We get tomorrow and Thursday as good, clean practice days … and then come out ready to go with Maine on Friday.”