WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Jason Savacool’s regular season featured peaks and valleys that were rare throughout the year prior. He relinquished his Friday night role, a position that opposing teams have more time to prepare for, and stumbled into the postseason on the heels of an eight-hit, four-run outing in his final regular season start.

The right-hander’s always aimed to attack hitters low in the zone, playing a drifting two-seam fastball off a changeup that drops and hitters roll over. That repertoire has been a constant over the junior’s high and low points of the season.

Along with nearly every other hurler on Maryland’s staff, he took advantage of the fresh start the postseason offered. Savacool didn’t allow a single run to score against him in seven innings across two Big Ten tournament appearances, giving coach Rob Vaughn faith his right-hander could handle a formidable foe in Northeastern.

The two-seam and changeup combination thwarted the Huskies in a 7-2 Terps’ win to open the Winston-Salem Regional. Savacool wasn’t as dominant Friday as he was in the conference tournament, but those two offerings allowed him to grind through a Northeastern lineup that hit into 11 groundouts.

“The two-seam was really, really good for me today,” Savacool said. “It was huge to get that working early, right from pitch one.”

Savacool was perfect through the opening two frames as he leaned heavily on his best two pitches. Eight of the first 14 Huskies he faced rolled over balls below their knees, poking weak grounders around the infield.

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A Savacool fastball was directed sharply back to him in the fourth, ricocheting off his knee and sending him collapsing to the turf. The next batter he faced evened the score at two apiece as Northeastern was seemingly finally breaking through, but seven of the eight batters after that RBI single were retired as Savacool dipped back to what made him so unhittable early.

“Especially early, trying to get ground balls and keep the pitch count a little bit lower than I have in the past few outings was definitely an emphasis for me,” he said.

A sharp wind coming in from left field helped Savacool keep the ball in the yard despite facing a Huskies lineup that hit 103 home runs this season. Those elements weren’t a problem for Maryland, particularly for Nick Lorusso.

The third baseman belted a solo homer in his first at bat with a ball that cleared the fence by only a few feet, finding the nook in a corner of the left-centerfield wall. He finished 3-for-4 in the win, adding a double that he later scored on and a RBI single.

His long ball was the 100th RBI of the senior’s season, the first Division I player to eclipse the century mark in a season since 2003.

“He’s just a professional hitter,” Vaughn said. “It’s a professional at bat. The moment doesn’t get too big. … He’s been there in moments of failure and he’s owned it and walked through it and that’s what allows him to step in there and be free.”

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Lorusso’s early breakthroughs gave Maryland a slim 3-2 advantage after five innings, when the Huskies turned to their bullpen. The senior and the rest of the top of the Terps’ order turned on the attack to extend their lead.

Maryland scored two runs in the sixth and two in the eighth against Northeastern relievers.

“The lineup was coming around for the third time … we wanted to try to give them a different look,” Huskies coach Mike Glavine said. “Hindsight 20/20.”

Vaughn went to his bullpen after six strong Savacool innings and turned to Kenny Lippman, who was nearly perfect across three appearances last week. That continued in two scoreless innings Friday before Andrew Johnson entered in the ninth with a five-run lead.

The coach planned to bring on David Falco Jr. for the final frame, he said. But after Maryland scored two in the bottom of the eighth, Vaughn sat his closer down and saved him for Saturday.

That matchup will be against either Wake Forest or George Mason. The Terps will know their foe — with a trip to the regional final on the line — after tonight.

That stage is where Maryland stumbled a year ago, losing its second game and being forced to play perfect from there. This time, the Terps are armed with a pitching staff that hasn’t allowed more than two runs in its last five games and an offense that fits well inside David F. Couch Ballpark’s hitter-friendly confines.

“Northeastern … eerily reminds me of that UConn team we played last year,” Vaughn said. “Just a very professional, business-like performance.”