Maryland’s pitching has been a catalyst to its early success this year, but on Sunday, a late mistake from the Terps’ bullpen doomed it.

Evan Smith looked to hold Maryland’s two-run cushion in the bottom of the eighth after the Terps retook the advantage in the top frame. Instead, he allowed a three-run homer to Blake Wilson that eventually gave Washington a 6-5 win in Corpus Christi, Texas.

The loss cost Maryland (5-2) its first sweep.

“Too many freebies for the most part today and they just cashed in,” coach Matt Swope said.

The Terps entered the game with a 3.06 ERA. The bullpen had allowed only two runs in the previous two games of the weekend’s Kleberg College Classic but was relied on extensively in the third outing.

Starter Meade Johnson went just four innings, conceding two earned runs and walking five batters. He had similar struggles last Sunday against Georgia Southern. The junior surrendered five runs in only 3⅓ innings of work and issued five walks.

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Garrett French made his first appearance in a Maryland uniform in relief of Johnson but gave up a game-tying solo home run to Michael Brown. The Huskies smashed three home runs against the Terps, the most by any of Maryland’s opponents.

Smith tossed a scoreless inning in the seventh but couldn’t achieve the same success in the eighth. The freshman got two outs but then walked consecutive batters and gave up the decisive homer.

The Terps’ sporadic offense mirrored their inconsistent pitching. Brayden Martin gave the Terps an early lead with a three-RBI double in the second inning.

Martin’s swing appeared to continue the Terps’ impressive offensive display from the previous two days. Maryland scored six late runs to down Texas A&M Corpus Christi on Friday and had a seven-run second inning the next day against Pittsburgh.

Instead, the Terps’ bats then went quiet as Huskies right-hander Spencer Dessart retired the next 14 batters — leaving Maryland without a baserunner until the seventh inning. Dessart struck out six batters in 6⅔ innings.

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“I didn’t think we weren’t good enough offensively regardless today,” Swope said. “Their starter did a good job kinda keeping us off balance and we knew what he was going to do, but it couldn’t really combat it.”

The Huskies gradually chipped away at their deficit. Aiva Arquette and Brown each smacked solo home runs in the fourth and sixth innings respectively. Brown’s knock tied the game at three.

Eddie Hacopian momentarily put Maryland ahead in the top of the eighth. The first baseman dropped a two-RBI single into right field to break the Terps’ cold streak and the deadlock.

Washington responded in the following frame with Wilson’s home run — the game’s final runs.

“That one hurts, it should hurt,” Swope said. “You don’t ever want to lose, especially when you’re winning going into the eighth.”

Washington, set to join the Big Ten next season, is a model program. It has had a winning record in nine of the last ten seasons and made the College World Series in 2018. The Huskies reached Regionals in 2014, 2016 and 2023.

The Terps had a chance to notch a signature early-season win against the future conference foes but were outplayed late.

“We were 3-1 on the week,” Swope said. “You try to get your bodies healthy tomorrow and then put together another good week.”