Kenny Lippman seemed to cement himself as the Terps ace after six scoreless innings in his last outing. His start against Charlotte on Friday told a different tale.

The right-hander couldn’t find the strike zone beginning with his first batter. Lippman walked four different 49ers in the opening frame and hit another.

Charlotte capitalized on his control issues and mounted an early three-run lead. Lippman’s start couldn’t extend past the first inning as he was pulled after recording only one out.

The 49ers early scores pushed Charlotte past Maryland, 9-5. The loss is the Terps’ first defeat on a Friday this season. The Terps walked 13 Charlotte batters, the most surrendered by Maryland’s arms this season.

Lippman’s struggles followed three strong starts to open the year. He entered the game with a 1.20 ERA and a team-high 18 strikeouts. Only 13 of his 36 pitches thrown were strikes against the 49ers.

Trystan Sarcone entered in the bottom of the first with the Terps in an early hole.

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For a moment, he seemed to halt the scores. He secured the final two outs of the opening frame, despite entering with bases loaded. Sarcone tossed another scoreless inning in the second.

Then the third inning arrived. Rene Lastres launched a solo home run in the second at-bat of the frame to extend the Charlotte lead. Juan Correa followed the hit with a two-run knock of his own over the right field wall. Carson Bayne made it a seven-run lead moments later with an RBI double up the middle.

Duke McCarron entered in the bottom of the fourth after Charlotte’s four-run third inning. The freshman walked all four batters he faced and was pulled without recording an out. McCarron, similarly to Lippman and Sarcone, began the season strong with four scoreless innings of relief.

Ten Charlotte batters were walked in the first four innings of the game.

Maryland’s pitching staff has produced heaps of improvement from last season. The Terps entered the game with the second-best ERA in the Big Ten after posting the fourth-worst in 2023. Their jumps weren’t evident in the loss.

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While Maryland’s pitching staff struggled, the offense didn’t offer any assistance early. The Terps recorded just one hit in the first four innings of the game.

Maryland’s bats arrived in the fifth when Elijah Lambros hit a double and two batters walked. The Terps couldn’t capitalize, however, as Kevin Keister struck out to end the scoreless frame and strand the bases loaded.

The sixth saw the opposite. Lambros punched a two-RBI double down the third base line for Maryland’s first runs of the game. Jordan Crosland followed the hit with a three-run home run into left field, the first of the freshman’s career.

The sixth inning provided the only offense for Maryland on Friday, as it failed to record another run. The Terps’ five hits were the least they tallied this season. Maryland notched seven or more hits in its first 13 games of the year.

The Terps entered the series winning all three weekend sets to begin the season. Now, Maryland must win both games of Sunday’s double-header to keep the streak alive.