Elijah Lambros trotted to Bob Smith Stadium’s right field wall and tapped both his hands on the green padding as he slowed his jog. The outfielder lowered his head at the wall as Adam Cecere’s three-run home run sailed over his head and the wall.

The Terps’ infielders stood with their hands on their hips as Cecere made his trip around the bases and stamped a six-run advantage in the sixth inning — a Penn State lead in the final series of the season with postseason implications for both sides.

The Nittany Lions surpassed Maryland in the Big Ten standings Thursday with an 8-4 victory. Both schools sport a 10-12 conference record with two games remaining. The Terps batted just 3-13 with runners on base.

“There’s no motivational speeches. You’re not gonna motivate anyone any different at this point,” coach Matt Swope said. “You want to start off the series with the win there and get some momentum but we still have a chance to win this series tomorrow.”

The Nittany Lions scored in four straight innings to grow an insurmountable six-run lead by the sixth inning.

Kevin Michaels opened the scoring with a solo home run in the top of the third, just his second of the season. The second baseman continued his timely hitting into the next frame with a slicing run-scoring single through the left side to keep Penn State ahead.

Bryce Molinaro added an RBI single and Bobby Marsh lofted a sac fly in the fifth inning to bring in two more Nittany Lion runs. Cecere’s home run in the sixth was his 13th of the season.

[‘He’s a psycho’: Chris Hacopian’s drive has him ready to be the face of Maryland baseball]

Omar Melendez tossed just four innings in the loss — tying the left-hander’s second-shortest start of the season. Just one of the two runs scored against Melendez was earned while the junior struck out four.

Swope gave credit to Melendez on Wednesday for stepping into the starter role in the past four weeks after mostly serving as a bullpen arm to start the year. The Puerto Rico native’s ERA as a weekend starter sits at 4.14 after his Thursday outing.

“I didn’t think Omar did a bad job at all,” Swope said. “I thought he worked out of some jams and did pretty good.”

Kenny Lippman entered to pitch the top of the fifth — his lone inning after two Nittany Lions crossed home. The right-hander struck out one while conceding two hits and a walk. Trystan Sarcone gave up Cecere’s home run in the sixth.

Chris Hacopian knocked Maryland’s lone run in the first five innings, connecting on a leadoff home run in the bottom of the third. The blast was his 15th long ball of the season and tied Maxwell Costes for the second-most as a freshman in program history. The third baseman is two home runs away from tying Maryland’s freshman record.

Jacob Orr attempted to start a comeback effort in the sixth with a two-run home run into center field. Eddie Hacopian sent another run home in the frame with a single into center, but the Terps stranded more potential runs to close the frame.

[Maryland baseball drops pitcher’s duel in series finale to Boston College, 2-1]

With two on in the inning, Devin Russell was tagged out while sliding home after a popup from Chris Hacopian. Russell halted another scoring opportunity in the second inning, getting called out at third off a fielder’s choice from Eddie Hacopian to end the frame with the bases loaded.

Only two Maryland batters reached base after its sixth inning three-run spurt. Matt Maloney knocked Penn State’s third home run of the day in the ninth — a solo shot into right field — to cement the win.

“We didn’t do enough offensively all day,” Swope said. “We just have to be better offensively.”

The Terps entered the weekend in a three-way tie for seventh place with only the top eight teams reaching the conference tournament. Maryland still holds tiebreakers over Ohio State and Michigan State but currently sits outside the playoff in tenth place immediately following the loss.

Maryland captain Kevin Keister said Thursday the team knows what they have to do this weekend — they entered the contest controlling their destiny and just needed to win. Now, the Terps find themselves outside the tournament picture again.