Home plate umpire Craig Alden gave Matt Swope enough warnings. Alden waved his arm and tossed Maryland’s skipper out of Game 1 of Friday’s doubleheader in the 10th inning.

With stiffened arms and clenched fists, Swope continued to spit his frustrations to any umpire that would listen while ushered down the third baseline. The first-year head coach, knowing what was at stake in the Terps’ last regular season game, believed the tipped hit was caught by his catcher and let his grievances be heard.

Maryland needed to win both games on Friday to claim one of the eight spots in the Big Ten tournament. Instead, Grant Norris tapped home plate and gave the Nittany Lions the game-winning run the following at-bat, Swope watching from afar.

An Ohio State win just over an hour later booted Maryland from tournament contention.

[Maryland baseball falls flat in pivotal series opener to Penn State, 8-4]

The 6-5 Game 1 win secured the series victory for Penn State, its first-ever against Maryland. The Nittany Lions completed the sweep with a 19-7 victory in Game 2. It was the Terps’ fifth Big Ten series loss this season, the most since 2018. That was also the last time Maryland missed the conference tournament.

“It’s hard to process right now,” Swope said. “Definitely not the standard, not something we’re gonna be happy about.” 

The losses mirrored many of Maryland’s other conference losses — a stagnant offense, costly errors and inconsistent pitching.

After opening Game 1 with five runs in the first five innings, highlighted by a pair of Sam Hojnar home runs, the Terps’ bats went silent over the next five frames.

Only three Terps reached base in the final four innings of regulation. But loaded bases in the 10th offered Maryland its last chance at a comeback. Devin Russell struck out, ending the contest as black Maryland jerseys filed into the corner of Bob Smith Stadium for a meeting in-between games.

A Hojnar throwing error in the seventh inning and another by Chris Hacopian in the 10th provided the Nittany Lions their final two scores.

Logan Koester allowed four earned runs in 6 ⅔ innings and tossed 108 pitches — the second-most the right-hander threw this season. The redshirt senior would be eligible to return to College Park in 2025 if he elects after starting every weekend this year.

“I just feel so bad for the seniors,” Swope said. “It hurts myself. It’s painful.”

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

Evan Smith surrendered six earned runs in three innings in Game 2 as pitching woes lingered. Andrew Johnson, Nate Haberthier, Logan Ott and Duke McCarron combined for 13 more earned runs in five innings of relief.

Maryland’s 34 wins this season tied for the sixth most in program history and the most by a first-year head coach. Maryland’s RPI finished third in the Big Ten and the group won the most road games in the NCAA.

The Terps controlled their destiny heading into the final weekend of the regular season. They held the eighth and final spot of the conference tournament. But as the season progressed, the late-innings magic from early in the year dissipated — stamped by a season-ending extra innings loss.

“Just the weekend and how we finished is going to leave a sour taste in our mouth,” Swope said, “[It’s] something that we’ll utilize towards next season.”