The No. 22 Maryland baseball team kept it close to No. 12 Louisville, but five defensive errors proved too costly as the Cardinals won 10-7.
A third strike with two outs that went to the backstop gave Louisville an extra run in the second, and a single that reached the wall on an error keyed a five-run fourth inning for the Cardinals.
Maryland’s misplays elevated starter Taylor Bloom’s pitch count and knocked the right-hander out early. Bloom lasted three-plus innings with only three of his six runs earned.
Boosted by two errors and a wild pitch, Louisville sent 10 batters to the plate in the second inning. Third baseman Drew Ellis led off the frame with a home run. The Terrapins defense unraveled soon after.
Third baseman AJ Lee couldn’t handle a grounder by left fielder Josh Stowers. Center fielder Logan Taylor’s bunt single loaded the bases for catcher Colby Fitch, who walked in a run. Second baseman Devin Mann lofted a sacrifice fly to left, but Madison Nickens’ throw skipped to the plate and granted an extra base to two runners.
It looked like Bloom escaped allowing just three runs when right fielder Colin Lyman struck out with two away. But the breaking ball bounced in the dirt off catcher Justin Morris’ glove, sending Lyman to first and Taylor across the plate.
The Cardinals went down in order in the third, but Fitch tripled to lead off the fourth. Head coach John Szefc lifted Bloom from the game, inserting righty Hunter Parsons to pitch to Mann. The Cardinals second baseman doubled in Fitch for the first of five runs in the inning.
Maryland had trimmed the deficit with two runs in the third and fourth innings. Second baseman Nick Dunn crushed a two-run homer in the third and drove in another run in the following inning with his third hit of the game. Infielder Brandon Gum’s RBI walk cut Louisville’s lead to 5-4.
In his first start with Maryland, Gum went 2-for-3 with an RBI, a run and two walks.
Even down 10-4, Maryland did not relent. Lee singled in catcher Dan Maynard following Maynard’s steal in the fifth. Nickens picked up an RBI with a groundout, then designated hitter Will Watson’s double made it a 10-7 contest in the sixth.
The Terrapins couldn’t muster any more runs, with reliever Lincoln Henzman tossing 2.2 hitless innings with four strikeouts. Jake Sparger secured the win for the Cardinals as the reliever at the helm when Louisville pulled ahead. Starter Kade McClure gave up four runs in 3.2 innings.
Maryland will try again for its first victory of 2017 against Alabama State at 10 a.m. Sunday. Freshman lefthander Tyler Blohm will make his collegiate start for the Terrapins.