Feature photo courtesy of Maryland Athletics.
Maryland lost the lead in the seventh, but had a comeback of its own waiting for the ninth, using Brandon Gum’s third hit to tie the game and Dan Maynard’s sacrifice fly to beat Notre Dame 4-3 Friday.
A dropped fly ball by Marty Costes eventually led to three late Notre Dame runs, but that error-aided offense wasn’t enough to topple the Terrapins, who pulled back ahead in the ninth inning to win.
A pop-up missed by first baseman Daniel Jung put center fielder Zach Jancarski onboard safely. Following a walk, wild pitch and intentional walk, the designated hitter Gum would later come up to bat with the bases loaded. He had reached safely in all four of his plate appearances.
The redshirt senior came through once again with a single into right field, his second RBI of the game.
The catcher Maynard drove a fly ball to the warning track in his pinch-hit appearance immediately after, bringing in center fielder Zach Jancarski with the eventual winning run.
Ryan Selmer secured his first save of the young season by swiftly retiring Notre Dame in order, with Jancarski running down the final out.
Maryland couldn’t get starting pitcher Brian Shaffer the win, but they prevented him from taking the loss he would have been stuck with had Notre Dame’s Sean Guenther secured the save.
Shaffer cruised for much of the evening, letting just three of 21 batters touch the basepaths after Notre Dame’s first two men reached. Over that time, he tied a career-high with eight strikeouts.
While Maryland awarded Shaffer an insurance run in the seventh with Gum’s RBI walk, the 2-0 lead was not meant to last. Jung and right fielder Jake Shepski led off the inning with singles. A long fly ball by catcher Ryan Lidge was dropped by Costes as he bumped into the right field fence, bringing Jung home.
Left-handed reliever Andrew Miller came in trying to strand Notre Dame on first and third, but was victimized by the no-out circumstances in which he entered. Shortstop Cole Daily beat into an RBI groundout. A bunt by left fielder Jake Johnson couldn’t be fielded in time for second baseman Nick Dunn to catch Lidge at the plate and prevent Notre Dame from taking the 3-2 lead.
Reliever Ryan Hill eventually ended the seventh with a strikeout. For his 1.1 hitless innings, Hill earned his first win as a Terrapin.
Catcher Nick Cieri drove in leadoff hitter Jancarski in the first inning with a double, and for six frames, the score stuck. Maryland worked the pitch count of Notre Dame starter Brandon Bielak but couldn’t get back on the board against him. Bielak gave up one run in six innings with six strikeouts, but his 102 pitches provoked a pitching change.
Meanwhile, Shaffer had little trouble putting Notre Dame hitters away opposite Bielak, especially when it mattered most.
Before the game-turning seventh, Shaffer had successfully navigated out of two Notre Dame scoring opportunities.
The first two batters for the Irish immediately reached second and third with no out. The leadoff hitter Johnson, on board via error, didn’t have enough of a cushion to chance scoring from first on third baseman Kyle Fiala’s double.
Johnson stayed glued at third for the next three batters, all of whom Shaffer retired to wiggle out of the threat.
Two innings later, second baseman Nick Podkul’s two-out triple over Jancarski’s head in center gave Notre Dame another chance to tie the game. Shaffer’s fastball blew center fielder Matt Vierling away and sent him back to the dugout empty-handed.
The final-inning rally earned Maryland its second win of the season. They face No. 6 North Carolina State Saturday at 4:30 with Taylor Bloom taking the mound for the Terrapins.
Edited by Austin Kleber.