All season, the Terps have found a way to come back from early deficits.
But Maryland found a new way to stage a rally Wednesday night—home runs.
Four different Terps homered in a 11-5 victory over Saint Joseph’s in College Park, with three of those home runs coming in crucial moments.
The Terps were down 4-0 in the second inning and battled back and forth with Saint Joseph’s until the eighth.
“We have confidence when we’re playing from behind,” left fielder Madison Nickens said. “We’re not pushing, we’re not stressed out.”
The biggest of those home runs came from Nickens an inning after Maryland blew a one-run lead in the top of the seventh inning.
Nickens came to the plate after his teammates went down in order in the bottom of the seventh. He initially showed bunt when he came to the plate.
“[My] first approach is just get on base,” Nickens said. “I tried I think three separate times tonight to lay down the bunt.”
Then he saw a pitch he liked and changed his mind.
He crushed a hanging changeup over 380 feet over the center field wall to break the 5-5 tie.
“He’s been versatile enough where he can put a good bunt down,” head coach John Szefc said. “He’s mature enough where he understands that he can go short or he can go long.”
Not only did this home run give the Terps the lead in the bottom of the eighth inning, but it also sparked a huge rally.
Maryland scored six runs in the frame, thanks to a mix of heads-up baserunning and defensive miscues on Saint Joseph’s side. Three different Saint Joseph’s pitchers stood on the mound in the eighth and 12 batters came to the plate.
The Nickens home run only added to the momentum the team had already gained from a great relief job from right-hander Mike Rescigno. The senior came in for Andrew Miller with no outs and two runners on base, and he retired the next three batters he faced.
“That’s the save right there,” Szefc said. “Once you get out of that inning, as the home team, things will normally go your way at that point.”
Before Nickens stole the show, third baseman AJ Lee hit a home run that gave the Terps the lead. Lee was in the batter’s box with two outs in a game knotted at four runs apiece.
As soon as he made contact, the ball screamed of the barrel of his bat and soared over the left field wall to give the Terps a one-run lead in the bottom of the sixth inning.
There could have been yet another hero in right fielder Marty Costes, who socked a two-run homer to tie the game in the bottom of the third inning.
“[Costes] tying it with that [opposite field] home run let’s us kind of play even, as opposed to playing from behind,” Szefc said. “I really tip our cap to our offense.”
The win put the Terrapins above .500 for the first time this season and is their fifth-straight victory. Bryant will travel to College Park this Friday for a weekend series.
Edited by Connor Mount.
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