The Maryland baseball team won its sixth straight and third-straight comeback effort in a 7-1 win over Bryant Friday afternoon.
Maryland used sheer power to come back in their 11-5 win over Saint Joseph’s on Wednesday. But on Friday afternoon in Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium, the Terps used small-ball tactics to come out on top.
In what looked to be a pitchers’ duel, Bryant got out to an early one-run lead that it held until the sixth.
The Terps, who have been red hot offensively, fell victim to a cold spell that was not broken until the bottom of the fifth inning with their first hit. Then, the floodgates opened in the sixth.
Right fielder Marty Costes started the rally with a leadoff single and first baseman Brandon Gum followed him up with a walk. Then Nick Cieri laid a perfect sacrifice bunt down the third-base line to advance the runners.
The dugout broke into cheers of Cieri’s nickname.
“Cheese! Cheese! Cheese!”
The sacrifice breathed new life into the Maryland dugout, who remained raucous throughout the remainder of the game.
After the bunt, Bryant took out left-hander Steve Theetge for reliever Jack Ipsen. Theetge walked six Terps.
Designated hitter Will Watson didn’t take long to figure out Ipsen. He hit a single to left field to tie the game up at one. Watson went 2-for-3 with three RBIs and a walk.
On the very next play, left fielder Madison Nickens hit a sacrifice fly to give the Terps a lead they would only continue to build on.
Center fielder Zach Jancarski kicked off another outburst in the eighth with a leadoff single. Another single and a hit-by-pitch loaded the bases for Gum. Gum took his third walk of the day for an RBI.
Then Watson struck again with his second hit, a two-RBI single that forced a throw home and allowed him to take second.
That was all starter Brian Shaffer needed, and then some. Shaffer pitched a gem, allowing five hits and striking out eight in seven innings of work.
Even after Shaffer was pulled in the eighth in favor of Andrew Miller, the Terps offense continued to pile on runs.
Jancarski and Costes each capped off their days with RBI singles to pad the lead.
Miller surrendered just one hit in his two innings while fanning five Bulldogs, giving the bullpen the rest it desperately needed— Maryland relievers covered a combined 15.1 innings Tuesday and Wednesday.
Edited by Connor Mount.
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