There was no need for the patented Maryland comeback Saturday afternoon as the Terps used their momentum from Friday’s walk-off win to get on the board early and often against Penn State.
Nick Dunn and Will Watson led the way with three hits each for the Maryland baseball team in their 8-3 win over the Nittany Lions in College Park.
Together, the duo drove in or scored every run in the bottom of the first inning. Center fielder Zach Jancarski started it off with a leadoff single and stole second. Dunn slapped a single to left field for first blood.
A double steal and one batter later, Watson drove a double to left-center field to plate two. Watson stole third and scored on an infield single from left fielder Madison Nickens.
The Terps continued to pile it on for the rest of the game, scoring in three other innings and compiling 10 total hits. Even when they weren’t hitting, they still did some damage with disciplined at-bats. Penn State starter Justin Hagenman threw 119 pitches in just 4.2 innings pitched.
The Maryland offense didn’t need a quality start like they did yesterday, but Tyler Blohm delivered one nonetheless. The Severna Park, Maryland, native tied a career-high with eight strikeouts. He allowed two earned runs to drop his ERA to a 2.76 mark.
With regular Saturday starter Taylor Bloom struggling lately and having pitched on Tuesday, head coach John Szefc handed the reigns to Sunday starter Blohm. The left-hander picked up the win Saturday after tying another career-high with seven innings pitched.
Penn State cut a 5-1 deficit in half during the top of the fifth, but any hope at a comeback was quickly shut down.
In the very next half inning, Dunn and Watson struck again. They both reached base with a single. Watson stretched his single into an extra base on the throw from left field, as Dunn moved to third. Shortstop Kevin Smith drove a sacrifice fly to center field to make it a 6-3 ball game. The Terps scored two more in the next inning.
Dunn and Watson scored or drove in all but one of the Terrapins’ eight runs. Almost every batter got involved in the hit parade, though. Eight different players reached base and five of them scored.
There weren’t any fireworks coming off the Maryland bats with just one extra-base hit, but the Terps displayed deadly efficiency, stealing seven bases and walking five times. The team hit .353 with runners on base and went 4-for-12 with men in scoring position.
Taylor Bloom will take the mound for the Terps tomorrow as they look for the sweep at 1 p.m. Penn State has yet to name its starter.
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