Starting pitcher Tyler Blohm was not at his best, so Maryland turned to its bullpen to start the fifth inning. That’s when the pitching struggles really began.
Northwestern scored seven runs off three pitchers in the fifth inning, breaking open a 11-3 win Saturday in College Park.
Reliever Ryan Hill struck out the first batter he faced after replacing Blohm. He proceeded to give up two singles, a two-RBI triple, an RBI double and a walk before exiting.
Jamal Wade couldn’t retire any of the four that came to the plate against him. The right-hander walked three, including two with the bases loaded.
In Blohm’s four innings preceding the Northwestern onslaught, he surrendered three runs (two earned), two hits and two walks. The freshman logged 75 pitches, 44 of which went for strikes.
With 58.7 percent of his offerings finding the zone, Blohm had his third-least accurate game of his 13 starts. He came into the game throwing strikes 60.3 percent of the time.
Maryland held an early 2-1 lead, but Northwestern tied the game on an odd fielding play that resulted in an error. Designated hitter Jack Claeys came to the plate with runners on first and second and nobody out.
First baseman Brandon Gum charged to get in position to field a bunt, but Claeys swung and grounded to third. AJ Lee had no one at second base to throw to as Nick Dunn had to cover first for Gum, so he fired to Dunn, who dropped the ball and let the lead runner score.
An RBI groundout by third baseman Connor Lind followed, giving Northwestern a 3-2 advantage.
Northwestern piled it on the next inning, sending 12 men to the plate in the decisive fifth. Left fielder Joe Hoscheit punctuated his 3-for-5 afternoon with a two-RBI triple off the centerfield wall.
The catchers for both squads, both hitting in the ninth spot of the order, homered for their teams. Northwestern’s Nick Paciorek lofted the first of his career over the high centerfield fence in the third inning. Maryland’s Justin Morris belted his third of the season to lead off the next half of the inning.
Aside from the home run by Morris and an RBI groundout, Northwestern starter Hank Christie was in control Saturday. The right-hander threw eight innings of three-run ball, scattering six hits and striking out three. Christie held the Terps hitless for 5.1 straight innings before Dunn homered in the eighth.
The loss was just Maryland’s second in 22 home games this season. The Terps will try to rebound for Senior Day in Sunday’s 1 p.m. rubber match.