After a lack of offense in the first game of the series against Army (2-4), head coach Rob Vaughn and Maryland (2-4) came into game two with a slightly different lineup. Ty Friedrich took over as the catcher and Tommy Gardiner as the designated hitter. Those changes didn’t help the Terrapin offense much, as they fell to Army 3-0.
Between strike outs, fly-outs and ground outs, the Maryland offense was lackluster through all nine innings. The Terps struck out nine times in that period, with hits coming from Zach Jancarski in the first, Randy Bednar in the second and Tommy Gardiner in the sixth and eighth.
Maryland starter Tyler Blohm had a shaky start to the first inning, in which Army leadoff hitters Jacob Hurtubise and Drake Titus both singled then stole third and second, respectively, but Blohm worked his way out of the inning with two strikeouts. Blohm struck out two more in the top of the second.
Blohm got out of the third without consequence, but continued to lack the consistency he had between the first and second innings, hitting John McKennna in the wrist in the top of the fourth and giving the Black Knights a baserunner with one out. This brought Anthony Giachin to the plate, who hit a double down the third base line, bringing home McKenna to put Army ahead 1-0.
In the top of the fifth, the Terps defense got sloppy. With one out and no men on base, Simoes made it to second on a dropped third strike when the throwdown to first went over the glove of first baseman Kevin Biondic. Simoes eventually made his way around the bases to score from third on a wild pitch from Blohm, putting the Black Knights up 2-0.
Blohm loaded the bases after hitting McKenna again, this time in the leg, but was able to work around the situation to get out of the inning after Matt Hudgins flew out. This propelled Blohm into the sixth where he took down the Army lineup in order.
Biondic came in to pitch the seventh, striking out two but allowing the Black Knights to score when Simoes reached second on an error by Gardiner. With Simoes on second and two outs the Terps intentionally walked Jon Rosoff, hoping to get a force-out at third. But McKenna came to bat, bringing home Simoes and giving Army a 3-0 lead. Biondic made it out of the inning allowing only one run.
He returned in the eighth and ninth, taking down the Army lineup in order both times. Biondic ended his day on the mound with five strikeouts.
It seemed like the Terps were going to mount a comeback in the bottom of the eighth. Gardiner doubled with two outs, prompting the Black Knights to bring in Jacob Carte to replace starter Matt Ball, who finished with 102 pitches and seven strikeouts add innings he pitched. Marty Costes then grounded out, ending the inning for Maryland with a man on base.
Down 3-0 in the bottom of the ninth, Zach Jancarski stepped to the plate. He grounded out and Nick Dunn and Wright struck out, securing the win for the Black Knights.
Maryland finished with four hits and two errors, and Army with five hits, three runs and one error.
The Terps take on the Black Knights in game three of the series tomorrow at 1 pm.
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