The Maryland baseball team (4-4) was on the victorious end of a pitcher duel on Wednesday, defeating VCU (3-6) by a score of 2-0.
Freshman right-hander Mark DiLuia got the start for the Terps, the first of his collegiate career.
“I was just pretty excited to get a chance to go out there and throw today,” DiLuia said.
He did not disappoint, throwing four scoreless innings and striking out seven while allowing only four hits. DiLuia’s performance was good enough for him to pick up his first collegiate victory.
“Starting pitcher sets the tone for the game,” head coach Rob Vaughn said. “Mark did that.”
The Rams starter, Sam Ryan, matched DiLuia through the first three innings and kept Maryland off the scoreboard.
In the fourth, however, the Terps offense broke through after VCU went to the bullpen to begin the inning. Sophomore right-hander Hayden Moore relieved Ryan and quickly found himself in a bases-loaded jam after walking AJ Lee, Will Watson and Kevin Biondic. Catcher Justin Morris then brought Lee home on a sacrifice bunt to put the Terps up 1-0.
In the fifth inning, the Maryland bullpen took over for DiLuia, and dominated the rest of the game. Elliot Zoellner, Sean Fisher, Kevin Biondic and John Murphy combined for five innings of no-hit, scoreless baseball.
Murphy, who recorded the save, looked a lot more controlled on the mound Wednesday after struggling to locate pitches on Sunday– problem Vaughn believes stemmed from his glasses fogging up.
“Well his glasses actually stayed on his face today,” Vaughn said about what led to Murphy’s improved outing. “He could see the ball a little better, it helps to be able to locate balls when you know where you’re throwing them.”
The Terps added an insurance run in the seventh when Nick Dunn drove in Marty Costes on a sacrifice fly.
Although Maryland picked up the win, the offense once again struggled. Besides the two scoring plays, which were both sacrifices, the lineup only mustered up two hits as the VCU bullpen kept the Terps in check.
“The hitters just gotta keep grinding,” Vaughn said. “Sometimes you get in funks.”
Maryland will look to get out of that funk on Friday, when they take on Radford at 11 a.m. in Conway, South Carolina, to start the Coastal Carolina Tournament.
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