A six-run eighth inning propelled Maryland baseball to an 11-4 victory Friday afternoon over Radford in the first game of the Coastal Carolina Tournament.
The Terps broke out of their offensive slump in a big way, turning out their strongest showing at the plate since scoring 10 runs on Feb. 21. Before Friday’s victory, Maryland had scored nine combined runs over their last four games.
The contest was a tight pitcher’s duel through seven innings, with the Terps scoring a run apiece in the third and fourth innings. The first came on a sacrifice fly from senior left fielder Mary Costes, who scored Richie Schiekofer after the freshman designated hitter led the inning off with a walk. Junior shortstop AJ Lee scored the run in the fourth on a fielder’s choice from Schiekofer, the first RBI of his career.
Terps ace Taylor Bloom threw eight strong innings, allowing four runs – three earned – on six hits and six strikeouts against one walk. Bloom cruised through six frames, giving up only an unearned run in the second before allowing an RBI triple from Radford center fielder Luke Wise in the seventh to knot the game at two.
Maryland blew the game open in the next half-inning, putting up a six-spot on the back of a huge three-run homer from junior second baseman Nick Dunn. Senior infielder Kevin Biondic also doubled in a run then scored on a wild pitch. Senior center fielder Zach Jancarski contributed a sacrifice fly to round out the inning.
Freshman right fielder Randy Bednar added an opposite-field, three-run homer in the ninth for good measure, giving the Terps a seven-run lead and effectively putting the game away.
The Terps exercised patience at the plate in an effort to get the offense going. Maryland batters walked 10 times, six of which came around to score.
Dunn, Biondic and senior catcher Justin Morris all had multi-hit games, an encouraging sign from hitters who were sporting .259, .172 and .095 averages coming into the game, respectively. Consistent production up and down the Terps lineup — which has no hitters batting above .300 — will be crucial for the season moving forward.
Maryland faces off against host Coastal Carolina in the second game of the Johnny Gardner Law Group Tournament on Saturday. The pitching matchup will feature Terps sophomore left-hander Tyler Blohm against Chanticleers right-hander Zack Hopeck.
The game is slated for a 3 p.m. start and will be broadcast by the Maryland Baseball Network and live streamed by Coastal Carolina Athletics. You can also follow along on the Maryland Baseball Twitter page.