After fending off a late comeback attempt by the Chanticleers, the Maryland Terrapins (6-4) now have their longest winning streak of the season. The Terps picked up their fourth consecutive victory, taking down the 2016 National Champions Coastal Carolina (9-3), 6-2.
Scoring started early for the Terps’ offense, which exploded for 11 runs against Radford yesterday, when Kevin Biondic singled off Chanticleers’ starter Zack Hopeck, scoring Marty Costes.
Maryland added to the lead in the second, when a bases-loaded single by Taylor Wright plated freshmen Ty Friedrich and Randy Bednar. Due to a throwing error by Coastal Carolina shortstop Keaton Weisz on the prior play, both runs were unearned and not charged to Hopeck’s total. Hopeck’s day ended after 4 ⅓ innings of work, allowing four runs, two earned, on four hits.
Maryland’s starter, Tyler Blohm, faired better than Hopeck on Saturday shutting down a talented lineup. Blohm went six innings and only had two blemishes on his stat line. The left-hander allowed a solo homer each to Kevin Woodall Jr. in the fourth and Parker Charvers in the fifth. Blohm was otherwise flawless, striking out seven and working his way out of several jams during his six innings of work.
The Maryland offense added insurance after taking the early 3-0 lead, putting up two runs in the fifth and one in the sixth. The two in the fifth came on a Bednar RBI-double that scored Biondic and a Friedrich sacrifice-fly that brought home AJ Lee. Nick Dunn’s solo shot in the sixth put the Terps up 6-2. It was Dunn’s fifth homer of the season, tying his total from the 2017 season.
Coastal Carolina chipped away at the lead in the bottom of the seventh, when the Maryland bullpen ran into a little trouble. Freshman Sean Fisher relieved Blohm at the start of the inning and quickly recorded two outs. However, a two-out double by Coastal Carolina’s Seth Lancaster brought Fisher’s day to an end.
Elliot Zoellner was next out of the pen, but a walk and two wild pitches allowed Lancaster to score and make it a 6-3 ballgame. John Murphy then replaced Zoellner after he recorded no outs. Murphy quickly ended the Chanticleers’ rally, forcing Kyle Skeels to foul out.
Maryland added another run in the eight on a solo shot off the bat of Will Watson, who had just come in as a pinch hitter for designated hitter Chris Alleyne.
With the lead still intact entering the bottom of the eighth, head coach Rob Vaughn relied on his closer to complete the seven-out save. But,after a scoreless eighth, things did not go smoothly in the ninth.
A walk and hit batter started off the ninth, and forced Vaughn to make a pitching change. Kevin Biondic made the move from first to the mound, entering the game with runners on first and second with no outs. Biondic first faced Lancaster, who promptly launched a three-run homer to make it a 7-6 ballgame.
But, Biondic settled in, forcing a groundout and then striking out Kyle Skeels. As Skeels swung and missed, Turner Buis, who had reached first after being hit by a pitch, stole second. However, Skeels had interfered with catcher Justin Morris’ throw, resulting in an out and ending the game.
Maryland will now look to extend their winning streak and go for a sweep in the Coastal Carolina Tournament tomorrow when they take on Ball State at 11 a.m.
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