File photo by Joel Valley/The Left Bench

Terps drop crucial rubber game against Nebraska

Kevin Biondic stepped to the plate with one out, the bases loaded and the Terps trailing 4-0 in the bottom of the eighth inning of Sunday’s contest between Nebraska and Maryland. He proceeded to line out into a double play, ending the rally.

In the bottom of the inning, Nebraska’s Carter Cross stepped up to the plate with one out, the bases loaded and his team leading 4-0. Cross hit a sacrifice-fly to give the Cornhuskers an insurance run heading into the ninth.

Though both hits resulted in outs, Nebraska’s ability to get a run out of their situation, while the Terps left runners stranded, summed up the main difference in a 5-2 win for the home team: Nebraska got the clutch hits when they were needed.

The Cornhuskers recorded only seven hits on the afternoon, two fewer than the Terps, but a home run from Scott Schreiber in the fourth and RBI hits from Ben Klenke and Jesse Wilkening were all Nebraska needed to pull off the victory.

Those hits came off of Taylor Bloom, who returned to the starting rotation for Maryland on Sunday after working out of the bullpen last weekend while recovering from a head injury he sustained on April 13. In his seven innings of work, Bloom allowed four runs on seven hits. The performance could have been strong enough for a win, but like many other outings for Terps pitcher this season, a lack of offense resulted in a loss for the starter.

The Terps spread their nine hits throughout the innings, but Cornhuskers starter Matt Warren allowed none of those base runners to cross home plate during his 6 ⅔ innings of work. Though Maryland broke through for two runs in the ninth, as Justin Morris ripped an RBI single and then later scored on a wild pitch, the rally was too little too late and Nebraska closer Jake Hohensee shut the door on a potential Maryland comeback.

Coming off a heartbreaking 17-8 loss on Saturday, in which Maryland allowed Nebraska to score 16 unanswered runs, Sunday’s loss proved equally disappointing, as the chances of reaching the Big Ten tournament drop with every passing day.

After a home midweek game against Towson on Wednesday, Maryland will only have a home series against Rutgers and an away trip to Indiana left  to decide the team’s postseason fate.