By William Pitts
As if one walk-off defeat wasn’t enough, the Maryland Terrapins suffered a second heartbreaking loss on Saturday, 2-1 to the Ragin’ Cajuns of Louisiana Lafayette – despite out-hitting the Cajuns 9-2. As in the first game, lackluster fielding would be their undoing in the late innings, allowing Louisiana to walk off on a Maryland error for the second time in less than twelve hours.
Exhausted from a 14-inning marathon in the first game of the twi-night doubleheader, Maryland took to the field with their lineup nearly unchanged. Manager Rob Vaughn made only two changes for game two – Kody Milton replaced Michael Pineiro at first, while Seb Holte-Mancera took the place of Justin Vought behind the plate.
Maryland took the lead in the fourth inning when Milton put down a sacrifice bunt to score Holte-Mancera. Trevor Labonte held the Cajuns in check, only allowing one hit in six innings of work – although with two hit batters.
The Terps missed an opportunity to extend their lead in the seventh. With the bases loaded and only one out, Caleb Walls and Randy Bednar both struck out to end the threat. Maryland survived a tense moment of their own in the bottom of the eighth as they clung to their one-run lead. Facing runners on second and third, Andrew Vail intentionally walked Cajuns right fielder Orynn Veillon to load the bases. The gamble paid off, as Vail induced designated hitter Jordan Wiley into a groundout to end the inning.
However, in the ninth inning, everything fell apart for Maryland. As in the first game, their fielding would be their downfall. Two throwing errors decided the contest in Louisiana’s favor. The first, committed by Holte-Mancera, allowed Cajuns shortstop Hayden Cantrelle to move to second base. Third baseman O’Neal Lochridge singled one batter later to tie the game. The second error decided the game, as an errant throw by Milton brought Cantrelle home with the winning run.
Sean Heine, the pitcher unfortunate enough to be on the mound at the time, took the loss.