Two days removed from suffering a demoralizing no-hitter at the hands of East Carolina, the Maryland Terrapins’ bats finally came to life Tuesday afternoon. Riding dominant performances from Caleb Walls and A.J. Lee, as well as Maryland cruised to an 11-4 win over Elon in the first of a three-game set. In total, Elon used seven pitchers during the game, but not one had an answer for either Caleb Walls or A.J. Lee, who both put on career performances against the Phoenix. Lee went three for four with a double and a home run, while Walls did him one better by going four for four with two home runs – one inside the park. Combined, the two accounted for eight of the Terps’ eleven runs batted in.
The Terrapins battered Elon starter Kyle Greenler from the second inning on, and took the lead as Justin Vought scored on a passed ball. One batter later, Caleb Walls gassed out an inside-the-park home run, extending the lead to 3-0. Greenler would not make it out of the following inning, but Walls was not finished haunting the Phoenix.
Inning by inning, Elon chipped away at the Terrapins’ lead. In the bottom of the second, first baseman Cam Devanney scored on a Tommy Gardiner throwing error. The following inning, Garrett Stonehouse doubled to send home Anthony Galason, and starting pitcher Matt DiLuia was given the hook. Finally, in the fifth, Elon tied the game on a Joe Satterfield double, then took the lead 4-3 on a sac fly by Devanney.
Just when they had completed the rally, poor pitching control would come back to bite the Phoenix in the following inning. Joe Sprake, sent in to relieve Greenler, tossed two crucial wild pitches in the sixth, each one allowing a run to score to flip the lead back to Maryland, 5-4.
From then on, it was all Maryland, as Walls and Lee torched the Phoenix pitching staff. A two-run double by Lee, followed by Walls’ single, made the score 8-4. The following inning, they both knocked home runs – for Walls, his second of the game, and third of the season – to push the lead to 11-4.
To close out the game, Terps manager Rob Vaughn handed the ball to none other than Billy Phillips. This season marks his return to organized baseball after a prolonged battle with leukemia, and his recovery has served as a rallying point for the team all season long. Philips cleanly wrapped up Maryland’s win, only allowing one hit in a full inning of work.
Will Glock earned the win for Maryland, improving his 2019 record to 3-0. Sprake, whose wild pitches touched off Elon’s collapse, took the loss.