If there were a mercy rule in college baseball, Saturday’s game would have been called by the fifth inning. The Maryland Terrapins – as well as their home students and fans – were not so fortunate, and were made to watch all the way through a 20-5 shellacking at the hands of the Indiana Hoosiers.
Following a victory in the Terps’ conference opener, Maryland’s pitching staff could not keep up the momentum from Friday night. Seven Hoosiers picked up at least one RBI, with five slugging at least one home run and three notching at least two. All told, excellent pitching was not on the menu – the teams combined for ten home runs.
Trouble began quickly for starting pitcher Zach Thompson, as Drew Ashley’s single brought home Matt Gorski to give the Hoosiers a 1-0 lead. The next batter, first baseman Matt Lloyd knocked a two-run home run to make it 3-0. As if it couldn’t get any more embarrassing, a fourth Hoosier run scored on a bases-loaded balk.
Chris Alleyne gave Maryland back some momentum with a solo home run in the bottom of the inning, but if the Terps thought it would spark a rally, they were sorely mistaken. In the second, Matt Lloyd once again stepped to the plate and made mincemeat of a Zach Thompson pitch, going yard for the second time in as many at-bats. Another solo home run in the third inning – this one by right fielder Grant Richardson, who went on to put up three – put an end to Thompson’s day. He left after allowing six earned runs on eight hits in only three innings, three of those hits being home runs.
Little did anyone know that the Hoosiers had only gotten warmed up.
Elijah Dunham broke the game open in the fourth, clearing the bases with a two-run single, and Cole Barr followed with yet another homer. Suddenly a 6-1 lead had ballooned to 10-1, and things would get far worse. Gorski knocked another homer before the inning was out, and the lead swelled to 13-1.
The carnage continued in the fifth, as Terps’ pitches left the park before their fans even knew what hit them. Richardson homered again…this one a grand slam. 17-1. Changing pitchers did nothing to help, as Scotty Bradley homered on the first pitch by Matt DiLuia. 18-1. As if to twist the knife, Bradley and Richardson each picked up another solo homer before the day was out.
The Terps scored four meaningless runs in the bottom of the ninth before Indiana finally put the game to bed, making the final score a somewhat more respectable 20-5.
Maryland’s pitching rundown for the day read like a statistician’s worst nightmare. Starter Zach Thompson, starter who allowed eight hits and seven earned runs in three full innings, was still far from the weakest performer of the game. Appearing in relief, Daniel O’Connor and Billy Phillips each allowed five runs in only two-thirds of an inning, which amounts an ERA of 225.00. (No, that wasn’t a typo.)
On the other side, Tanner Gordon pitched seven excellent innings for what is sure to be the easiest win of his collegiate career. Alleyne’s home run in the first was one of only three hits he allowed.