Old habits resurface in Terps loss

The Maryland Terrapins’ recent run of good play came to a halt at home against the West Virginia Mountaineers, as old bad habits resurfaced in an 8-1 loss Tuesday night.

The Terps got off to a ghastly start, as starter Nick Turnbull spotted West Virginia two runs before even getting an out. A passed ball by catcher Justin Voight allowed Tyler Doanes to score. Shortly thereafter, a grounder by Paul McIntosh sent Brandon White home and Turnbull to the dugout.

Daniel O’Connor stepped up to the mound and promptly gave the Mountaineers another run, plunking Philip Dull with the bases loaded. WVU would add one more on an Austin Davis infield single to stretch the lead to 4-0.

Unfortunately for Maryland, Mountaineers ace Nick Snyder was more than capable of holding his ground. The Terps threatened in the bottom of the second with singles by Josh Maguire and Seb Holte-Mancera, but Snyder calmly retired the side. Snyder would strike out six in his five innings.

O’Connor lasted until the bottom of the third, but when he worked himself into a bases-loaded jam, manager Rob Vaughn pulled him for Sean Heine. As O’Connor before him, Heine gifted the Mountaineers an unearned run with the bases loaded, this time by walking Brandon White. One inning later, Tyler Doanes hit a solo home run to increase West Virginia’s lead to 6-0.

Maryland finally got on the board in the sixth with a sac fly by A.J. Lee, but that was as close as the Terps could come. West Virginia’s bullpen put in a near-flawless performance, holding the Terps to only two hits after Snyder exited, and were especially cruel to Randy Bednar. The power-hitting center fielder went 0-for-5 with four strikeouts, one shy of the so-called “golden sombrero”.

Andrew Zitel put the game out of reach in the eighth with a two-run home run off Mike Vasturia – the fourth Maryland pitcher of the game. Closer Brock Helverson added just a bit more tension to the end of the game by loading the bases, but the Terps cost themselves even a token shot at a comeback when A.J. Lee was caught in a rundown for the final out.

Snyder earned his seventh consecutive win, his only loss coming in his first start of the year against Kennesaw State.