Coming into Sunday’s contest, Ohio State outfielder Ridge Winand had just one home run on the season. But on Sunday, Winand hit two home runs that would be the difference in Ohio State’s 5-1 rubber match victory over Maryland.
Winand first stepped up to the plate in the second inning with nobody on base and the senior hit a shot to right field to give the Buckeyes a 1-0 lead. The following inning, Winand came up to bat with two outs and two runners on. This time, he crushed a ball to right center and suddenly Ohio State’s lead was 4-0.
Showing resilience, the Terps would start to fight back in the bottom of the third. Ben Cowles led the inning off with a double and then Ben Irvine advanced him to third with a grounder. Then A.J. Lee placed down a sacrifice bunt to score Cowles and the lead was cut to 4-1.
However, that was the only run the Terps would score against Buckeye starting pitcher Griffan Smith. Smith had one of his best outings of the season pitching nine innings and allowing only four hits and one run while striking out 10. Maryland had only one hit after the third inning. Terps catcher Justin Vought was impressed with Smith’s ability to throw a fastball, curveball, and change-up effectively.
“Anytime in college baseball you got a guy mixing three pitches, especially for righties when you got a lefty that’s throwing the changeup, it makes it tough,” Vought said.
Maryland’s lack of offense is a huge contrast from Saturday’s double-header where they scored a combined 23 runs in two games.
For the Terps, freshman Trevor LaBonte had a good outing despite being the losing pitcher. He pitched six innings allowing eight hits and four runs. Sans the two Winand homers, LaBonte didn’t allow a single run. LaBonte is now 1-4 on the year.
“Those two pitches are obviously the two I wish I could have back. I was just a little too middle with both of them,” Labonte said. “The kid (Winand) put two good swings on it so I paid for it.”
The Buckeyes tacked on some insurance in the eighth inning off of Terps reliever Mark DiLuia. With runners on first and second Dominic Canzone hit a high pop up into shallow left field that dropped in between the shortstop, third baseman and left fielder. Zach Decenzo came around to score from second to make it 5-1.
Maryland falls to 19-21 on the season and 6-6 in the Big Ten while the Buckeyes are now 23-18 and 6-6 in the Big Ten. It was the first Big Ten series the Terps have lost since the last weekend of March.
The Terps will be home for a midweek game on Tuesday against VCU before traveling to Penn State for a three game weekend series.
“It’s gonna be important to go out and have a good day Tuesday because Penn State can really pitch.” said Terrapins head coach Rob Vaughn. “I know their coaches, they do a great job with those guys and their record is not indicative of who they are.”