The heavy rain could not stop the explosive Michigan offense, which scored 13 runs as the Wolverines completed the sweep over Maryland, 13-1.
Things got off to a brutal start for Terps pitcher Trevor Labonte when Michigan leadoff hitter Jordan Nwogu crushed a solo home run to give Michigan a 1-0 lead. The Terps, however, would respond. A Maxwell Costes single scored Randy Bednar and the game was tied.
After a strong second inning, LaBonte struggled in the third inning as the light drizzle in the sky turned into a much harder rain. LaBonte walked three hitters and one with a pitch to load the bases with no outs. The game was delayed for 30 minutes due to rain.
“I’m sure the ball was wet and the mound was slick. It was slick for Criswell too and he had no issue throwing strikes. For me weather didn’t play a factor in that, he just lost the zone,” said Terps head coach Rob Vaughn. “It’s kind of the story of the weekend, the last two games in particular. There was just a lot off free bases in there.”
After the rain delay, Drew Wilden came in to pitch and gave the Terps a strong outing to get out of the jam. He allowed a sacrifice fly that extended the Wolverine lead to 4-1, but then got the next two batters out to keep the lead close.
However, Michigan starting pitcher Jeff Criswell proved to be too much for the Terps offense. After allowing a run in the first, Criswell went unscathed He finished the day allowing only one run and three hits in five innings. Michigan’s starting pitching staff had strong outings all weekend.
“He threw strikes. He rarely walked guys. He attacked the zone with a mid 90’s fastball that’s hard to hit,” Costes said about Criswell.
Michigan added some more runs in the fifth when senior Miles Lewis hit a two-run homer to make it a 6-1 ball game. Then in the sixth, the Wolverines tacked on seven more on a variety of hits to push the lead to 13-1. Michigan scored at least 10 runs in every game on the weekend. Nwogu was the catalyst at the plate for the Wolverines all weekend. He finished the day getting on base all three appearances and scoring three runs.
Michigan’s sweep of Maryland extended their lead in the Big Ten standings as they are now 14-3. Maryland falls to 8-10 in the conference and is in ninth place.
“I didn’t think we put a very good foot forward this weekend. I wasn’t really happy with our execution or the way that we competed all 27 innings,” Vaughn said. “I thought we did a really good job of it at times but I don’t think we got 27 innings of great competitive baseball.”
There will be no mid-week game for the Terps this week. They will travel to Minnesota for a three-game series starting Friday.