Tommy D’Alise lined a ball to Nick Lorusso, who made a routine throw to Maxwell Costes at first base.
On any other night, it would be a routine way to end the game — but tonight wasn’t any other night.
With the throw, Ryan Ramsey became the first Maryland baseball player to throw a perfect game since 1959.
“I thought about it all the time in high school, trying to get no-hitters, and I fell short a couple of times… You don’t think about it because you know, you’re a good pitcher, but these college hitters are still good. It takes a lot of command, but it’s a little bit of luck too, honestly,” Ramsey said.
Ramsey’s spotless evening helped the Terps stroll past the Wildcats in front of their home crowd in College Park, 13-0.
Ramsey, usually the Saturday starter, got the Friday night nod in order to take some pressure off of the struggling Nick Dean.
He remarked that the extra confidence boost from the change propelled not just him, but the team as a whole tonight.
“It’s great. [The coaches had] confidence in me, also confidence in all the guys for our offense. Putting up 13 runs tonight is no small feat. It’s really nice.” Ramsey said.
Ramsey clocked ten strikeouts without allowing a baserunner, a feat not soon to be forgotten.
On any other night, scoring 13 runs would certainly be the top takeaway for Maryland baseball. In the first, Chris Alleyne clobbered a homer over the left-center wall on the first pitch he saw.
In the bottom of the second, Maxwell Costes launched a shot of his own, straight over the center-field wall to put the Terps up 2-0.
Bobby Zmarzlak kept the trend going with a ball hit just over the left-center wall, good for the Terrapins’ third homer of the night.
Back-to-back singles brought Alleyne to the plate once again. He drove one right between third base and the shortstop to drive in another Maryland run.
The Terps led 4-0 through two innings.
In the bottom of the third, Kevin Keister stepped to the plate with runners on the corners and two outs. He dropped a single into center field to build on the lead, bringing Luke Shliger to the plate.
Shliger perfectly placed a ball that fell in front of right fielder Jay Beshears to bring in another run. With that hit, Northwestern pitcher Sean Sullivan was pulled from the game. He gave up six runs and nine hits in 2.2 innings pitched.
Alleyne moved to 3-3 on the night with a single that scored another run, good for his third RBI on the night.
Shliger scored on a wild pitch in the very next at-bat and Alleyne came home on a Nick Lorusso single, moving the Terrapin lead to nine.
Ian Petrutz and Keister walked in the fourth with two outs to cue another pitching change for Northwestern.
Lorusso, who appeared to be breaking out of a recent slump, slugged a homer to almost exactly the same spot as Alleyne’s first-inning shot in the bottom of the fifth.
Troy Schreffler became yet another Maryland starter to reach base with a double to deep left-center.He came home on a Costes double, extending the lead to eleven.
Bobby Zmarzlak towered a ball that landed near the left-field wall, allowing him to reach third on a triple and scoring Costes. With a single in the bottom of the seventh, Matt Shaw ensured that every Maryland starter collected a hit on the night.
Maryland led 13-0 through seven.
Ramsey sat down the side in the eighth, getting him within three outs from perfection.
“He was sitting right next to me and I wasn’t going to say a word to him,” said Alleyne on the mood in the dugout.“He was locked in. It was funny to kind of see him in his zone, so it was awesome to watch.”
Evan Minarovic flew out to Schreffler to start the inning and Ruben Fontes struck out to bring up Tommy D’Alise.
With D’Alise’s groundout, Ramsey made history. The rest of the team swarmed him in center field, a moment that will go down in Maryland baseball history.
With the victory, Maryland moved to 34-8 on the year and 10-3 in conference play.
“We just played a really good brand of baseball tonight. It’s easy to say that when you go out and have a perfect game, but that was just a really good performance,” coach Rob Vaughn said. “I think tonight was our potential. I think that’s about as good as we can be. Elite offense, elite defense, and obviously an elite arm on the mound. It just does a lot for us as we go into the rest of the weekend.”