By Frederik Wolfe
Matt Shaw capped off an impressive weekend with another multi-home run game as Maryland beat Michigan Sunday afternoon,15-10, to complete the three-game sweep.
Shaw hit two home runs in the game. This brought his tally to six homers on the weekend and makes him the home run leader in the Big Ten conference with 19 homers — breaking the tie with teammate Chris Alleyne, who hit one home run in the game to give him 18 on the season.
“The team this weekend as a whole came together completely,” said Ian Petrutz, who also hit a home run in the game. “We’ve been waiting for it to fully come together with defense, pitching and offense. And I think this weekend really showed how good we can be.”
This win ties Maryland and Rutgers for first place in the Big Ten. Maryland and Rutgers both have three conference games remaining — with the Terps taking on Purdue in a three-game series next weekend.
“They’ve just done a good job of taking it one day at a time,” said coach Rob Vaughn, “I told them ‘to accomplish the things we want to accomplish, we’ve got to show up every single day and worry about James Madison on Tuesday, and then we’ll turn our attention to Purdue.’”
Nick Dean started the game on the mound for Maryland, facing off against right-handed pitcher Chase Allen.
Michigan struck first early, with an RBI line drive single up the middle from Jimmy Obertop to score Joe Stewart from second, putting the Wolverines up 1-0.
Allen ran into trouble in the first inning as well, loading the bases with only one out off of a single and two walks. However, he got out of the early jam unscathed thanks to a called strike three and a foul ball popout to end the inning.
Michigan struck again in the top of the fourth inning, when Riley Bertram hit a double off the center field wall to score Tito Flores from second base to put Michigan ahead 2-0.
Maryland continued to fall flat on offense, stranding seven runners in the first four innings and nothing to show for it.
Michigan notched another run in the fifth inning when Matt Frey hit a sacrifice fly to left to score Clark Elliot from third.
Maryland turned on its offense in the fifth inning.
Nick Lorusso hit a two-run home run and Shaw backed him up with a solo shot to right field to tie up the game.
Petrutz then proceeded to send a no-doubter three-run home run to right field, set up by singles from Maxwell Costes and Bobby Zmarzlak to put the Terps ahead 6-3.
Michigan decided to switch things up, sending in pitcher Noah Rennard, who started Friday night’s game — replacing Chase Allen who tallied nine hits and 92 pitches in just over four innings pitched.
The pitching change wouldn’t stop the Terps.
“Once we go we don’t stop,” said Petrutz, “and that’s kind of been our whole process as a whole.”
Chris Alleyne proceeded to hit a two-run home run to continue the Terps’ offensive barrage after Luke Shliger reached first on a walk.
Michigan then brought in right-handed pitcher Willie Weiss, who finally ended the long inning by striking out Matt Shaw, but not before the Terps had tallied eight runs.
Michigan responded in the sixth with a leadoff home run by Joey Velazquez.
After a double and a walk put runners on first and second with two outs, Nick Dean would leave the game in the sixth inning after giving up eight hits and four earned runs in five and two-thirds innings pitched.
Maryland continued the offensive onslaught into the sixth inning with a two-out rally stretching three pitchers that resulted in four runs, punctuated by a three-run homer by Luke Shliger.
Shaw notched his second home run of the game in the bottom of the seventh, this time a two-run shot to right-center field. Troy Schreffler would score from third on a bases-loaded double play to make the score 15-4.
“We’re very process oriented and we’ve been that way the whole season. So we were able to come out here and kind of do the same thing we’ve been been doing all year,” said Shaw about the team’s offensive performance during the weekend. “I think we’ve hit all year and this weekend we just took a couple extra swings.”
Sean Heine came in to close out the game, yet loaded the bases with one out off two walks and a single. Bertran stepped up to the plate and hit a double up the center, scoring two. The next batter, Ted Burton, hit a base clearing double to score two more.
Jake Marti would ground out to second, making it two outs. Clark Elliot then stepped up and hit a two-run homer.
Heine was promptly pulled and replaced by Lorusso, the third baseman, who ended the game on a groundout.
The Terps look ahead, hosting James Madison on Tuesday and playing their final series next weekend at Purdue where they will battle to pass Rutgers in the standings and secure first place in the Big Ten.