April 24, 2013
TOWSON, Md. - LaMonte Wade hit Maryland's first grand slam since 2009 and the Terps held off a ninth-inning rally by Towson to defeat the Tigers, 16-15, Wednesday at Schuerholz Park. The Terps (23-20) benefited from 11 walks and four hit batters by the Tigers' pitchers.
Maryland tacked on what appeared to be an inconsequential run in the ninth to increase its lead to four. But the Terps needed all of those runs to hold off a ninth-inning rally by the Tigers (19-20). Towson scored three runs, two of which came on an error, but Kevin Mooney stayed composed and got a strikeout and a ground stranding the tying run at third.
For Mooney, it is his seventh save of the season, which is tied for the fourth most in a single season in school history. Brandon Casas earned the win out of the bullpen and improved to 3-2.
Wade's third inning grand slam served as the offensive highlight in a game full of big hits. The freshman took a 3-1 pitch the opposite way for his first career home run and the first grand slam by a Terrapin since Dan Benick hit one at Virginia on April 4, 2009.
Wade added another RBI to finish with five, which is tied as the highest total by a Terp this season. Jack Cleary, Kevin Martir and Charlie White each had two hits. Jose Cuas had three RBI apiece, while Cleary added two.
Towson opened the scoring Wednesday afternoon. After Terrapin starter Jake Drossner struck out two of the first three Tigers' batters, Towson started its running game. Pat Fitzgerald stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error. Peter Bowles singled Fitzgerald home followed by a single from Kurt Wertz to put runners at the corners. Towson then pulled off the double steal to score its second and final run of the inning.
In the bottom of the second, Towson tacked on three more runs, all of which were unearned. The big hit in the inning came courtesy of Fitzgerald. With one run already across in the inning, Fitzgerald took a 1-2 pitch and drove it over the left-field fence putting Towson up 5-0.
Trailing by five runs, Maryland got them all back in the third. Cuas led off the inning and reached on an error by the third baseman. Towson starter Nik Nowottnick then issued consecutive walks to load the bases for Wade. On a 3-1 count, Wade went with the pitch and drove it the other way for a grand slam.
Martir, Anthony Papio and Cleary all were issued free passes to load the bases once again. With Amaro at the plate, he grounded into a 6-3 double play, which scored Martir to tie the game heading into the bottom of the inning.
Drossner retired the Tigers in order in the third to get the Terps back in the dugout. In the top of the fourth, Maryland grabbed the lead. Following a White single and a Jordan Hagel double, Wade picked up his fifth RBI and brought White home on a ground out to second.
After Drossner tossed his second-straight scoreless inning, the Terps took a two-run lead in the fifth. The bases became loaded once again after two walks and a hit-by-pitch. Cuas made a bid at Maryland's second grand slam of the afternoon, but the ball fell just short landing at the warning track in right field. All of the runners moved up including Papio from third to give the Terps a 7-5 lead.
Towson scored three runs in the bottom of the inning to regain the lead. The Tigers got a double and a single to start off the inning and cut the lead to one on a RBI single from Wertz, which took a bad hop and glanced off of Cuas' shoulder. A two-out walk loaded the bases and with Casas in from the bullpen the Tigers took the lead with a two-RBI single to right from Kurtis Voytell.
The see-saw game continued in the next half-inning. Maryland surged in front with six runs on five hits in the sixth. Cleary got the rally started with a bases-loaded single that just cleared the shortstop to tie the game at eight. Amaro put the Terps back in front working a seven-pitch walk.
Schmit then beat out a grounder to short, which prevented a double play as the Terps increased their lead to 10-8. Two pitches later, Cuas laced a pitch down the left-field line for a double scoring Cleary and Schmit all the way from first. On the throw home, Cuas moved up to third. White then hit a sharp grounder to short, which took a tough bounce over the fielder's shoulder allowing Cuas to score the sixth run of the frame.
In the bottom of the inning, Towson trimmed the deficit to two on the back of a three-run homer from Bowles. But Maryland extended its lead to four with two runs in the top of the seventh. Wade broke home on a slow roller to the left of the pitcher's mound and scored, and Amaro beat out a bunt to score Martir.
Maryland added one more run in the ninth to tie its season-high total 16. The Terps scored 16 runs at George Mason on April 10.
Maryland returns to ACC action on Friday as it travels to Durham to being a three-game series against Duke. All three games are scheduled for 1 p.m.