Terps Blast Their Way Past No. 21 Florida, 9-7

Maryland Athletics
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. The Maryland baseball team received a superb start from freshman Mike Shawaryn and pounded out 13 hits including solo home runs from Brandon Lowe and Anthony Papio to knock off No. 21 Florida, 9-7, Saturday afternoon at McKethan Stadium.

The Maryland offense (1-1) came to life a day after only totaling three hits against the Gators (1-1) led by Lowe and Papio who each recorded three hits. Lowe scored three runs and drove in two, while Papio scored three times with one RBI. Charlie White went 2-for-4 with two RBI and one run.

Making his first collegiate start, Shawaryn kept the Gators in check for most of the day. The Carneys Point, N.J., native held Florida to one earned run on three hits with three strikeouts over 5-2/3 innings and at one point retired nine straight Gators to earn the win.

The Terps wasted no time on Saturday and jumped on freshman righty Brett Morales in their first at bat. White started the game with a single to right and moved to second after Lowe drew a four-pitch walk. Following a sacrifice bunt by LaMonte Wade, Kevin Martir drove them home with a two-RBI double down the right field line. The sophomore catcher is 3-for-8 this weekend with two doubles and two RBI.

In the Terrapin second, Papio led off the inning with a stand-up double down the right field line. After moving to third on a Jose Cuas sacrifice, Andrew Amaro, who finished 2-for-4, lined the first pitch back up the middle to score Papio and give the Terps a 3-0 lead.

After a quiet third inning, the Terps struck again in the fourth. Nick Cieri drilled a double to the right field corner to open the inning. Two batters later, Cieri stole third, while Cuas walked and promptly stole second. With two outs, White singled to score Cieri and Lowe followed with a chopper over the drawn in third baseman to score Cuas.

The Terps added another run in the top of the sixth inning. Papio smashed a 2-2 pitch over the wall in right center for his first home run of the season and fourth of his career to extend the Terrapin lead to 6-0. But the Gators struck back in the bottom half of the inning.

After recording two outs to start the frame, Shawaryn issued a walk and gave up a single to end his afternoon. Tayler Stiles entered from the bullpen and hit Peter Alonso to load the bases. With Justin Shafer at the plate, Stiles uncorked a wild pitch scoring a Gator run and moving all of the runners up. Shafer then reached on a fielding error by Cuas to score Florida’s second run. The Gators scored their third run on a RBI single from Braden Mattson.

Maryland and Florida traded runs in the seventh inning. In the top of the inning with runners at second and third, Blake Schmit perfectly executed a suicide squeeze to score Lowe and give the Terps a 7-3 lead. In the bottom of the inning, the Gators got it back on a wild pitch.

White extended the Terrapin lead back to four in the top of the eighth when he beat out a potential double play scoring Papio. But in the bottom of the inning, the Gators began to chip away at the deficit. The Florida rally began with two outs and nobody on. The Gators gained two base runners with a hit-by-pitch and a walk. Florida then strung together three consecutive singles to tally three runs and trim the Maryland lead to 8-7.

With the momentum in the Gators’ corner, Lowe blasted a 2-2 pitch over the wall in right center to lead off the inning to give the Terps some breathing room. In the bottom of the ninth, Kevin Mooney retired the Gators in order for his 10th career save.

Morales was charged with the loss for the Gators. Maryland and Florida concluded the three-game series Sunday. First pitch is set for noon at McKethan Stadium.