COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Four Maryland pitchers combined to strikeout 17 hitters and help propel the Terps past Massachusetts, 3-2 in 10 innings, Sunday afternoon at Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium to complete a series sweep.
The 17 strikeouts are the most by a Terrapin pitching staff since fanning 19 against Army on Feb. 25, 2011, and helped extend Maryland’s winning streak to seven. The victory also earned head coach John Szefc his 250th career win.
For the third consecutive Sunday, right hander Jared Price drew the start. The sophomore struck out a career-high 10 and held the Minutemen to four hits and two runs over six innings. Price departed in the eighth and handed the game over to the bullpen, which pitched four innings of one-hit ball and struck out seven.
Ben Brewster pitched a perfect eighth with two strikeouts and made way for Bobby Ruse in the ninth. Ruse struck out three in 1-2/3 innings. Alex Robinson pitched a perfect 10th inning with two strikeouts to earn his first win of the season.
After Robinson retired UMass (0-6) in order, the Terps (8-2) loaded the bases after back-to-back singles from Charlie White and LaMonte Wade, and Anthony Papio took first after being hit by a pitch. Mike Rescigno stepped in and hit a slow roller towards second base, but White beat the throw to the plate to give the Terps a walk-off win.
“It wasn’t a real pretty win, but you’re going to have some ugly wins and you’d much rather win ugly than lose, certainly at home,” said head coach John Szefc. “It’s good to see guys hang in there. The fact that Charlie [White] was able to have a really quality at-bat against a left-handed arm when we needed him to and then LaMonte [Wade] did the same thing.”
For the second time in the series, Maryland scored in its first at-bat. Wade and Anthony Papio reached on singles and moved into scoring position. After Rescigno walked to load the bases, Cieri hit a sacrifice fly to deep center to bring Wade home. Schmit followed with a single through the left side to score Papio and give the Terps a 2-0 lead.
After the first, Massachusetts starter Mike Geannelis settled in and held Maryland to three hits over the next three innings. Aaron Plunkett took over in the fifth and kept the Terps off the board over the next five innings, but was charged with the loss.
UMass scored a run in the third and tied the game in the fourth after loading the bases with no outs. But Price buckled down and stuck out two of the next three batters to keep the game tied.
“It was a good start,” said Szefc. “Two runs in six innings, but that was probably the biggest point in the game where he was able to minimize that inning. Normally when you don’t get an out on a bunt you give up three. He gave up one. In theory, that was a minor win in that inning just only giving up one run and then he really settled back into being Jared Price after that.”
Maryland is back in action on Tuesday when it travels to Richmond to take on VCU at 3 p.m.