March 3, 2017 || National Training Complex || 4:30 p.m.
CARY, N.C. – The Maryland baseball team rallied with two runs in the ninth inning to push past Notre Dame, 4-3, in game one of the USA Baseball-Irish Classic at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, N.C., Friday afternoon.
The Terrapins (2-5) led until the bottom of the seventh inning, when Notre Dame plated three runs to take a 3-2 lead. Maryland then found enough offense in its final half inning to retake the advantage. Senior Brandon Gum led the offense, reaching base all five times he came to the plate.
Junior right-handed pitcher Brian Shaffer was masterful for most of his outing, tying a career-high with eight strikeouts and giving up just one earned run. Junior RHP Ryan Hill earned the first win of his career with an inning and a third of scoreless relief and redshirt junior Ryan Selmer notched the first save of his season.
Maryland jumped on top with a run in the top half of the first. Senior Nick Cieri slapped a double down the right field line with two outs to drive in junior Zach Jancarski, who had reached on a lead-off single to right-center.
From there, the contest turned into a dual between Shaffer and Notre Dame starter Brandon Bielak. Shaffer was dominant in the middle innings and ended up giving up just five hits. Maryland threatened Bielak on multiple occasions, but the Notre Dame right-hander did a solid job putting up zeros through his six innings pitched.
The Terps plated a run off Notre Dame reliever Cameron Brown in the seventh when Gum walked with the bases loaded to bring home AJ Lee. Notre Dame responded with three runs of their own in the bottom half, using small ball to score runs against Shaffer and reliever Andrew Miller.
After Hill worked a scoreless inning in the eighth, Maryland rallied in the ninth. After Jancarski reached on an error, junior Nick Dunn walked before both runners moved up on a wild pitch. Notre Dame’s Sean Guenther then intentionally walked Marty Costes to set up Gum, who singled into the gap in right-center to plate Jancarski.
Dan Maynard, pinch hitting for Justin Morris, who had replaced Cieri behind the plate, send a sac fly to left to bring home Dunn and give Maryland the lead. Selmer then worked a clean ninth to seal the game.
Maryland returns to the diamond Saturday afternoon against No. 6 NC State at the National Training Complex in Cary. First pitch is set for 4:30 and coverage can be heard live on the Maryland Baseball Network.