COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The Maryland baseball team scored four runs in the first inning and didn not look back in an 8-3 victory over Penn State at Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium Saturday afternoon.
The Terrapins (23-11, 8-3 Big Ten) secured their fourth home series victory and are now 14-1 at home. That is the best home start for Maryland since 1981 (15-1). Junior Will Watson and sophomore Nick Dunn led the offense with three hits apiece. Watson also added three RBIs.
Maryland’s offense jumped on Penn State starter Justin Hagenman in the first. Junior Zach Jancarski led the game off with a single to left before stealing second. Sophomore Marty Costes followed with a walk to set up Dunn’s opposite field RBI single.
After a double steal moved both runners into scoring position, Watson ripped a double into the gap in left center to score Costes and Dunn. Watson continued the parade on the base paths by stealing third. Senior Madison Nickens slapped a single up the middle to bring home his fellow Louisiana native.
Maryland starter, freshman left-hander Tyler Blohm, sparkled for most of the day and ended up tying career highs in innings pitched (7.0) and strikeouts (8). Blohm ran into small trouble in the fourth and fifth, as Penn State plated its runs between those two frames.
The Severna Park, Md., native’s most impressive feat of the day came in the third. The Nittany Lions loaded the bases with nobody out before Blohm retired the next three batter to escape unscathed. The freshman retired the final eight batters he faced in the contest.
Maryland added another run on a Watson RBI base knock that scored Costes in the third. Junior Kevin Smith’s sac fly in the fifth provided more cushion for Blohm. Maryland’s final two runs came on a would-be Brandon Gum RBI groundout (the senior would reach on an error by the shortstop on the play) and a Costes sac fly, both in the sixth.
Junior right-hander Jamal Wade notched three up, three down innings in the eighth and ninth to secure the win.
In total, Maryland’s offense pounded out 10 hits. The Terps were aggressive on the base paths throughout, and ended the day with seven steals – a season high.
The Terrapins and Nittany Lions contest the final game of their three-game set Sunday afternoon at Bob “Turtle” Stadium. Action is set to get underway at 1 p.m., and the action can be seen live on BTN Plus. Fans can also listen to the action live on the Maryland Baseball Network.