MORGANTOWN, W.Va – West Virginia held off a furious Maryland comeback and downed the Terps, 8-5, at Monongalia County Ballpark Tuesday night.
The Terrapins (19-24) fell behind 8-0, but rallied back and brought the tying run to the plate in the seventh inning. Maryland’s bullpen performed admirably in the loss, with four pitchers (Sean Fisher, Ryan Hill, Grant Burleson and John Murphy) combining to give up one earned run over six and two thirds.
Defensive miscues and a couple of hard hit balls off Maryland starter Billy Phillips led to the 8-0 deficit after two frames. All eight runs were Phillips’ responsibility, but three were unearned after Maryland made three errors in the first two innings.
The Maryland bullpen threw well and gave the offense a chance to rally, which it did in the sixth. Junior Nick Dunn led the inning off with a double before Kevin Biondic and Will Watson walked. Zach Jancarski then singled into right field to plate Biondic.
Junior Taylor Wright had the big hit of the inning, a bases clearing double down the right field line on a 3-2 pitch. Wright then came around to score on a wild pitch and throwing error from the catcher.
After right-hander Ryan Hill, who tossed two and a third scoreless, threw a scoreless bottom of the sixth, Maryland threatened again in the seventh. Dunn and AJ Lee walked to bring up Marty Costes, who represented the tying run. The threat was quelled when Costes and Lee went back to the dugout after a strike him out, throw him out.
West Virginia stretched the lead to 9-5 on a solo home run in the eighth.
Maryland returns to action this weekend at Nebraska. All three game can be heard live on the Maryland Baseball Network.