ABERDEEN, Md. – Maryland came up with four two-out run scoring hits and the Terrapin pitching staff held Towson to one hit in the final four innings as the Terps came from two runs down to defeat the Tigers, 4-3, Wednesday night at Ripken Stadium to capture the inaugural Ripken Cup.
The Terps (30-19) received clutch two-out RBI hits from Nick Cieri, Tim Lewis, Anthony Papio and Blake Schmit to knock off the Tigers (20-24) and paired it with a strong pitching effort. Starter Tayler Stiles rebounded from a three-run third and held Towson to two hits over the next three innings to improve to 3-2.
With the win, Maryland eclipsed 30 wins for the third straight season and has matched its win total from 2013. Head coach John Szefc also became the first Maryland head coach to record back-to-back 30-win seasons.
The decisive hit of the night came from Lewis. With two outs in the fifth and runners at the corners, Lewis hit a chopper back up the middle and just past the second baseman to bring home Brandon Lowe and put the Terps up one.
Ben Brewster entered in the seventh and pitched 1-1/3 innings of scoreless relief striking out three of the five batters he faced. Kevin Mooney recorded the final two outs in the eighth and pitched a perfect ninth to earn his ninth save of the season matching his total from 2013.
Maryland tied the game with two runs in the fourth off three hits and benefited from two Tiger errors. With one out, Schmit, who finished 2-for-4, doubled down the line in left and advanced to third on a fielding error at second that allowed Lewis to reach base.
After Mike Rescigno reached on a fielder’s choice, Cieri slapped a pitch past the diving third baseman to score Schmit. Papio followed and drove a 2-0 pitch to left to plate Rescigno and tie the game.
The Tigers took a two-run lead in the third after starting the inning with an infield single and a bunt single. With Tigers at the corners and two outs, Peter Bowles singled home a run. Kurt Wertz followed and drove a 1-1 pitch off the wall in right to plate two.
The Terps opened the scoring in their first at-bat. Again with two outs, Jose Cuas singled through the left side of the infield moving Lowe to second. Schmit then hit a laser off the glove of the third baseman that rolled into left field for a double allowing Lowe to score.
The Terps enter the weekend winners of five in a row. They are next in action at Pittsburgh in their final ACC series. The three-game series is scheduled to begin Friday at 6 p.m. Game two is set for Saturday at 3 p.m. with the series finale scheduled for 1 p.m. Sunday.