COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Junior right-handed pitcher Brian Shaffer tied a career-high with 10 strikeouts over eight innings and the Terps offense scored five in the first two innings in a 7-2 win over No. 18 Michigan Friday night at Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium.
The Terrapins (14-7, 1-0 Big Ten) moved to 9-0 at home and have won 13 of their last 15 games overall. Sophomore Marty Costes and junior Justin Morris both slugged home runs in support of Shaffer, who now has double digit strikeouts in two consecutive games.
It was Costes that gave Maryland an early lead, lifting 1-1 pitch from Michigan ace Oliver Jaskie over the left field fence with two outs in the first. It was Costes’ third straight game with a homer.
Maryland did most of its damage in the second. Junior Kevin Smith opened the frame with a triple, before coming in to score on a Madison Nickens infield single. After Nickens stole second and Kevin Biondic struck out, sophomore AJ Lee reached on wild pitch after a strikeout, allowing Nickens to move to third.
Junior Justin Morris did the rest, crushing the first pitch he saw from Jaskie over the batters eye in center field for his second home run of the season. Michigan responded in the top half of the second. Michael Brdar doubled down the line in left to plate a pair of runners with two outs.
From there, Shaffer settled in. The junior right-hander set the Wolverines down in order three times after the third and worked well around runners in the other innings. His strikeout of Drew Lugbauer to end the eighth tied a career-high with 10.
Shaffer’s Big Ten lead in strikeouts expanded on the night as he now sits with 48 on the season, His ERA is 1.77.
The Terps added some insurance in the bottom half of the eighth. Costes opened the inning with a single before Will Watson reached on a fielder’s choice that saw Costes expunged at second. Smith was then intentionally walked and Nickens drew a walk to load the bases.
Biondic grounded a 2-2 pitch to the left side that allowed Watson to score, and Smith came in after Ako Thomas’s throw from second skipped past Jake Bivens at first.
Costes led the Terps offensively with two hits as his team-high average moved to .357. Maryland has now won three consecutive Big Ten home openers.
The Terps are back in action Saturday night at 7 p.m. against the Wolverines at Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium. BTN will broadcast the game nationally, and Terp fans can also listen live on the Maryland Baseball Network.