CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – The Maryland baseball team scored four runs in the top of the ninth to tie its game with Illinois, but ultimately fell 8-6 after a walk-off homer in the bottom half of the frame at Illinois Field Sunday afternoon.
The Terrapins (31-15, 14-7 Big Ten) fell behind 4-0 after five innings and 6-2 after seven before clawing back and tying the game on junior Will Watson' two-run shot in the ninth. Mark Skonieczny's two-run shot off Andrew Miller in the ensuing half inning ended the game.
Illinois' 4-0 was built on a Michael Massey solo shot in the second and a three-run bottom of the fifth. That three-run frame chased starter Taylor Bloom, who lasted four and a third innings.
Maryland's first run of the ballgame came from Watson's solo home run in the sixth. The Terps plated another run when Zach Jancarski grounded into a fielder's choice and Dan Maynard scored in the seventh. Illinois responded with a two-run homer off the bat of Pat McInerney in the bottom half.
The Terps loaded the bases with one down in the eighth, but Maynard and Kevin Smith struck out to end the threat.
A pair of walks issued to Nick Cieri and Zack Jancarski started the Terps threat before Brandon Gum's fielder's choice that saw Jancarski put out at second. Sophomore Nick Dunn then doubled off the wall in right to plate both runners on base.
Watson followed with his second home run of the game to tie it, a line drive shot over the fence in right center. Illinois would then see the first runner of the bottom of the ninth reach on Jamal Wade before Szkoniezny's homer with two down off Miller.
Maryland returns to action Tuesday in a home affair with UMBC. Action is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m., and fans can follow the action live on BTN Plus or the Maryland Baseball Network.