BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The Maryland baseball team went 1-1 on day two of the Big Ten Tournament Thursday at Bart Kaufman Field. The Terps dropped its opener, 9-8, to fifth-seeded Iowa before taking out eight-seeded Purdue in an elimination game.
The Terrapins (35-20, 15-9 Big Ten) move on to face the loser of Friday's winners bracket between Iowa and top-seeded Nebraska. First pitch of Maryland's game will be at 8:30 p.m.
Junior Kevin Smith hit a three-run, bases clearing double to give Maryland a lead it wouldn't relinquish in a 5-2 win over Purdue Thursday night.
The Terps and Boilermakers had played an even game up until Smith's two-out hit in the eighth inning. Sophomore John Murphy tossed three innings of scoreless relief to earn his first career victory at Maryland.
Maryland grabbed the lead in the top of the second. Sophomore AJ Lee stroked a single to right center to open the frame before stealing second with two down. Senior Madison Nickens then slapped a single to right field to plate Lee. Junior Justin Morris followed with a double into the right center gap for plate Nickens.
From there, junior right-hander Taylor Bloom was effective for the majority of his five innings of work. Purdue tied the game in the fifth, with two runs helped on by three Maryland errors. Bloom was bounced in the sixth, but Murphy struck out the side to end the inning.
Murphy continued to work in the seventh and once again got out of a jam. That set up the Terps' big inning. Senior Brandon Gum and sophomore Marty Costes walked to start the frame, before moving over on Nick Dunn's sac bunt. After Will Watson struck out, Smith took a 1-1 pitch down the left field line to clear the bases and give the Terps a 5-2 lead.
Murphy then worked a clean eighth. The sophomore struck out a career-high six batters over his three frames. Redshirt junior Ryan Selmer finished the game off in the ninth to earn his eighth save.
In a game that featured six home runs and 27 combined hits, the Terrapins fell 9-8 to Iowa in their opening round game of the Big Ten Tournament.
Maryland fell being 6-1 after two and a half innings before storming back to take a 7-6 lead after four. Iowa then took an 8-7 lead into the seventh, but the Terrapins responded with a run in the seventh to tie it. Iowa struck last with a single run in the ninth to take the ballgame.
Iowa's four-run second started off the scoring before senior Nick Cieri put Maryland on the board in the bottom half with a single that scored AJ Lee. After Iowa scored two more in the third, Maryland plated three in their half. Gun and Costes singled in back-to-back at bats to set up Dunn, who unleashed a towering three-run home run to left field. It was the fourth of Dunn's season.
Justin Morris' two run homer and Gum's RBI single gave Maryland the lead after four. Iowa scored two runs in the next two innings to retake the lead. Costes then led off the seventh with his tenth home run to make it 8-8. The Terps had their best opportunity to take the lead in the eighth, but stranded the bases loaded.
Iowa then rallied to a run in the ninth to take the win.
Maryland's eight runs,15 hits and three home runs are their most ever in the Big Ten Tournament game.
Maryland returns to action Friday night in an elimination game against either Nebraska or Iowa. First pitch is set for 8:30 p.m. and the game can be seen on the Maryland Baseball Network.