BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The fourth-seeded Maryland baseball team's late comeback was quelled in a 6-5 defeat to seventh-seeded Northwestern in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals Sunday morning at Bart Kaufman Field.
The Terrapins (37-21) fell behind 6-0 after two innings before coming all the way back to make it 6-5 in the eighth. The Terps had the bases loaded with nobody out in that frame, but could not bring the tying run across.
Northwestern's three first innings runs came on one swing, a Jack Claeys three-run homer off Terrapin starter Hunter Parsons. The Wildcats would chase Parsons in the following frame with three more runs, two scoring on a Jack Dunn single.
Maryland rode the arm of RHP Ryan Selmer for five and two thirds of an inning. The redshirt junior was solid, allowing just one run and giving the Maryland offense a chance to get back into the game.
The Terps' bats did just that in the seventh. Kevin Smith opened the inning with a single before Dan Maynard walked. After Zach Jancarski walked to load the bases, Brandon Gum uncorked a grand slam to center field to make the score 6-4. It was the first grand slam of the year for the Terrapins.
Maryland continued to rally in the eighth. AJ Lee walked to starting the inning, before consecutive infield singles from Will Watson and Kevin Smith with Smith's coming on a beautiful bunt down the third base line. Maynard then walked to score a run, but Nick Cieri's pop out and a double play ended the frame.
Maryland was unable to get anything going in the top of the ninth after RHP Taylor Bloom retired the side in the eighth. Maryland has now made a conference tournament semifinal in four consecutive seasons.
The Terrapins await their NCAA Tournament fate on Monday. Fans can watch the NCAA Selection Show on ESPN2 at noon.