Terps Drop Series Opener At #12 Miami, 4-1
March 23, 2012
CORAL GABLES, Fla. - Twelfth-ranked Miami used an opportunistic offensive attack and a solid outing from starting pitcher Eric Erickson to take a 4-1 victory over Maryland in the team's series opener Friday night.
The Terrapins (15-8, 1-6 ACC) surrendered just five hits in the game, but issued a season-high eight walks, while Miami (18-4, 6-1 ACC) didn't issue any.
Erickson pitched seven strong innings, spreading out five hits and allowing just one run. The sixth-year lefthander also struck out five without issuing a walk.
Maryland starter Brady Kirkpatrick lasted just 2 1/3 innings, getting knocked out of the game in a wild third inning.
With one out and a runner on first, Miami's Tyler Palmer put down a bunt in an attempt to move the runner up. The bunt came right back to Kirkpatrick, though, who turned and threw high to second baseman Kyle Convissar. Convissar had to jump off the base to make the catch, but appeared to come down and touch it before the runner reached. The umpires, though, ruled the runner safe, putting men on first and second.
Kirkpatrick then issued a walk to Dale Carey that load the bases, and Miami catcher Peter O'Brien followed with a two-run single to left field that made it 2-0 Hurricanes. With runners on the corners and still just one out, Kirkpatrick made a quick pickoff move to first and was called for a balk, allowing Carey to score from third.
Michael Boyden came on in relief and escaped further damage by recording two strikeouts, and the Terps rallied for a run the next half inning.
Convissar led off the fourth with a single to left center and Tim Kiene was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second. After a wild pitch moved both runners up, K.J. Hockaday singled to left field to make it 3-1 with no outs and two men on. But Erickson struck out Michael Montville and got Tomo Delp to ground into a 5-4-3 double play to end the inning.
Erickson then set down the side in order in the fifth and sixth, quashing Maryland's momentum.
Another free pass, meanwhile, led to Miami's fourth run. Boyden issued a leadoff walk to Rony Rodriguez to start the sixth, and after Rodriguez stole second, Stephen Perez drove him in with a single to center field.
Erickson (4-2) was credited with the win, while Kirkpatrick (1-3) took the loss. Boyden logged 5 2/3 innings, striking out six and allowing just two hits, but didn't factor into the decision. Miami closer E.J. Encinosa pitched a perfect ninth for his seventh save of the season.
The Terps and Hurricanes square off in game two of the three-game set Saturday at 7 p.m.
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