Terps Rally Over #19 Virginia in the 9th, 6-5
May 19, 2012
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Given the situation - two outs in the bottom of the ninth, trailing by one with a runner on - there was perhaps no better player fit to be at the plate.
Alfredo Rodriguez, starter of the last 177 games at shortstop, dropped a single in to right field to score Kyle Convissar, and Jordan Hagel followed with a run-scoring double to lift Maryland over No. 19 Virginia in the regular-season finale Saturday afternoon at Bob "Turtle" Smith Stadium.
Rodriguez was honored prior to the game along with seven other seniors, including David Carroll and Sander Beck, who led the effort on the mound as Maryland earned its 10th win over a ranked team this season.
The win was a fitting end to the regular season for a senior class that led the Terrapins to their second-most wins in school history. Maryland finished outside the top eight for a spot in the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament, but remained eligible for an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. That field will be selected Monday, May 28 in a selection show aired on ESPNU at noon.
Whether or not they make that field, the progress made in season three under Erik Bakich was evident. The Terps are 32-24 and 10-20 in the ACC, improving their win total by 11 from a year ago.
Carroll turned in a splendid effort in his final home start, going 7 2/3 innings and allowing four runs while dueling with Virginia starter Artie Lewicki. Lewicki held Maryland to three hits in 6 2/3 innings while striking out five and retired 16 in a row between the second and the sixth.
But trailing 2-1 in the seventh, Maryland rallied for three runs to take the lead. Tomo Delp hit a bases-loaded infield single to tie it, and pinch-hitter Greg Olenski laced a single up the middle to score two and give the Terps a 4-2 lead.
The lead wouldn't last long, as Virginia put together a two-out rally in the eighth to tie it, and the Cavaliers edged ahead 5-4 in the top of the ninth on Jared King's RBI double.
Still, there was no quit in Maryland, even after a heart-breaking loss Friday night that saw the Terps surrender a one-run lead in the ninth inning.
Convissar led off the bottom of the ninth with a double, and after a sacrifice bunt and groundout put Maryland an out away from a loss, Rodriguez delivered the clutch, game-tying hit.
Hagel's double was equally as clutch, with the count going full before he ripped a double down the left-field line. It was enough to score the speedy Rodriguez all the way from first and lift Maryland to a dramatic win.
Beck (6-2) was credited with the win while Virginia closer Justin Thompson (4-3) took the loss.
Hagel finished the day 2-for-5 and hit .317 in 56 games, second on the team behind only fellow junior Jack Cleary, who hit .319. Freshman K.J. Hockaday was 1-for-3 on the day and has a .305 batting average.
Prior to the game, Maryland held its Senior Day ceremony for Beck, Carroll, Rodriguez, Michael Boyden, Tomo Delp, Aaron Etchison, Ryan Holland, and Korey Wacker. Fifth-year senior Brett Harman, also playing in his final home series, had participated in his Senior Day ceremony last year.
Follow Maryland Baseball on Twitter