After losing two of three road games against the Alabama Crimson Tide, the Terps had their first home stand of the 2016 season against the Rhode Island Rams. This is the first regular season series played at the newly renovated Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium.
The first matchup of the three game series was a pitcher’s duel, with a combined five hits between the two teams. Maryland starting pitcher, Mike Shawaryn, pitched eight scoreless innings, did not walk any batter, and only gave up one hit to the Rams on Friday afternoon. Shawaryn did allow another base runner with a hit by pitch in the fourth inning.
The Terps only, and game winning, run came in the fourth inning after an errant throw by shortstop Kevin Hess to first base that allowed Kevin Smith to make it home. Maryland would only get one more hit for the remainder of the game, but with the strong pitching effort of Shawaryn and closer Ryan Selmer no more hits were needed as they held on for the 1-0 victory.
Another low scoring affair took place in College Park the following afternoon, as the Terps fell to Rhode Island 2-1. Maryland sophomore pitcher Taylor Bloom went seven innings allowing nine hits and the two runs for Rhode Island. Kevin Smith, the lone Terp to score in the game on Friday, was fortunate enough that the sun got in the eyes of right fielder Mike Foley and the ball was dropped and allowed Nick Dunn to score the run. Maryland couldn’t create anymore offense, leaving six runners on base and only mustering three hits after the third inning.
Offense took a back seat in the first two games, but in the rubber match on Sunday afternoon, the bats were flying for both clubs. Maryland’s amount of home runs in the game on Sunday matched the runs combined by the teams in the first two games. After being down 7-2 going into the bottom of the fifth, Maryland went through the entire rotation and ripped off an eight-run inning to take the lead. The Terps blasted two homers, including a grand slam by junior Nick Cieri that gave the Terps the one-run advantage going into the sixth. Justin Morris, Madison Nickens, and Kevin Biondic all tallied homers as well.
— DeMatha Baseball (@DeMathaBaseball) February 29, 2016
Pitching was at a premium on Sunday, with both teams going through a total of eleven different pitchers and only one of those pitchers pitching more than three innings. Starting pitcher for the Terps, Brian Shaffer only went 2.1 innings, while giving up four runs. Each of the six of Rhode Island pitchers that went into the game gave up at least one run, a recipe for disaster for the Rams. Maryland would outlast the Rams in the offensive explosion and take the series with a 13-10 win.
The Terps are now 3-3 on the season, and will travel to Delaware on Tuesday to take on the Blue Hens before travelling down to Greenville, North Carolina this weekend to take part in the 13th annual Keith LeClair Classic.