Maryland baseball got their home conference schedule opened up against Boston College Friday night, but were unable to get their offense going after a three-run first inning, as they fell to the Eagles 7-4.
The Terps were able to get the scoring going early, with a rally in the bottom of the first. Charlie White led off the inning with a line drive single to right, and Ryan Holland singled to center on the ninth pitch of his at-bat. Brandon Padula hit a slow roller to second, advancing both runners, and Tomo Delp walked to load the bases. Alfredo Rodriguez hit a grounder to short, which Brad Zapenas picked up on a sliding backhand, throwing the ball to second to get Delp on the fielder’s choice. White scored on the play, giving the Terps the lead. Rodriguez stole second without a throw, and Korey Wacker singled through the left side, scoring both Holland and A-Rod and ending Maryland’s scoring for the inning.
The Eagles responded with force in the top of the third. Left fielder Marc Perdios led off with a walk, and right fielder Mike Sudol followed up with a double over the head of Korey Wacker in center. Garret Smith lined it to left, where Brandon Padula (who occasionally plays DH) was unable to reach it, scoring Perdios. With runners on first and third and no outs, second baseman Matt Hamlet chopped a ground ball high to third, scoring Sudol. Smith, who was at first, seemingly thought the ball was caught in the air by Stinnett, and headed back to first base. The Terps got an easy double play as Stinnett threw out Hamlet at first and Delp simply tagged Smith for the out. Beck struck out Tom Bourdon swinging with a high fastball, keeping the score at 3-2 through one and a half.
Boston College pulled starting pitcher Andrew Lawrence after struggling in the first, bringing in Hunter Gordon in the second. Gordon and a few select members of the Boston College bullpen (Matt Alvarez, Matt Brazis, Steve Green, and Eric Stevens) combined to throw six hitless shutout innings from that point on, allowing the Eagle’s offense to take the lead.
“We have to be able to take a punch,” coach Erik Bakich said. “And we have to be able to understand that crap’s going to hit the fan in a baseball game, and we’ve got to be able to overcome that. We’ve got to be able to overcome some adversity in the course of a game, whatever it may be, and with our play be able to retake the lead and learn how to battle throughout the game. It’s easy to play when you’ve got a lead. We’ve got to learn how to overcome the adversities and the peaks and the valleys of the game.”
The Eagles took their first lead of the game in the fourth, as they rallied against Beck for two runs. After a Perdios ground out led off the inning, Mike Sudol sent a deep fly to right that cleared the wall, tying the game and giving him his second homer of the year. Smith followed up with a double, and Hamlet singled up the middle past a diving Holland, scoring Smith and giving BC the lead. After an errant pick-off throw from Beck moved Hamlet to third, Erik Bakich decided enough was enough, bringing in freshman Brady Kirkpatrick. The reliever struck out the next two batters, ending the threat and keeping the scoring at 4-3.
A Jack Cleary passed ball in the fifth scored Lawrence, giving the Eagles a 5-3 lead. In the eighth, Boston College scored again, as a two-out Tom Bourdon grounder to second ended up in an Eagles run after a bizarre series of events. Ryan Holland missed the tag on Hamlet, and Sudol rounded third to try to score. Holland made the throw to Cleary, but Sudol was able to dislodge the ball in the ensuing collision.
Holland ended Maryland’s hitless futility in the bottom of the eighth with a line drive shot to right center that easily cleared the fence for his first home run of the year, cutting BC’s lead to two.
“I just think we had the wrong approach,” Holland said about the Terps’ struggles at the plate. “We didn’t have the intensity or the drive to think we could come back. I think it’s just trust. Trusting that we’re a good team and that we can compete in this conference and I think that’ll definitely help us out.”
Sander Beck started the game for Maryland, and struggled after a strong first inning. The junior allowed four runs in 3 1/3 innings on six hits, but struck out five.
“Last week at Georgia Tech was the best I’d ever seen [Beck],” Bakich said. “He threw a ton of strikes, and tonight he was a little bit inconsistent in the strike zone. I think consistency is probably his biggest battle, and that we’re going to need him to be, is consistent.”
Brady Kirkpatrick did well in relief, allowing two runs in 4 2/3 innings and also striking out five.
Boston College used eight different pitchers on the night. Gordon was credited with the win, while Garret Smith got the save with a scoreless ninth.
Maryland continues the series tomorrow at 3 p.m. ET, as they try to move back to .500 on the year. David Carroll will be pitching tomorrow for the Terrapins.