An unconventional balk in the bottom of the seventh gave Maryland a 4-3 victory in the second game of their three-game weekend set against Boston College Saturday afternoon. It was Maryland’s first conference win of the season.
After the Terps loaded the bases against Nate Bayuk in the seventh inning Eagles’ head coach Mike Gambino brought in Eric Stevens. The freshman promptly dropped the ball in the middle of his delivery, scoring Jack Cleary and giving the Terps a lead they would hold over the next two innings.
“It was certainly a grind, today was not easy,” coach Erik Bakich said. “It was a battle back and forth the whole way through, and I thought we put ourselves in a deficit by some mistakes that we made, but I think the baseball gods rewarded us in the seventh.”
David Carroll (4-1) started the game for Maryland on the mound, and struck out a season-high six in seven innings, allowing three runs (one earned) and getting the win.
“Today, the offspeed stuff [was working for me],” Carroll said. “I was able to locate those for strikes pretty early in the count, and got some first pitch fastballs as well.”
“[Carroll] grinded his way through some tough innings, and actually pitched very well,” Bakich said. “Most teams don’t hit him very hard, especially when he’s throwing strikes down in the strike zone. He was very effective.”
Boston College took the lead early, taking an advantage of a Maryland blunder in the top of the first. Shortstop Brad Zapenas led off the inning with a single up the middle and stole second. Andrew Lawrence struck out, and Anthony Melchionda grounded to third, advancing the runner. Matt Watson walked on four pitches, putting runners on the corners with two outs. Carroll tried the old double pickoff move, faking to third before throwing to first, but the ball went off Tomo Delp’s glove, scoring Zapenas.
The Eagles were able to extend their lead in the second, after a Tom Bourdon single to the right side scored Mike Sudol, who had reached base on a lead-off single of his own.
Maryland was able to get a run back in the third with a two-out rally. After Alfredo Rodriguez and Korey Wacker both lined out, Cleary was hit by a pitch. Charlie White singles to the right side, advancing Cleary to second, and Ryan Holland floated a single in to left field just in front of Perdios, scoring Cleary. At that point, Boston College brought in Nate Bayuk, who retired Brandon Padula on a groundout to end the inning.
In the fourth, Maryland scored two to take their first lead of the game. Delp led off the inning with a single to the left side, and Matt Marquis lined out to left. The Terps then executed a perfect hit-and-run, as Kyle Convissar poked the ball through the right side, where Matt Hamlet was stationed before he had to cover the bag. With runners on first and third, Rodriguez hit a blooper to left that just dropped in for a run-scoring single. Wacker loaded the bases with a fantastic bunt in front of the mound, and Cleary scored Convissar with a sac fly to take the lead.
Another botched pickoff in the top of the sixth tied up the game. With Marc Perdios on third, Carroll tried to catch him off guard. Instead, he caught third baseman Convissar off guard, and threw the ball into left field, scoring a run and tying the game at three.
After Maryland took the lead in the seventh on the aforementioned balk, Michael Boyden came in to pitch the eighth. After walking Matt Watson on four pitches, Marc Perdios botched a bunt attempt, popping out to Jake Stinnett at third. Mike Sudol sent a screamer to right field, where 5’9″ Charlie White made an unbelievable leaping catch at the outfield wall and had the presence of mind and the arm strength to double Watson off at first, ending the inning.
“I just got a good jump on it and before I knew it I felt the warning track. It was all instincts, basically,” White said. “I knew I had a good read on it, so I was pretty confident I was going to get to it.”
Wacker moved in from center to pitch the ninth and retired the side, earning his first save of the year. The two teams continue the series Sunday at noon.