COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Junior righthanders Blair Delean and Brett Harman combined with senior righthander Dan Gentzler to pitch a seven-hitter as the University of Maryland (2-6) handed the Tigers (1-7) a 4-2 loss at cold and rainy Shipley Field on Wednesday afternoon.
Delean allowed only two runs on six hits in 6.1 innings of work. He did not walk a batter and struck out eight. Harman retired all five hitters he faced in 1.2 innings of relief. Gentzler came on to pitch the ninth inning and earned the save.
Walks were a key factor in the game as Towson pitchers walked seven batters while the Terps did not walk anyone and struck out 11.
Each team had seven hits in the game.
The Tigers took a 1-0 lead in the third inning when sophomore centerfielder Ben Winter doubled home a run. With one out, freshman Mike Schmidt, making his first career start at third base, singled for his first career base hit. After Schmidt advanced to second base on a wild pitch, Winter lined an RBI double to centerfield putting the Tigers ahead.
In the bottom of the third inning, Maryland tied the game at 1-1 without the benefit of a base hit. With one out, senior second baseman David Poutier reached second base on a throwing error by Schmidt. Poutier advanced to third base when senior first baseman Steve Yarsinsky made an error on a ground ball by Alfredo Rodriguez. When sophomore Matt Marquis hit a sacrifice fly to centerfield, Poutier scored the unearned run. After Rodriguez stole second base and third base, freshman righthander Michael Trionfo pitched out of the jam by retiring leftfielder Brandon Padula on a ground ball to second base.
In the last of the fourth inning, freshman righthander Mike Volpe replaced Trionfo on the mound and struggled with his control. Volpe walked the first hitter he faced, Adam Kolarek, on four pitches. Then, he gave up a single to catcher Jack Cleary. He came back strong to retire the next two hitters, striking out Tyler Bennett and retiring Mike Rozak on a fly ball. While pitching to third baseman Matthew Murakami, Volpe's wild pitch allowed both runners to move into scoring position. Moments later, Volpe was called for a balk as Kolarek scored the go-ahead run. On the next pitch, Cleary scored on a wild pitch to give Maryland a 3-1 lead.
When Murakami and Poutier drew back-to-back walks, the Terps had runners on first and second with two outs.
At that point, Volpe was relieved by sophomore righthander Sean Bertrand. Bertrand struck out Rodriguez to end the threat.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, the Terps added another run. Bennett led off with a single to left. Rozak moved him into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt. The strategy paid off immediately when Murakami singled to rightfield, scoring Bennett to give Maryland a 4-1 lead.
The Tigers made a strong bid to get back in the game in the seventh inning against Blair Delean. Junior Austin Harclerode led off the inning with a double to leftfield. He moved to third base on a single by Steve Rice. After catcher Brian Wyman was retired on a pop fly, junior righthander Brett Harman came out of the bullpen to relieve Delean. Schmidt grounded into a force play as Harclerode scored to make it a 4-2 game. Then, Harman ended the threat by striking out junior shortstop Nick Natoli.
In the ninth inning, senior Kevin Collins led off with a single off Gentzler. However, Gentzler came back to strike out the next two hitters as he ended the game by retiring the last three hitters in a row.
Winter led the Tigers offensively with two base hits.
The Tigers return to action this weekend when they travel to High Point for a three-game series.