COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Freshman righthander Mike Volpe earned the first win of his college career by pitching five shutout innings as three Tiger (12-27) pitchers combined to pitch a seven-hitter, leading the Tigers to a 3-1 victory over the University of Maryland (15-25) at a very damp Shipley Field on Wednesday evening.
In the best outing of his young career, Volpe shut out the Terrapins on four hits through the first five innings before senior lefthander Wes Shifflett pitched two shutout innings of relief. Junior righthander Drew Permison earned his second save of the season by pitching the final two innings, allowing one unearned run on one hit.
Permison had to pitch out of bases-loaded jams in the eighth and ninth innings before nailing down the win.
Both starting pitchers came into the game seeking their first victory of the season. Sophomore righthander Sander Beck took the mound for Maryland with an 0-6 record while Volpe came into the game with an 0-2 mark.
Both righthanders pitched very well in the early innings. Beck pitched the first three innings of the game and allowed only one hit, a first-inning single by junior shortstop Nick Natoli. In three innings, he faced only ten batters while shutting out the Tigers on one hit. He struck out three batters before he was relieved by junior righthander Matt Quinn.
Volpe nearly matched Beck's performance through the first three innings. Leading off for the Terrapins, sophomore shortstop Alfredo Rodriguez beat out an infield single. However, freshman catcher Andrew Parker threw him out trying to steal second base, ending the Terps' first inning threat. In the third inning, senior leftfielder Mike Rozak singled with one out. But Volpe retired freshman rightfielder Jordan Hagel on a ground ball to second base before Rodriguez ended the inning by grounding out to third.
In the fourth inning, Quinn relieved Beck and struggled with his control. With one out, he issued three consecutive walks to senior first baseman Steve Yarsinsky, junior third baseman Austin Harclerode and junior designated hitter Steve Rice, loading the bases.
After the walk to Rice, Quinn was relieved by sophomore righthander Matt Passauer. Passauer recorded an out before he even threw a pitch to freshman leftielder Kurt Wertz. He picked Rice off first base for the second out of the inning. Then, he pitched out of the jam by retiring Wertz on a ground ball to first base as the game remained scoreless.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, the Terps staged a rally with two outs. Freshman third baseman Zach Fisher singled and advanced to third base when Rozak reached on an error by freshman second baseman Mike Schmidt. However, Volpe struck out Hagel to end the inning.
Volpe allowed four hits in his five-inning performance. He did not walk a batter and he had two strikeouts.
In the top of the sixth inning, the Tigers broke the scoreless tie. Sophomore centerfielder Ben Winter led off the inning with a single to leftfield and took second base on an error by Rozak, the leftfielder. With the go-ahead run on second base, Passauer struck out Natoli and Yarsinsky. However, Harclerode lined a double to rightfield, scoring Winter with the first run of the game. Harclerode was thrown out at third base, trying to stretch his hit into a triple.
Shifflett relieved Volpe in the bottom of the sixth inning and he picked up right where Volpe left off. He shut out the Terps on a pair of hits over the next two innings.
In the top of the eighth inning, the Tigers extended their lead to 3-0. Facing senior righthander Ian Schwalenberg, Winter led off the inning with a triple to rightfield. After Natoli grounded out to shortstop, Yarsinsky delivered the second run of the game when he hit a sacrifice fly to right.
Harclerode kept the inning alive when he reached second base on a two-base error by Rozak in leftfield. A double down the leftfield line by Rice drove in Harclerode to increase the lead to 3-0. Wertz grounded out to end the inning.
Permison replaced Shifflett in the bottom of the eighth inning and the Terps scored an unearned run without the benefit of a base hit. Rodriguez led off the inning by reaching second base when Wertz made an error on a fly ball to leftfield. Permison struck out senior second baseman Dan Poutier for the first out.
With one out and a runner on second base, Permison started struggling with his control. After Rodriguez reached third base on a wild pitch, sophomore designated hitter Brandon Padula drew a walk. When freshman catcher Rich Cleary drew a four-pitch walk, the Terps had the bases loaded.
While pitching to sophomore centerfielder Matt Marquis, Permison unloaded a wild pitch as Rodriguez scored from third base. When Marquis drew a walk, Maryland had the bases loaded again.
Permison settled down and pitched out of the jam by retiring senior first baseman Dan Gentzler on a popup to third base and getting Fisher on a ground ball to second base.
In the bottom of the ninth inning, Permison struck out Rozak for the first out. Freshman Jon Wilson reached base when he bunted for a base hit. Wilson stole second base to move into scoring position but Rodriguez was retired on a fly ball to rightfield. Poutier walked on a 3-2 pitch to put the tying run on base. When Padula also walked, the Terrapins had the bases loaded with two outs. But, Permison nailed down the victory by retiring pinch hitter Tyler Bennett on a popup to first base.
Led by Winter, the Tigers outhit Maryland by an 8-7 margin. Winter went 2-for-4 and scored two of the Tigers' three runs. Harclerode had one hit, scored a run and drove one run in.
Rozak led the Terps with two base hits.
With the win, the Tigers evened the season series with Maryland at one victory each. Last month, the Terps edged Towson, 4-2. The teams are scheduled to play again at Schuerholz Park in early May.
The Tigers return to action this weekend with a three-game series at Old Dominion University.