WVU Drops 4-2 Decision At Maryland

WVU Drops 4-2 Decision At Maryland

West Virginia's NCAA Tournament resume took another blow with a 4-2 loss at Maryland on Tuesday.

The Terrapins (34-19) dominated every phase of play, outhitting the Mountaineers 12-5 behind solid overall pitching for their ninth consecutive victory. Starter Zach Morris went four innings, allowing both of WVU's runs on just three hits. A trio of relievers combined for the final five innings, limiting West Virginia – which has now lost four in a row after being swept at Kansas – to just two more hits over the final 15 outs.

The Mountaineers (27-21) left runners on in six of the first seven innings, but failed to get the timely hits needed to avoid the season split with Maryland, which lost 14-2 in Morgantown on April 22. Centerfielder Bobby Boyd was among the few bright spots offensively, going 3-for-4 with one run scored. Cleanup hitter Ryan McBroom managed both of WVU's RBI on line drive flyouts in the first and third innings; only two other Mountaineers, Cam O'Brien and Billy Fleming, had hits in among the worst midweek offensive performances of the season. Other than Boyd, the line-up went just 2-for-24.

Maryland relievers Bobby Ruse and Jake Stinnett faced the minimum in the eighth and ninth innings, with Ruse (7-2) picking up the win by allowing just one hit in 2 1/3 innings. West Virginia, in floundering an opportunity for a needed nonconference win, failed to score over the final six frames. Starter Corey Walter (1-5) took the loss, allowing four runs, three earned, on nine hits with one walk over 4 1/3 innings. Zach Bargeron pitched the final 3 2/3 innings, allowing three hits and no runs. Neither pitcher recorded a strike out.

Maryland scored in the second, fourth and fifth innings, with seven players collecting hits, six of whom had multi-hit games. Left fielder Tim Lewis went 2-for-4 with an RBI and run scored, while designated hitter Nick Cieri was 2-for-3 with an RBI and run scored. UM's biggest blows came in the fourth inning, when a pair of Terps scored after a walk, two singles and an RBI groundout for a 3-2 lead. Maryland, which added the final run of the game an inning later after the leadoff hitter reached on a throwing error, was primed to add on in the sixth inning. UM loading the bases with no outs, only to see West Virginia escape via a 5-2-5-4 triple play – the second triple play of the season for WVU – to keep the deficit at 4-2.

The Terps loaded the bases on an error, bunt single and a walk before Brandon Lowe hit into the triple play with a liner to third. Lowe, a freshman second baseman who leads the team with a .355 average, pulled a shot down the line to WVU's Michael Constantini. The third baseman, not realizing he caught the ball in the air, threw home to O'Brien before the catcher threw back to Constantini, who tagged third for the second out and hit Fleming on second base to complete the feat.

West Virginia ends its out of conference slate with an 18-10 record, including a 6-1 mark against ACC foes. The Mountaineers finish the regular season with a three-game weekend set at Texas Tech beginning on Thursday. WVU likely needs at least 30 wins to reach the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1996. The Big 12 Tournament begins May 21 in Oklahoma City.

BlueGoldNews.com Recommended Stories