By Luke Gentile
The Maryland baseball team (13-14, 1-1 Big Ten) overcame a three run deficit Saturday to end its game against Northwestern University (8-13, 1-4 Big Ten) with a 6-5 victory in extra innings.
Taking the mound for the Terps was sophomore Tyler Blohm, who entered the game with a 3-2 record and a 3.82 ERA.
Northwestern came out hot in the first inning. The Wildcats seemed to unsteady Blohm, getting on base three times in the first. A massive three run shot from Northwestern senior Jack Claeys had the packed crowd of Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium settling in for a long game.
Blohm recovered, however, and registered three straight outs.. Blohm only allowed two more runs before being relieved in the fifth.
When it came time to step up to the plate, the inconsistent bats of Maryland appeared energized by the crowd. A two-run homerun in the second inning brought the Terps within one run, and two RBIs later tied it up in the eighth.
“The crowd was huge for us,” said senior Kevin Biondic. “Bringing that energy sets the tone. Going down 3-0 early is always tough to come back from; we all knew we just needed one. That’s exactly what we did, going multiple innings scoring runs.”
If the crowd gave the team a boost of energy, then freshman pitcher Sean Fisher provided the Terrapins’ security.
Entering the game in the fifth, Fisher pitched 3.1 innings. His shut-down performance held the Wildcat batters to only two hits — and not a single run.
“Fischer was the player of the game no question,” said Maryland head coach Rob Vaughn. “That guy matures everytime he gets on the mound. These last couple outings, he has scuffled a little bit, but we trust him. He came out tonight and responded extremely well.”
Vaughn said that it goes without saying, “without him, we don’t win that game.”
Biondic replaced Fisher in the ninth, and the senior held Northwestern scoreless as the teams entered extra innings.
“I think I just have to trust my stuff in these kinds of situations,” Biondic said. “ Also credit to Blohm who competed for us and then sent it off to Fisher, who was lights out.”
After a perfect three and out in the top of the 10th, junior Taylor Wright found himself at bat with the bases loaded and zero outs. Faced with a three-ball count, Wright watched the final pitch go wide, and the Terps completed the game with a walk-off, walk-in.
“We’ve been telling our guys that we need a come from behind win,” Vaughn said. “This is only the second one of the year. So, the fact that we were able to come and grind this one out is huge for us. I hope it gives us momentum moving forward.”
The team finished its three-game stand with the Wildcats on Sunday.