COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The No. 19 Virginia baseball team scored eight runs in the ninth inning to come from behind and pull out a 10-3 victory at Maryland Friday night at Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium in College Park, Md. The Cavaliers trailed 3-0 and had just one hit in the seventh inning before storming back for the win, which was punctuated by a Chris Taylor (Jr., Virginia Beach, Va.) grand slam in the ninth to blow the game open.
In clinching its fourth straight ACC series win, Virginia (36-15-1, 18-11 ACC) won its ninth straight contest against Maryland (31-24, 9-20) and captured its 15th consecutive victory in College Park against the Terrapins, dating to the 2002 season. The Cavaliers also locked themselves into the No. 4 seed at the upcoming ACC Baseball Championship, set for May 23-27 in Greensboro, N.C.
Cavalier relief pitcher Nick Howard (Fr., Olney, Md.) gave the bullpen a break as he worked 5.1 scoreless innings, a career long, while allowing just two hits and a walk to finish the game. Howard earned the win and improved to 3-0. UVa starting pitcher Scott Silverstein (R-Jr., Olney, Md.) worked 3.2 innings, giving up three earned runs, seven hits and three walks.
Maryland reliever Charlie Haslup (5-5) surrendered the first two runs in the Cavaliers’ ninth-inning rally and took the loss. Terrapins’ starter Jimmy Reed pitched 6.1 innings, allowing two runs (one earned), three hits and two walks while striking out six. Reed dominated for much of the evening and retired 13 batters in a row at one point. He surrendered only one hit in the first six innings.
Stephen Bruno (Jr., Audubon, N.J.) picked up three of Virginia’s seven hits, including a pair of doubles. Derek Fisher (Fr., Rexmont, Pa.) had a pair of hits, while Kenny Towns (Fr., Burke, Va.) doubled and knocked in three runs.
The Cavaliers’ sent 13 batters to the plate and faced four Maryland pitchers in their monster ninth inning. Bruno doubled high off the left-field fence to start the inning. UVa loaded the bases following back-to-back walks to Fisher and Jared King (R-Jr., Radford, Va.). Reliever Korey Wacker then hit Towns with a pitch to force in a run and tie the game. Jamie Pashuck took the mound and got the first out of the inning on short fly to right, but he walked Nate Irving (Fr., Yonkers, N.Y.) on a close 3-2 pitch to bring in the go-ahead run.
Keith Werman (Sr., Vienna, Va.) laid down a bunt down the first-base line, but Pashuck’s throw to the plate was late, allowing King to score. On a 3-2 Pashuck offering, Taylor launched a towering grand slam to left field to give the Cavaliers a 9-3 advantage. It was Taylor’s fifth homer of the season. UVa added a run later in the inning on a Fisher single to score Colin Harrington (R-So., Johnstown, Pa.).
Maryland led for most of the game. After the Terrapins were retired on just three pitches in the first inning, they rebounded to strike for the game’s first run in the second inning. KJ Hockaday hit a leadoff single, advanced on a sacrifice, moved to third on a Jack Cleary single and scored on a Kyle Convissar sacrifice fly.
Maryland added a pair of runs in the fourth inning while knocking Silverstein from the game. Ryan Holland hit a leadoff single, but was erased when Tomo Delp grounded into a fielder’s choice. Cleary singled, and Convissar plated both runners with a double into the left-field corner.
UVa broke through for a pair of runs in the seventh inning to cut the Terps’ lead to 3-2. Bruno reached on an error to start the inning and moved to third on a Fisher double off the right-field fence. One out later, Towns doubled to right-center to score both baserunners.
The teams wrap up the series as well as regular-season play at 1 p.m. Saturday.