COLLEGE PARK – The Michigan baseball team beat Maryland, 10-7, in the first contest of a three-game road series on Friday behind strong hitting throughout its lineup.
The Wolverines got off to a quick start, scoring two runs in the top of the first inning. Sophomore designated hitter Jordan Nwogu walked to start the ballgame, and after advancing to third on a double from sophomore center fielder Jesse Franklin, he scored on a sacrifice fly from junior right fielder Jordan Brewer. Franklin also scored on a double from senior third baseman Blake Nelson before sophomore shortstop Jack Blomgren grounded out to end the inning.
Michigan held onto its momentum in the second inning. Nwogu hit a two-run home run to score himself and senior second baseman Ako Thomas, who had doubled in the previous at-bat. They tacked on another run when Franklin scored on an error from Terrapins' second baseman Ben Cowles before ending the inning as senior left fielder Miles Lewis looked in strike three.
Maryland finally got on the board in the bottom of the sixth inning on a solo home run from third baseman Taylor Wright. The Terrapins could not build any momentum off it, though, as Kauffmann forced a groundout from first baseman Maxwell Costes on his next pitch to get out of the inning unscathed.
Not shaken, Michigan responded with five runs in the top of the seventh inning. Franklin and Brewer both walked to lead off the inning before scoring on RBI singles from senior third baseman Jimmy Kerr and Nelson, respectively. Lewis then walked to load the bases, bringing up Blomgren, who plated Kerr on an RBI single to make the score 8-1.
With still no outs on the inning, Maryland sat its right handed reliever Sean Heine for left hander Tuck Tucker, who seemed to get off to a strong start. He fanned sophomore catcher Joe Donovan for the first out of the inning, but then walked Thomas to bring in Nelson and gave up another run as a sacrifice fly from Nwogu scored Lewis. Tucker finally managed to end the inning at 10-1 by tagging out Franklin – the first batter of the inning – on a short chopper.
The Terrapins were able to respond right back in the bottom of the inning, putting three on the board with a three-run home run from center fielder Chris Alleyne, but the Wolverines ended the inning without further damage as shortstop A.J. Lee grounded out.
Maryland threatened once again in the bottom of the eighth inning, tacking on three runs off a hit and a Michigan error to bring the score to 10-7, but freshman right hander Willie Weiss ended the inning with the bases loaded to keep the Wolverines’ lead intact before ending the game on a 1-2-3 ninth inning.
The series is a homecoming of sorts for Michigan coach Erik Bakich, who spent three years coaching the Terrapins, his first stint as head coach, before taking the helm at Michigan in 2012. Maryland fans were apparently less than thrilled to have him back, however; Bakich received his fair share of trash talk from the stands as the game got under way.