By Andrew R. Koch
Maryland’s baseball season won’t be complete without at least two more games against a soon-to-be former ACC rival.
The Terrapins’ magical season continued by completing a three-game sweep of the Columbia Regional at the University of South Carolina. Maryland defeated 12-seed and host South Carolina 10-1 on June 1 to become the regional champions and advance to the Super Regional round for the first time in team history. In addition, it was the first time the Gamecocks had been eliminated from a regional at home since 1976.
Terrapins shortstop Blake Schmit went two for three and drove in three runs, and center fielder and leadoff hitter Charlie White went three for four with an RBI. Schmit hit a two-run single in the fourth inning that Maryland up for good, 2-1. The Terrapins scored two runs in the sixth to take a commanding 5-1 lead, and then put the game out of reach by scoring four runs in the ninth.
In addition to timely hitting, Maryland’s relief pitching was also a major factor. Taylor Stiles came on in relief of starter Jake Drossner with runners on the corners and two outs in the bottom of the fourth. Stiles got Gamecocks shortstop Marcus Mooney to fly out to center to end that rally. In the bottom of the sixth, Bobby Ruse came on with runners on the corners and two outs again, and got Mooney to fly out to right. Ruse pitched the rest of the way, allowing just a hit while striking out three in three and a third innings, including a three-up, three-down bottom of the ninth, to record the save. Stiles got the win with two innings of three-hit shutout relief.
Maryland will be at Virginia for the Charlottesville Super Regional, which will be a best-of-three series at Davenport Stadium from June 7 through June 9. Games one and two will be on June 7 and 8 at noon both days. Game three, if necessary, will be on June 9 at 4 p.m. Every game of the series will be televised on ESPN2. The winner of the series will advance to the College World Series at TD Ameritrade Stadium in Omaha, Nebraska, starting on June 14.