Maryland Baseball erases 8-run deficit, defeats USC Upstate 11-8


USC Upstate posted a commanding 8-0 win in the fifth inning of the final midweek baseball game of the season at Maryland, but the Terps never gave up, scoring 11 unanswered runs on five home runs.

After Jacob Orr hit an RBI single, Kevin Keister stepped to the plate with two runners on in the seventh inning. With a deficit of 8:6, the team captain fired a three-point shot into left midfield to take the lead.

“Me and Jacob Orr have been having trouble not getting hits lately and he was telling us about it [me]“If I get a hit here, then you get a hit here too,” said Keister. “Well, after I saw his [hit] I had a lot of confidence in the fall, you know, I made a throw over the middle and it happened to come true.”

But the Terps weren't done in the seventh, as Devin Russell hit another home run, his second of the day.

Maryland outscored the Spartans in the final two innings to secure an improbable comeback victory, 11-8.

“This is one of the greatest comebacks I've ever been a part of in my entire career, whether as a player or a coach, losing 8-0 to a really good team that tries to win as hard as we do,” Marylands said Head Coach Matt Swope.

Maryland had a bullpen day on Wednesday with Trystan Sarcone pitching the first two innings. He gave up two earned runs on two hits and a walk. USC Upstate's Koby Kropf and Troy Hamilton opened the scoring in the second inning by hitting back-to-back solo home runs.

In the third inning, Nate Haberthier took the mound and allowed four runs. Hamilton hit an RBI double that was misplayed by Elijah Lambros, who was later removed from the game. When asked about the outfielder's departure, Swope declined to comment.

USC Upstate added another in the fourth inning when Noah Sullivan hit a solo home run off Evan Smith, who pitched just 1 ⅓ innings.

The Spartans continued their solo home run parade in the fifth inning. This time Andrew Johnson missed a deep shot from Tyler Lang.

However, the Terps fought back in the bottom of the fifth inning. Russell hit a solo shot off Braden Consaul and Chris Hacopian hit a two-run home run off Tommy Henninger to cut USC Upstate's lead to five.

Then Ben Nardi, replacing Lambros, hit a two-run shot from opposite field to bring Maryland within three runs in the sixth inning.

Johnson worked the sixth inning and scored in the seventh before being subbed out for Kenny Lippman, who escaped the seventh thanks to the heroics of Eddie Hacopian. The infielder grabbed a line drive and caught a pop-up for the final two outs.

Lippman also pitched a scoreless inning in the eighth inning with the help of a timely double play.

Logan Berrier entered the game in the ninth inning and assumed his usual closing role. He got Kropf to hit a double play, setting the stage for a monumental comeback victory.

Three things you should know

1. Russell's two-home run day. Russell showed off his power on Wednesday, hitting two home runs. He got the Terps on the field in the fifth inning and gave them two insurance runs in the seventh inning.

“I saw the ball well and … on the first home run he just threw me a slider to get me over the slider and luckily I stayed back and hammered it,” Russell said. “The second one was a 2-0 fastball, so I was sitting in the fastball the whole time.”

2. Nine combined home runs. USC Upstate and Maryland combined for nine home runs on Wednesday. The Spartans hit four solo home runs in the first five innings and the Terps followed with five home runs in the final four innings.

“This is one of the rare days this year where we have often seen 'The Bob' play like a minor league ballpark in the past,” Keister said. “So it was warm, the ball was acting up, so we were confident that we had good hitters and were making a lot of good swings on the balls, and in the end we came back because that ballpark couldn't hold some balls that we hit.” .”

3. Hacopian's defense. Hacopian made some great plays at first base and robbed the Spartans of two big hits.

“He’s an elite defender,” Swope said. “He’s the best first baseman in the league. He was fantastic. He was always very good defensively.”