|Charlie White revels in first Terp NCAA tourney win in 44 years (photo / umterps.com)|
Baltimore, MD - Five hundred miles to the south of the city that is watching it most closely, the Maryland Terps' baseball team continues to pull off the unexpected.
At Carolina Stadium, the home field of the South Carolina Gamecocks and the host site of the NCAA Tournament's Columbia Regional, Maryland defeated Old Dominion, 4-3, on Friday.
It had been 43 years since the Terps were last in the NCAA tournament, and 44 since they last earned a victory. Both of those marks have now been officially reset to zero.
Maryland (37-21), who was the home team in the game, trailed 3-0 going into the bottom of the eighth inning before breaking through for a score. Unfortunately for the Terps it came on a bases-loaded double play that scored first baseman LaMonte Wade but effectively snuffed out a rally.
Tayler Stiles, pitching in relief of starter Jake Stinnett, held ODU (36-25) scoreless in the top of the frame, before things got interesting in the bottom half of the ninth.
DH Kyle Convissar, facing an 0-2 count, doubled to the left-center gap to lead off the inning. After an Anthony Papio groundout, catcher Kevin Martir reached on an error by third baseman P.J. Higgins. Convissar moved to third.
Charlie White then singled to center to score Convissar, and Martir moved to second. LaMonte Wade walked to load the bases, with one out and the Terps trailing 3-2. Brandon Lowe was hit by the first pitch to score Martir and knot the game
Jose Cuas was then hit by the next pitch and White walked home to give the Terps a 4-3 victory.
"We had some opportunities that we didn't take advantage of and made it a little harder for us late. At the end of day, when you count up the runs, it's either a win or a loss and our guys did what they had to do late," said second year head coach John Szefc after the game.
Their reward for the win seems an unfair one: the right to face South Carolina on Saturday evening at 7 PM. The Gamecocks (43-16) advanced to the winner's bracket of the regional with a 5-2 win over Campbell (40-20) on Friday. USC has now won 28 straight NCAA tournament home games.
The Terps athletic department confirmed that freshman Mike Shawaryn (10-3) will get the start for the Terrapins. Shawaryn broke the Maryland all-time mark for victories in a season this year, and also leads the ACC in wins.
The game will be streamed live on ESPN3.