Terrapins lose momentum against Dukes

Photo courtesy of Maryland Athletics

Photo courtesy of Maryland Athletics

After an impressive win to close out the series against their Big Ten rivals, the Northwestern Wildcats, the Maryland Terrapins faced another tough opponent: the James Madison Dukes. The Terrapins just barely managed to get a run on the board, losing to the Dukes, 14-1.

“[James Madison] showed out as soon as they came off the bus. They swung the bat really well at the first and came out pumping strikes off the mound,” said Terrapins coach Rob Vaughn. “We just did not execute enough and that team is good. They have beaten a lot of good teams this year and we just did not come out and give a good enough performance today.”

After a disappointing start by starting pitcher Sean Heine, who allowed five hits and five runs in the first inning, coach Vaughn put in redshirt sophomore Billy Phillips.

“[Phillips] threw some good innings for us,” Vaughn said. “He controlled his breaking ball pretty well. It was coming out flat. Billy had not thrown that many innings in a little while. Once he got a little bit tired during the second time [he pitched], it got a little flat. But I thought Billy competed for us.”   

Looking for better results, Vaughn went deeper into his rotation, putting in redshirt sophomore pitcher Mike Vasturia.

Facing his first batter, Vasturia gave up another homer, which pushed the deficit to 10-0.

Redshirt junior Nick Turnbull and junior Tuck Tucker pitched the eighth and ninth innings.

James Madison faced some traveling issues that led to the game starting 15 minutes later than expected. Despite the late arrival, the Dukes got off to a fast start. James Madison had 14 runs, 13 hits, and two stolen plates that led to runs. The Terrapins were found trying to keep up with the Duke's offense but fell short.

It was not until the bottom of the seventh that the Terps saw their first run; a single to left field by freshman infielder Benjamin Cowles brought in sophomore catcher Justin Vought’s.

When asked about Wednesday’s matchup against George Mason, Vaughn was optimistic.

“Baseball is a cruel game,” Vaughn said. “You show up and everyone can beat anyone on any given day ... It is a fresh day and that is the beautiful thing about baseball, we can get up and do it again tomorrow and I am excited to see these guys go out and compete.”

The Terrapins (18-18) travel to Fairfax, Virginia, to take on the George Mason Patriots Wednesday afternoon. Maryland Baseball Network will broadcast the play by play live.