In the first two games of the Terrapins baseball team’s series against Iowa this weekend, the Terps recorded a combined two runs as they dropped both contests.
In the Terps’ game against the Hawkeyes on Sunday, though, they scored more runs in the first inning than they had all weekend.
Behind three runs in the first and right-hander Brian Shaffer’s second consecutive complete game, the Terps defeated Iowa, 4-1, for their first Big Ten win of the season.
Though the Terps (11-12, 1-2 Big Ten) won Sunday’s contest, they dropped their first weekend series since their season-opening series against Alabama.
Shaffer, after winning Co-Big Ten Pitcher of the Week last week for throwing a scoreless complete game on 99 pitches against Cal State Fullerton, continued his dominance Sunday. The sophomore allowed just five hits and struck out seven on 90 pitches.
Before Shaffer’s complete game last week, no Terp had thrown a complete game in less than 100 pitches since 2014.
In their first two contests this weekend, the Terps recorded a combined 11 hits. They almost tied that hit total Sunday when they racked up 10 hits. Coach John Szefc’s squad forced Iowa right-hander Calvin Mathews out after 2.2 innings.
Following right fielder Madison Nickens’ double in the first, second baseman Nick Dunn singled to drive him in. The Terps then strung together three straight singles to add two more runs in the frame.
The Terps extended their lead in the third when freshman third baseman AJ Lee, making his fifth career start, drove in left fielder Marty Costes.
Iowa (9-12, 2-1) cut the deficit to 4-1 when left fielder Eric Schenck-Joblinske took Shaffer deep in third. It was the first run Shaffer had allowed in 13 innings, and the Pylesville native wouldn’t let another Iowa runner to reach home plate.
Three Hawkeyes pitchers held the Terps scoreless over the final 6.1 innings, but the damage had already been done as Szefc’s squad rode its early offensive momentum and Shaffer’s complete game to a win.