After Maryland baseball right fielder Will Watson produced an RBI single in the ninth inning of the team's Thursday night loss to High Point, he failed to deliver in the final frame of the Terps' 7-6 defeat to the Panthers on Friday.
With the tying run in scoring position, Watson struck out on three straight pitches, giving the Panthers a series win entering Sunday's finale. The Terps will end the regular season having lost four consecutive series ahead of next week's Big Ten tournament, a result that again stemmed from a failure to cap a late rally.
For the first time in 2017, Maryland has dropped four straight games.
After right-hander Brian Shaffer received a loss despite lasting eight innings and allowing just two runs on Thursday, left-hander Tyler Blohm had difficulty throwing strikes in the second game of the series.
It was another sign that the freshman starter, who has logged 67.2 innings this year, might be tiring during the stretch run of his first season in College Park. In his last three outings, he's pitched 10.2 innings and given up 10 earned runs.
The Panthers scored in each of the first three innings, and Blohm was pulled after four. He allowed three runs and six hits while walking one. He also failed to record a strikeout.
Still, Maryland remained competitive, scoring on a wild pitch in the fourth and designated hitter Brandon Gum's sacrifice fly in the fifth.
But right-hander John Murphy, who entered play Friday with the best ERA on the team among pitchers who have logged more than an inning, struggled in the seventh. High Point catcher JJ Woodard recorded an RBI single, and first baseman Jordan Sergent and third baseman Nick Niarchos each tallied RBIs to deliver the kind of damaging frame coach John Szefc insists the Terps need to avoid.
Following Murphy's struggles, Maryland's offense mounted a comeback in the eighth as third baseman AJ Lee's two-strike, two-run home run fueled a three-run inning. And when Watson prepared for his ninth-inning at-bat, it appeared the Terps were poised to end their losing skid.
Instead, High Point left-hander Matt Hodges secured the final out to give the Panthers their 29th win of the season.
While the Terps have a chance to salvage a game from the three-game series on Sunday, their struggles away from Bob "Turtle" Smith Stadium continued. Maryland, which will likely receive the No. 3 or No. 4 seed in the conference tournament, is now 8-14 in road contests.