When Maryland baseball left fielder Marty Costes stepped back into the box with a full count in the third inning against Army, the Terps' dugout yelled, "Lead us, baby. Come on."
On the next pitch, Costes reached for a breaking ball below the zone, striking out and continuing an 0-for-13 stretch for the Terps slugger dating back to the team's Feb. 18 loss to Tennessee.
Coach Rob Vaughn shook up the bottom half of his lineup Saturday in an attempt to spur more offense than the consecutive four-hit outings the Terps had produced. Instead, Maryland consistently swung at pitches outside the zone, striking out nine times and managing just four hits.
The slump led to a 3-0 loss to Army that extends Maryland's losing streak to four games and secures a series loss to the Black Knights.
Army center fielder Jacob Hurtubise had two of his team's five hits while Maryland designated hitter Tommy Gardiner notched a single and a double.
Right-hander Tyler Blohm (0-1, 2.38 ERA) allowed four hits in six innings, but following a hit by pitch, Army left fielder Matt Hudgins doubled to score first baseman John McKenna and establish a 1-0 lead. The Black Knights (3-3) added another run in the fifth following a throwing error by catcher Ty Friedrich on a dropped third strike.
Maryland's ineptitude at the plate wasted a quality start from Blohm, just as Friday's anemic offense nullified a four-run, seven inning outing from right-hander Taylor Bloom.
Army second baseman Tim Simoes reached on an error to lead off the seventh inning, but first baseman-turned-reliever Kevin Biondic struck out the next two batters, bringing catcher Jon Rosoff to the plate with two outs and Simoes on second.
Maryland (2-4) intentionally walked Rosoff to face first baseman John McKenna, who drove in two runs in Army's win Friday. McKenna made the Terps pay by blooping a single into shallow right field, scoring Simoes and extending Army's lead to three.
The Terps couldn't take advantage of their few opportunities with runners on base, going 0-for-6 with runners on. When Gardiner reached on a leadoff single in the sixth, Costes wiped out the freshman's first collegiate hit with a double play. After Gardiner doubled in the eight, Costes grounded out again, extending his hitless streak to 17 at-bats.
Against William & Mary, Maryland's bats quieted after scoring 20 runs across the three games of its season-opening series victory over Tennessee. Vaughn said it was the first time he saw his players expand their strike zone, leading to high strikeout totals and few scoring opportunities. It continued in the first two games against Army.
Right fielder Randy Bednar swung through three straight pitches below the zone in the fifth, and Friedrich followed him with a whiff at a high fastball.
When second baseman Nick Dunn and third baseman Taylor Wright struck out to end the game, it secured the team's second straight nine-strikeout, four-hit game.