ELON, N.C. — When Maryland baseball center fielder Zach Jancarski led off Wednesday's matchup against Elon with a double, it marked the beginning of a refreshing showing from a Terps lineup that has scuffled of late.
Coach Rob Vaughn admitted after No. 18 East Carolina swept his squad last weekend that the Terps hadn't done the little things right to score runners, a shortcoming that continued in a 13-1 loss to North Carolina on Tuesday.
When designated hitter Tommy Gardiner moved Jancarski to third via a groundout and second baseman Nick Dunn's sacrifice fly plated the senior, setting in motion a 11-3 win over Elon, the Terps were barely recognizable from their recent performances. During the first five games of their road trip, they were outscored 46-11.
In an efficient outing Wednesday, however, the Terps scored 11 runs on 11 hits, going 7-for-20 with runners on to snap their longest losing streak since 2011.
"For a team that's kind of been scuffling to put runs on the board, [scoring Jancarski] let us breath a little bit," Vaughn said. "What we can control is doing the little things right. Executing when you're called upon to execute. That's what we did tonight."
Despite Mark DiLuia's lack of success against North Carolina on Tuesday, Vaughn resolved to allow the freshman starter to throw 100 pitches, preserving the Terps' bullpen for a pitch-by-committee effort against Elon (11-10).
Mike Vasturia started the victory with two scoreless innings, maintaining the early lead before the bullpen took over in the third. Five Terps relievers appeared, combining to give up seven hits and two earned runs.
"Once we got behind a little bit [against North Carolina], it was important that Mark was able to go his six innings. He was able to eat some innings up for us," Vaughn said. "With Vasturia today, Mike does such a good job of knowing who he is and what he needs to do to be successful."
Throughout Maryland's five-game losing streak, the Terps (10-11) watched as their opposition manufactured runs.
On Wednesday, smart baserunning and timely hitting keyed a turnaround.
Jancarski followed his first-inning production with a leadoff walk in the third. He then stole second and third, setting up shortstop AJ Lee's two-run single.
"We slugged the baseball a little bit, but we got on the board by doing little things," Vaughn said. "And I thought [Jancarski] did a great job at the top of the order. We track quality at-bats … and he went 5-for-5 tonight."
Left fielder Marty Costes entered Wednesday's contest hitting 5-for-11 in his last three games, raising his batting average to .197 after a slump that dropped him from the leadoff role to the bottom-half of the lineup. To punctuate a four-run third inning, Costes hit a two-out, two-run base knock through the left side.
Costes then powered his first home run since Feb. 18 in the ninth, completing a revitalized offensive performance from the junior and his team.
"We got that big hit with two outs and men in scoring position," Costes said. "We've done a good job of setting up in other games and we haven't delivered. But tonight was our night and hopefully that gives us a little bit of momentum rolling through to this weekend."