Going into what promised to be a tough contest against No. 21 Coastal Carolina, Maryland baseball was without a key piece of its roster.
After leaving Friday’s contest in Campbell when a pitch hit him in the mask, catcher Justin Vought — who had a home run and three RBIs against the Camels — was put in concussion protocol and ruled out for the rest of the weekend.
The Chanticleers promised to have a powerful offense after hitting 81 home runs last season — ninth-most in the nation — and also ranked seventh in the country with a .404 on-base percentage. Maryland snuck past them, 7-6, last year thanks to a catcher’s interference call.
So if the Terps wanted any chance to pull an upset Saturday, it was likely to require a ton of runs. But without Vought, they couldn’t get anything going until it was too late, falling, 7-2.
Maryland scored six runs in the season-opener, with most of its production through the first four innings. But Coastal Carolina left-hander Anthony Veneziano threw five shutout innings Saturday, working around Terps baserunners in the first three frames.
By the time right-hander Dave Inman relieved Veneziano in the sixth, the Terps trailed, 6-0. And after squandering another scoring chance in the top of the frame, the Chanticleers added one more run in the bottom-half to push their lead to 7-0.
Center fielder Randy Bednar hammered a bases-loaded single in the seventh to score two, but that was all Maryland could muster. Designated hitter Maxwell Costes fouled out to end the inning, and the Terps went quietly in the final two frames.
The Chanticleers built their lead early against Terps starter Zach Thompson, scoring five runs on nine hits during his 3 ⅔ innings.
Coastal Carolina scored a couple more against right-handers Daniel O’Connor and Billy Phillips in the fifth and sixth innings, one of which was an unearned run as the result of one of Maryland’s four errors. Relievers Will Glock, Andrew Vail and Mark DiLuia each recorded two outs apiece to close out the game.
After Saturday’s loss, the Terps have allowed 17 runs on 21 hits in their first two games.