CONWAY, S.C. — Sophomore Brandon Lowe hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning to give the Maryland baseball team a lead it wouldn’t relinquish in a 7-3 victory in its season opener against Western Kentucky at Spring Brooks Stadium Friday afternoon.
Playing in their first game at the Caraville Resort Tournament, the Terps (1-0, 0-0 Big Ten) plated seven runs in support of sophomore right-hander Mike Shawaryn, who struck out seven in six innings of work.
Shawaryn got off to a rocky start in the bottom of the first. Hilltopper Cody Wofford walked and then stole second before Ryan Church brought him in with a double. Philip Diedrick singled home Church to give Western Kentucky a 2-0 lead after one.
The Terps got a run back in the top of the second. Freshmen Andrew Bechtold and Kevin Smith drew consecutive walks before Lowe also earned a free pass. Hilltopper starter John Harman, who the Terps consistently worked into deep counts, was then called for a balk to send in Bechtold.
Maryland grabbed the lead for good in the fourth. After a Kevin Martir ground out, junior Anthony Papio slammed a solo shot over the right field fence for his first on the year. Smith reached on a triple to right before Lowe bombed a 1-0 pitch from relief pitcher Ryan Thurston to give the Terps a 4-3 advantage.
Smith was once again the catalyst as the Terps padded their lead in the sixth. The freshman laced a one-out double before a Lowe walk. Junior LaMonte Wade then singled through the right side to score Smith. Junior Jose Cuasfollowed with a double to right to score both Terrapin runners.
Shawaryn settled in after a tough opening frame and dominated the Hilltoppers in his final four innings on the hill, at one point retiring 10 consecutive batters. Redshirt freshman Brian Shaffer finished the game for Maryland giving up just one hit in three innings.
Lowe reached base in four of his five trips, adding two RBIs and a pair of runs. Papio, Cuas and Smith also added two hits. The Terps stayed disciplined at the plate throughout and were rewarded with seven walks.
Maryland notches the first W of 2015! HIGHLIGHT: 2B Brandon Lowe 1-for-2, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI pic.twitter.com/P1FVkNsXLp
— NCAA Baseball (@NCAACWS) February 13, 2015