WILMINGTON, N.C. — Freshman shortstop Kevin Smith hit a grand slam in the sixth inning to propel the No. 12 Maryland baseball team past UNC Wilmington, 11-9, Sunday at Brooks Field.
The Terps (8-4) trailed 6-3 after four innings but used a five-run sixth, highlighted by Smith’s four-run big fly, to take control of the game. Senior Bobby Ruse picked up his third win of the season after pitching four innings of relief.
UNC Wilmington jumped out to a 4-0 lead after two innings before a Brandon Lowe single plated Kengo Kawahara for the Terps’ first run of the game.
The Seahawks responded with a solo home run in the third, but Kevin Martir hit a two-run homer in the top of the fourth to make the score 5-3. UNC Wilmington increased the lead to 6-3 with a run in the bottom of the inning.
Maryland grabbed the lead in the sixth. Kawahara’s sac fly plated Tim Lewis before Lowe walked. Smith stepped up and hit a grand slam to left center score Lowe, Martir and Anthony Papio to give Maryland an 8-6 lead.
In the seventh, Jose Cuas hit a solo shot to extend the Terrapin lead to 9-6. Smith returned in the eighth and doubled in Lowe to give Maryland a four-run lead.
The Seahawks scored three runs in the eighth before Alex Robinson shut the door with two outs. Maryland added an insurance run in the ninth and Robinson completed the four-out save in the bottom of the inning to give Maryland an 11-9 win.
Smith’s five RBIs are a career high and his sixth inning bomb was the first home run of his college career. Ruse is now tied for the team lead in wins with Mike Shawaryn.