COLLEGE PARK, Maryland – The Buckeyes traveled to the East Coast for a three-game series with #24 Maryland, hoping to make a climb up the B1G standings after a series victory against Michigan State. Despite trailing by three runs in the first, Ohio State used a string of wild pitches and walks to take the lead in the eighth only to fall on a walk-off home run in the ninth, losing 8-6.
Straying from their typical weekend rotation order, Ohio State elected to start sophomore Nate Haberthier on the mound for game one. The Terrapins were able to get to Haberthier early, recording five of their seven total hits off the Buckeye right-hander in the first inning. Four singles, a double, and a walk in their first at-bat allowed Maryland to push three runs across, their biggest inning of the game until the ninth.
However, the Buckeyes did not waste any time coming back from the three-run hole. Blayne Robinson broke open the scoring for Ohio State with a first-pitch solo home run pulled over the wall in right field. Then, on the very next pitch, Mitchell Okuley deposited a solo home run of his own over the fence in center field to cut the deficit to just one run. The back-to-back home runs made the score 3-2 in the second inning.
In the third, Ohio State tied the game with a double by Kade Kern that drove in freshman Trey Lipsey, who reached earlier in the frame on an infield single. With the score knotted at three, Maryland retook the lead in the bottom of the third after consecutive two-out base hits. A double followed by an RBI single made the score 4-3. After a one-two-three inning by the Buckeyes in the away half of the fourth, the Terrapins extended their lead with two singles followed by two fielding errors on the same play that allowed one runner to score.
Blayne Robinson continued his standout performance in the sixth inning, picking up his third hit of the game with one out on a moonshot of a triple that careened off the center field wall. Mitchell Okuley drove him in with a ground ball to first to make the score 5-4 in favor of the Terrapins.
Scoreless outings in relief from Nate Karaffa, Trent Jones, and TJ Brock held the score for three and one-third innings after Haberthier exited. The top of the eighth saw a complete breakdown in control by the Maryland pitching staff. With one out, Mitchell Okuley was hit by a pitch, and then advanced to second on a passed ball. Okuley advanced to third on another wild pitch while Josh McAlister was walked, and then came home on another wild pitch to tie the score at five. After a ground out, Zach Dezenzo walked and Trey Lipsey was hit by a pitch with two outs to load the bases. Kade Kern then drove in the go-ahead run with a walk of his own.
Ethan Hammerberg pitched a scoreless eighth, and stayed in the game for the ninth in an attempt to record a six-out save. However, a leadoff walk and a single by the next batter put the game-tying and winning runs on base. A walk-off three-run home run by Bobby Zmarziak in the following at-bat gave Maryland the lead and the win with a final score of 8-6.
Blayne Robinson and Kade Kern led the way with three hits apiece. Kern and Mitchell Okuley drove in two runs each, and Robinson and Okuley had a pair of runs.
Ohio State and Maryland face off in game two on Saturday, with first pitch slated for 2:00 p.m. Isaiah Coupet and Ryan Ramsey are the expected starters for the Buckeyes and Terrapins, respectively.