By Jerome Bailey, Staff Writer
Despite a 5-3 lead after seven innings, the Pride Baseball team could not withstand the University of Maryland as they eventually suffered a 7-5 loss in College Park, MD on Sunday. With the loss, the Pride has now dropped nine straight games to begin the season. The win for the Terrapins improves their all-time record to 7-1 against the Pride.
"We needed to put all three aspects of the game together; score more runs, finish the ball game, make certain pitches," said head coach Patrick Anderson. "However, it's a learning process and we will get there. This weekend we played a pretty good Maryland team."
The Pride raced out to a 5-2 lead, spurred by senior infielder Matt Prokopowicz's first home run of the season. However, the Pride was once again hindered by their pitching.
Leading 5-3 in the eighth, the Pride called on junior reliever Jeff Guthridge, who converted all of his save opportunities in 2009. Guthridge got the first out on a sacrifice bunt, but Maryland's bats would not go down easily. Maryland sophomore shortstop Alfredo Rodriguez nailed a run scoring single to close the gap to 4-5. Maryland junior outfielder Brandon Padula crushed a clutch three-run home run with two outs in the eighth inning, helping UM take the lead for good.
On Friday and Saturday, the Pride was victim to Maryland's pitching, led by juniors Brett Harman and Eric Potter. In game one, Potter allowed one run on four hits over six innings of work. On Saturday, Harman allowed just three runs over eight innings with nine strikeouts and one walk. Once again, the Pride's pitching came back to haunt it, as freshman Jared Rogers surrendered six runs on five hits over three plus innings. The Terps jumped on Rogers to the tune of a 6-0 lead and held on for a 10-3 victory. "Again, we have to find a way to produce runs and sustain a lead when we have one," Anderson said.
On Friday afternoon, junior Sean Monaghan limited the Terps to two runs (one earned) on just three hits over six innings. In the seventh and eighth innings though, Maryland scored four runs off Pride relievers Guthridge and freshman David D'Errico.
The Pride will look for its first win of the season this weekend when they participate in the Villanova Bash in Plymouth Meeting, PA. "This weekend we are going to come out hard and compete against tough competition," said Anderson.