Team Heads to Conference Tournament as No. 1 Seed
Photo by Zach Bland/Maryland Terrapins
The red-hot Maryland baseball team defeated Purdue 18-7 Friday night to capture its first Big Ten Championship. The victory in West Lafayette, Ind., added to the team’s best record in program history (44-10) and put the Terps at 18-5 in the conference. Following the cancellation of Saturday’s game due to inclement weather, the No. 14 Terps will be the top seed in the Big Ten Tournament starting Thursday.
“You don’t build something overnight, and it’s a special group of dudes that have been here in the past, and man, this is a special group of young men we have here,” Coach Rob Vaughn told The Baltimore Sun. “Obviously, we’re excited, fired up, but this group’s got big things coming in the next few weeks, so we’ve just got to keep our head down and keep it going.”
Chris Alleyne hammered two homers along with five RBIs; he leads the Big Ten in homers with 22 and RBIs with 73. Matt Shaw smashed his 20th and 21st home runs of the season, placing him second in the conference. He went four for five, with four runs scored and five RBIs, and has racked up 63 RBIs this season.
Ian Petrutz went three for five with a home run for the fourth game in a row and added three RBIs. Luke Shliger also hit a home run to give the Terps six homers in the game—the third time this season they blasted six long balls. Troy Schreffler Jr. and Kevin Keister also drove in runs.
On the mound, starter Nick Dean threw five innings to earn the win, moving to 6-2. Nigel Belgrave pitched two innings in relief. David Falco Jr. finished off the eighth and ninth, including recording the final out to clinch the championship with a strikeout.
The Terps last won a conference championship in 1971, in the ACC. They also won the ACC in 1965 and 1970 and the Southern Conference in 1936. Maryland's last outright conference title in baseball was in 1965.
Editor's note: This article has been updated to reflect the new time and date of the Terps' Big Ten Conference tournament game.
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