Terps Head to Omaha for Conference Tournament as No. 1 Seed
Photo by Chris Lyons/Maryland Athletics
The No. 20 ranked University of Maryland baseball team claimed its second consecutive Big Ten Championship by defeating Penn State, 7-4, Saturday at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. The Terps (37-19, 17-7 B1G) secured the No. 1 seed in the Big Ten Tournament and will play No. 8 seed Michigan State on Tuesday in Omaha, Neb.
The Terps secured the sixth overall conference championship in program history, adding to last season's Big Ten title, ACC Championship seasons in 1965, 1970 and 1971 and a Southern Conference crown in 1936.
“I feel like this group deserved to sit at the top alone,” said coach Rob Vaughn, “and I am really proud and excited for them."
With the game tied entering the eighth inning, the Terps utilized a three-run eighth to pull ahead with Kevin Keister lacing a go-ahead RBI single up the middle to give Maryland the late advantage and Nick Lorusso driving in insurance runs with a two-run single.
Lorusso's clutch knock gave the third baseman his 96th RBI in 2023, toppling the Big Ten single-season record of 95.
More records fell Saturday in State College, as Luke Shliger set the Maryland career runs record on an Ian Petrutz sacrifice fly to score his 182nd career run, surging past current associate head coach Matt Swope. The junior catcher finished the contest 3-for-4 with a walk, a double and two runs scored, extending his reached-base streak to 54 games in the process.
In total, the Terps scored five unanswered runs, as Elijah Lambros provided a huge boost for the Terps in the middle innings with a two-run home run in the sixth to even the score. He went 2-for-5 at the dish with two RBI. Additionally, Matt Woods launched his 11th home run. Jacob Orr finished just a home run shy of the cycle, going 3-for-4 with the go-ahead run while extending his season-best reached streak to 17 contests.
Maryland's bullpen provided a wealth of support, as the Terps' relievers combined to pitch five scoreless innings. Kenny Lippman (7-1) picked up the victory with a shutout seventh inning, and David Falco Jr. notched his ninth save of the campaign by pitching two scoreless frames and recording a pair of strikeouts.
With the win on Saturday, Maryland won its 22nd Big Ten series in a row, dating to a sweep of Northwestern on April 24-25, 2021. The Terps won all eight Big Ten series of the season for the second year in a row.
Penn State finished its season 25-25, 7-16 B1G. With Saturday's victory in State College, Maryland matched its program record for most road wins in a season with 19.
Maryland will meet Michigan State for the 16th time overall and third time in the Big Ten Tournament. The Terps have not faced the Spartans in the postseason since 2016, when Michigan State took a 4-3 victory in Omaha.
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