Maryland rallies by No. 1 Seminoles
Terps get strong relief pitching from weekend starters in upset
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Maryland broke a 5-5 tie with No. 1 Florida State on Kyle Convissar's two-RBI squeeze bunt in the eighth inning and the Terps recorded their ninth win of the season against a ranked team with an 8-5 victory against the Seminoles Monday night.
On a night when Maryland (30-22, 9-18 ACC) reached 30 wins for just the third time in program history, nearly everyone on the roster played a part. Eight starters had at least one hit, while all three of Maryland's weekend starters pitched in the game.
Brett Harman, scratched from Sunday's start after coming down with food poisoning, pitched five gutty innings in relief.
Jimmy Reed, who lasted just three innings in his Saturday start, came on in the ninth to close it out.
Korey Wacker pitched two dominant innings of relief to earn the win -- after first going 1 for 2 at the plate with a double, walk and sacrifice bunt.
The top of Maryland's lineup, comprised of Alfredo Rodriguez, Jordan Hagel and Tim Kiene, combined to go 6 for 14 with four runs.
And after being outscored 23 to 5 in the first 21 innings of the series, the Terps overcame a 4-0 deficit in the finale by scoring three runs in the fourth and five in the last three innings.
The Terps took their first lead in the seventh, when Tim Kiene ripped a two-out, run-scoring double on a 3-0 count, but the lead would be short lived. Florida State (39-8, 21-3 ACC) tied it in the bottom half of the inning, setting the stage for a dramatic eighth.
Convissar stepped to the plate to face Florida State closer Robert Benincasa with runners on second and third and one out. On a 0-1 count, Convissar put down a perfect sacrifice bunt that scored Matt Bosse from third, and pinch-runner Andrew Amaro sped around all the way from second on the play to make it 7-5 Maryland.
Wacker worked a scoreless bottom of the eighth, and an inning later Reed induced Florida State's Jayce Boyd into a game-ending 6-3 double play to secure the victory.
Much like it had in the first two games of the series, Florida State took control of the game early. Sherman Johnson led off the Seminole first with a solo home run, and Maryland starting pitcher David Carroll exited after allowing the first two batters to reach in the second.
That's when Harman entered and settled things down. Though FSU scored two runs in the second to take a 4-0 lead, Harman cruised through the middle innings. He struck out two in the third, worked a 1-2-3 fourth and easily got around a two-out walk in the fifth by striking out Justin Gonzalez.
Harman's work allowed Maryland to start its rally in the fourth, when Hagel led off the inning with a single up the middle. After Kiene reached on a fielder's choice and Hagel moved to third on a FSU error, K.J. Hockaday singled to bring in a run.
Tomo Delp followed with a RBI sacrifice fly, and Jack Cleary got the Terps within one by singling down the left-field line to score another.
In the seventh, a double by Convissar and an infield single by Rodriguez left runners on the corners, and a wild pitch from Seminoles reliever Brian Busch scored Convissar to tie it. Kiene's double down the right-field line brought in Rodriguez and gave Maryland a 5-4 lead.
FSU tied it up in the bottom half of the inning. After Harman issued a leadoff walk, Wacker moved in from center field to replace him on the mound and struck out the first batter he faced -- FSU's leading hitter James Ramsey -- on three pitches.
But a tough hop on a grounder to short opened the door for the Seminoles to tie it. Boyd hit a chopper at Rodriguez, and the ball bounced on the edge of the grass and dirt, taking a low hop and going through Rodriguez's legs. That allowed Boyd to reach and Sherman Johnson to move to third.
A batter later, McGee drove in the tying run with a sacrifice fly to left field.
But Maryland battled back, breaking the tie with two runs in the eighth and adding an insurance run in the ninth when Rodriguez singled and later scored on a wild pitch.
And after the tough play in the seventh, it was Rodriguez who turned a 6-3 double play to end the game.
Wacker (5-0) was credited with the win, while Florida State reliever Mack Waugh (3-2) took the loss. Reed earned his eighth save of the season, moving into a tie for second place on Maryland's single-season saves list with Brett Cecil.