Purdue unable to keep pace with Maryland's solo homers

Purdue baseball scored in the first inning for the first time since April 19, but Maryland's three solo home runs helped power the Terrapins to a 6-1 victory in game 2 of the series Saturday.

Posted: May 15, 2021 9:40 PM

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (Purdue Sports) — Purdue baseball scored in the first inning for the first time since April 19, but Maryland's three solo home runs helped power the Terrapins to a 6-1 victory in game 2 of the series Saturday.

Maryland (23-14) led 2-1 in the bottom of the fifth when Chris Alleyne, Ben Cowles and Bobby Zmarzlak all hit solo home runs over the span of five batters on the third time through the lineup. Those were the only earned runs Trent Johnson allowed over six innings, accounting for his fourth quality start of the season. The senior did not walk a batter for the second time this year and the fourth time as a Boilermaker in which he pitched at least four innings.

Skyler Hunter and Tyler Powers both had a pair of hits, but Purdue was held without an extra-base hit for the seventh time this season. Hunter scored the Boilermakers' lone run on a two-out RBI single from Ben Nisle in the first inning. Nisle and Hunter both have four hits in the series. After he singled in his first at-bat, Nisle was 10-for-20 during his six-game hit streak.

Big Ten wins leader Jason Savacool (7-1) scattered seven singles over six innings, striking out three. Purdue (11-23) had at least one hit against him in five of the six frames.

The Boilermakers loaded the bases with two outs but Ryan Howe was robbed of a potential go-ahead single on a diving catch by right fielder Troy Schreffler. Savacool retired 10 of the final 12 batters he faced beginning with that out.

Purdue hitters struck out only three times, one shy of the team's season low and the fewest since April 12. The Boilermakers hit into a pair of inning-ending double plays against UMD's lone reliever of the day, Ryan Ramsey.

Howe enjoyed a strong day defensively at third base, making a pair of solid picks on tough hops in the first and third innings. He handled a pair of ground balls to help Johnson (2-5) complete a 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the third. The following frame, Johnson pitched over a leadoff double, stranding the runner at third by inducing a one-out ground ball to Howe at third. Catcher Zac Fascia also threw out a base stealer at third in the first inning.

The Boilermakers have scored just two runs in their last 27 innings since the 16-run outburst in the May 2 win at Ohio State.

Sunday's series finale is set for 1 p.m. ET.

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