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Maryland’s NCAA baseball tournament run ends with 9-6 loss to East Carolina in regional final

The Maryland baseball team’s season is over.

The Terps lost to host East Carolina, 9-6, in the Greenville Regional final late Sunday night at Clark-LeClair Stadium in Greenville, North Carolina, ending the team’s quest to return to the Super Regionals for the first time since 2015.

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Maryland (30-18) defeated Charlotte, 2-1, on a walk-off single by Justin Vought earlier Sunday to set up a date with the top seed. The Terps needed to beat the 13th-ranked Pirates (44-15) twice to move on in the double-elimination regional round.

ECU jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the third inning on a sacrifice fly by Zach Agnos before Maryland second baseman Matt Shaw answered the bottom half with a solo home run to left field to make it 4-2. After the Pirates got runners on first and third with two outs in the top of the fourth, Terps left-hander Sean Fisher hit two straight batters to extend ECU’s lead to 5-2.

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Maryland pulled closer in the fifth, as center fielder Troy Schreffler Jr. hit a two-out, two-run double with the bases loaded to cut the deficit to 5-4.

Relying on their bullpen after getting a standout start from left-hander Ryan Ramsey earlier Sunday, the Terps faltered in the top of the eighth. After Fisher allowed back-to-back walks to open the inning, ECU scored on a fielder’s choice to push the lead to 6-4. Agnos broke the game open with a double to right-center, driving in two more runs to make it 8-4.

Still, the Terps did not go quietly. Maxwell Costes (Gilman) hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth to pull Maryland back within two, 8-6. After ECU tacked on a run in the ninth on a ground out, Matt Bridges struck out two in the bottom half to seal the victory, giving the Pirates their sixth Super Regional appearance in program history.

Shaw hit a pair of home runs in his first two at-bats and finished 3-for-5 with two RBIs. Costes hit his third home run of the weekend and went 2-for-3 with two RBIs. Schreffler went 3-for-4 and drove in two runs while Randy Bednar went 2-for-4.

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Maryland’s Vought, Costes, Bednar, Bobby Zmarzlak and Ramsey were all named to the All-Region Team.

After a slow start to the season, Maryland went 18-4 over its final 22 games to finish in second place in the Big Ten, the highest in program history and the best overall conference finish since placing second in the ACC in 1980. Maryland is now 10-11 all-time in the NCAA tournament, going 2-2 this year.

Maryland 2, Charlotte 1: After the Terps rallied to score the tying run in the eighth inning, Justin Vought’s bases-loaded single brought home Randy Bednar in the bottom of the ninth as Maryland beat second-seeded Charlotte, 2-1, to eliminate the 49ers and stay alive in the NCAA tournament on Sunday afternoon.

The Terps received a strong effort from sophomore left-hander Ryan Ramsey, who allowed three hits and one run in eight innings in his first college start.

Charlotte right-hander Matt Brooks pitched seven scoreless innings, allowing just three hits, before running into trouble in the eighth. After Troy Schreffler Jr. singled and advanced to second on a wild pitch, Tucker Flint reached safely on a bunt down the third-base line, giving the Terps runners on the corners with no outs. Matt Shaw grounded into a double play, but Schreffler was able to score to tie the game at 1.

Charlotte had runners on first and second with no outs in the top of the ninth, but were thwarted as Vought picked off LuJames Groover III at second base after a failed bunt attempt. Reliever Elliot Zoellner struck out Craig Keuchel and Jack Dragum lined out to Shaw to escape the jam.

The Terps loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth on singles by Bednar, Maxwell Costes (Gilman) and Bobby Zmarzlak setting the stage for Vought to walk it off.

The 49ers’ Austin Knight hit a solo home run to lead off the fourth inning for the game’s first run, giving a Charlotte a 1-0 lead that stood until the eighth.

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