On June 7, the Maryland baseball team won its fourth straight NCAA tournament game and inched to within one win of the College World Series.
But a Virginia team that spent most of the season ranked in the national top 10 didn't let that happen. The host Cavaliers swept the final two games of the NCAA Super Regional to end Maryland's storybook season and clinch their third College World Series berth out of the last six years.
The Terrapins, who finished with a 40-23 record, set a school single-season standard for wins. Virginia will take a 49-14 mark into its College World Series opener against the University of Mississippi in Omaha, Neb.
Maryland took the opener of the Super Regional, 5-4. But the Cavaliers found their batting stroke during the last two games. Virginia evened the series with a 7-3 victory, then took an early 6-0 lead and cruised to an 11-2 win during the deciding game.
"We're obviously not pleased with the outcome, but I can't sit here and lament a whole lot about what these guys have accomplished this season," said Maryland head coach John Szefc, who is in his second year at the helm. "As we continue to build this program, this group will really be one that is looked back on as a cornerstone of that process."
During their first NCAA Super Regional game, the Terrapins took a 5-2 lead in the fifth inning and held off a late Cavalier rally to win, 5-4, and move within one victory of the College World Series. Charlie White led the Terrapin offense, going 3-for-5 at the plate, scoring two runs. A junior center fielder, White also made one of the best defensive plays of the game. With the score tied, 1-1, and the bases loaded in the bottom of the first inning, White made a diving catch to capture a Virginia line drive, then fired the ball to Terrapin shortstop Blake Schmit, who threw home to catcher Kevin Martir, who tagged out the Virginia runner to complete the double play.
"That inning was Charlie White's inning," Szefc said. "First, he got us going offensively. But that catch is as good as hitting a double with the bases loaded, because he took two runs off the board. To get out of that inning and to minimize the damage as much as we did was crucial."
Closer Kevin Mooney got the final four outs of the game for his 13th save of the season, tying a Maryland single-season record.
But the Terrapins couldn't finish off the talented Cavaliers. Virginia broke away from an early 1-1 tie to take the second game, 7-3. During the deciding game, the Cavaliers scored six runs in the first three innings. Maryland got two runs back in the top of the eighth inning, but Virginia iced the game in the bottom half with a five-run rally.
Although the best season in school history has ended, several Maryland players will continue their baseball careers. From June 5-7, four Terrapins were selected during the MLB First-Year Player Draft.
Senior right-hander Jake Stinnett, who earned the win during Game One of the NCAA Super Regional, was a second-round choice of the Chicago Cubs'. He was one of two Maryland players taken by the Cubs, who also nabbed White during the 21st round. White is a native of Naperville, Ill., a Chicago suburb.
Two other Terrapins are headed for professional careers. Senior left-hander Ben Brewster, who went to Baltimore's Park School, was a 15th-round selection of the Chicago White Sox. The Minnesota Twins took Schmit, a Minnesota native, during the 26th round.
To read about other MLB draftees who have attended area high schools and/or colleges, click here.