College Park, MD - Maryland's Brandon Padula hit a clutch three-run home run with two outs in the eighth inning, capping a four-RBI afternoon as Hofstra failed to hold a three-run lead in a 7-5 loss to the Terps on Sunday at Shipley Field.
Senior Matt Prokopowicz (Massapequa, NY) hit his first home run of the season and the Pride built a 5-2 edge before Maryland scored once in the fifth and racked up four runs in the eighth to sweep the three-game series. Hofstra fell to 0-9 while the Terps won its fourth straight to move to 5-6.
In the opening inning, Prokopowicz lifted a long fly ball to right-centerfield for his first home run, taking Maryland starter Sander Beck deep despite being just the second batter of the game. The Terps responded quickly against Pride junior Kevin Rigopoulos (Althol, MA).
Maryland's Matt Marquis reached on a two-out double and scored on Padula's RBI single up the middle. Back-to-back walks prompted Hofstra head coach Patrick Anderson to summon senior Ryan Radke (Frankfort, IL). The right-hander allowed Matthew Murakami's run-scoring single but induced a flyout to hold Maryland to two runs.
Radke gave Hofstra's bullpen a needed break after Rigopoulos lasted just 2/3 of an inning. Radke allowed one run on two hits in a season-high 3 2/3 innings.
His effort nearly put the upperclassman in line for Hofstra's first win thanks to a strange top of the fourth. The Pride scored three runs in the inning without a single base hit. A walk and an error preceded a sacrifice bunt. Beck then walked the next hitter to load the bases before junior Mike Walraven (Morristown, NJ) drove in senior Elliot Hagburg (Hanover, NJ) on a sacrifice fly.
Prokopowicz waited out a wild Beck, working a walk to re-load the bases. Despite the force at any base, Beck tried to pick off Prokopowicz at first but threw wide, allowing two runs to score on Maryland's second error of the inning to put Hofstra ahead, 4-2.
Both teams scored once in the fifth inning to set up the late drama. Freshman Andrew Barbarino (Endwell, NY) entered for Radke with two men on and one out in the fifth. Barbarino pitched well in his collegiate debut, allowing just one inherited runner to score after plunking Tyler Bennett with the bases loaded.
The right-handed Barbarino shrugged off the play and escaped bigger trouble, officially allowing no runs in one inning of work. Hofstra still needed even more help from the bullpen and Maryland eventually responded for its first extended rally of the game.
Junior Jeff Guthridge (Bel Air, MD) logged all three of Hofstra's saves in 2009 but was summoned to protect a lead in the sixth. Guthridge was effective until the eighth. Nursing a 5-3 advantage, Guthridge hit the leadoff man but got the first out off a sacrifice bunt.
Guthridge (0-1) nearly avoided the big inning, getting a fly out before Alfredo Rodriguez lined a run-scoring single to right to make it a one-run game. Another single brought up Padula, who promptly drilled his second home run of the season for the Atlantic Coast Conference-member Terps.
Dan Gentzler logged the final two outs in earning his second save for Maryland. Adam Kolarek (1-0) registered his first win after pitching 1 2/3 scoreless innings in front of Gentzler. Hofstra will look for its first win of the season on Friday when it plays Temple in its first game of the Villanova Bash. The Pride will also play Villanova on Saturday and St. Joseph's University on Sunday.