Maryland junior Marty Costes follows through with his swing during the Terps’ win over Army in College Park on Sunday, Feb. 25. (Angela Roberts/The Left Bench)

Maryland baseball dominates offensively, beats Army

After losing four games in a row, the Terps dominated the last seven innings of a 6-3 win over the Black Knights on Sunday, giving them a 3-4 record for the season thus far.

“It was one of those weekends where you’re hitting balls hard and nothing’s really falling for you, there’s some good at-bats mixed in,” said head coach Rob Vaughn. “Getting out there with a win today is good.”

Maryland starter Hunter Parsons started off strong in the top of the first inning, taking down the Black Knights’ lineup in order with two ground outs and a fly out. That dominance didn’t last however, as Army (3-4) took a 3-0 lead in the top of the second inning.

Parsons hit John McKenna with a pitch to start off the inning. With one out designated hitter Anfernee Crompton reached on a fielder’s choice that caught McKenna out at second. With two outs, Parsons allowed a single and two walks, the second of which brought home Crompton to score.

Jacob Hurtubise then singled with the bases loaded, bringing home Anthony Giachin and Josh White and putting Army up 3-0. Maryland got out of the inning after Drake Titus grounded into a fielder’s choice with Simoes being forced out at third.

After having a total of three baserunners the first two innings, one reaching on a single, one walking and one on an error, Terrapin leadoff hitter Marty Costes was hit by a pitch to start the bottom of the third.

Costes stole second, and then stole third after being hit in the head by a pickoff attempt the previous pitch. With Costes at third and one out, Nick Dunn doubled down the first base line to bring him home, and cutting the Black Knights’ lead to 3-1.

“We kinda throw traditional baseball rules out the window,” said Vaugh, “the fact that [Costes] was able to embody that, I mean, stealing second, stealing third, getting there and being aggressive really sets the tone for the week.”

Dunn advanced to third on a Taylor Wright fly-out and eventually scored after Army starter Sam Messina let loose a wild pitch, bringing the Terps within one run of the Black Knights.

Maryland continued to chip away the bottom of the fourth, when Kevin Biondic tripled to center field to lead it off. Then, with two outs, Justin Morris hit an RBI groundout to bring Biondic home, tying the game at three.

Messina then hit Gardiner and Costes back-to-back, and walked Jancarski. This brought Dunn up to the plate. Dunn walked, bringing home Gardiner and putting the Terps up 4-3. Wright popped up to second to end the inning for the Terps, but not before they took the lead.

“We were trying to hunt pitches that we could do some damage with,’ said Biondic. “The first two days we were almost a little too aggressive. So we didn’t bring it back, we were still aggressive, but we got more, or, better pitches to look for.”

Both teams replaced their starters in the fifth inning, freshman Mark DiLuia entering for the Terps and freshman Matt Gray coming in for the Black Knights after Messina hit his fourth batter of the game.

DiLuia worked around two base runners, including Giachin who was hit by a pitch, to get Maryland out of the inning with its lead intact.

Freshman left-hander Sean Fisher entered in the top of the seventh for Maryland, handling the first two Army batters without consequence. Rosoff stepped to the plate, sending the ball to Dunn whose throw in the dirt to first allowed Rosoff to advance to second. Then McKenna hit a fly ball to center field, but Jancarski caught the ball, getting the Terps out of the inning.

After a scoreless top of the seventh inning by Sean Fisher, Bednar hit a solo home run to left field with one out, putting Maryland up 5-3 and prompting Army to pull Gray in favor of sophomore right-hander Carter Van Gytenbeek. He got the Black Knights out of the inning, walking one and forcing a ground out and flyout.

“I was trying to stay with a consistent approach,” said Bednar. “All the coaches say, ‘don’t worry about the result, just trust the process and everything else will take care of itself.’ So I’ve just been trying to do that.”

John Murphy came in to pitch the eighth for the Terps, working around two walks to maintain the lead by striking out the side.

Army switched pitchers twice in the bottom of the eighth, bringing in Daniel Burggraaf after Van Gytenbeek got two outs and walked Dunn. Burggraaf didn’t last long, walking three in a row to bring home Dunn and putting the Terps up 6-3. Army brought in junior Cam Opp, who got the elusive third out to get his team out of the inning.

Murphy walked the leadoff hitter in the top of the ninth, struck out the next, then hit Rosoff to bring McKenna, the tying run, to the plate with one out. He then struck out McKenna and forced Hudgins to pop-up to end the game.

Maryland plays at VCU for a midweek Wednesday, taking on the Rams at 3 pm.