While fans in College Park dealt with the cold, the Maryland baseball team (7-4) was on fire in Conway, South Carolina, taking a five-game winning streak after defeating Ball State (4-6) 13-1 in the Terps’ last game of the Johnny Gardner Law Group Invitational.
The Terps took the field against the Cardinals on Sunday with a revamped lineup, that featured no Marty Costes and Will Watson batting fifth and playing left field. Freshman Justin Vought took Watson’s place as designated hitter, his first collegiate start.
Maryland’s patience was on full display in the first inning, as Zach Jancarski walked to lead off the inning. Then, with two men on base, Kevin Biondic drew a full count, then knocked the ball over the right field wall for his first homerun of the year putting the Terps up 3-0 after the first inning.
Terrapin starter Hunter Parsons handled the Cardinals effectively through the first four innings, allowing two hits and striking out four. In the top of the fifth, however, Parsons appeared to tire, walking Griffin Hulecki to start the inning then allowing a one-out single from Rhett Wintner.
But, Parsons stayed collected, striking out two batters back-to-back to get out of the jam.
The same could not be said for Ball State starter Kyle Nicolas, who exited the game after pitching 4 ⅓ innings, allowing four hits, three walks and three strikeouts. Drey Jameson entered the game with Justin Vought on third, then walked Nick Dunn and hit AJ Lee on the elbow to load the bases.
With that, Biondic stepped to the plate and hit a two-run single, scoring Vought and Dunn. Then, Jameson hit Watson with a pitch and loaded the bases again, giving Wright room to work with only one out. He singled with a ‘blooper’ to left-center field, bringing in Lee and keeping the bases loaded.
Jameson forced Randy Bednar into a pop-up, but walked Justin Morris to score Biondic and bring the Terps’ lead to 7-0. The Cardinals relief pitcher forced Vought to pop up to end the inning.
Parsons maintained his momentum, allowing a single to leadoff the sixth inning, but forcing a ground out and fly-out, then striking out his seventh batter.
After Maryland’s four-run fifth inning, Jameson reentered in the sixth for Ball State, but the inning was more of the same for the Terps. With runners on first and second Biondic tripled, bringing home Jancarski and Dunn. Then, Watson doubled to score Biondic, and put Maryland up 10-0. With that, Ball State pulled Jameson, bringing in Lukas Jaksich.
Jaksich worked around a base runner, forcing a groundout and fly-out to get the Cardinals out of the inning.
Parsons returned for the seventh inning, taking down Ball State in order, marking his longest scoreless outing at Maryland. He ended the game, pitching seven innings, striking out a career-high seven and allowing four hits and one walk.
The Terps extended their lead in the seventh, when pinch-hitter Richie Schiekofer hit a single to drive in Morris and Brad Barnett grounded out to score Vought. Cardinal reliever Benjamin Wiegand got out of the inning, striking out Lee and then getting Biondic out at third on a fielder’s choice.
Maryland made the call to the bullpen to start the eighth, with Mike Vasturia taking the mound. He took down Ball State in order, with a fly out, strike out and ground out. For the top of the ninth the Terps brought in Alec Tuohy for his first appearance with Maryland.
With two outs, Tuohy gave up a walk and a hit, putting men on first and second. Then, Justin Kirkpatrick singled, scoring Colin Brockhouse and giving the Cardinals their only run of the game. Tuohy worked out of the jam, getting the last out and ending the game for the Terps.
Maryland takes on the Delaware Blue Hens in College Park for $1 hot dog night on Tuesday at 4 pm.
Latest posts by Paige Leckie (see all)
- Senior send-off: Looking at Maryland baseball’s graduating class - May 20, 2018
- Maryland baseball finishes season with loss to Indiana - May 19, 2018
- Maryland baseball sweeps Rutgers in final home series - May 13, 2018