By Will Pitts
Hunter Parsons showed off his major-league potential against the Stetson Hatters at Melching Field Friday night, throwing a seven-inning, ten-strikeout gem. Late-inning heroics from the offense provided plenty of support, as the Terps gutted out a 7-0 win in the first of a three-game weekend series in DeLand, Florida.
The game remained scoreless for the first five innings, as Parsons engaged in a solid pitcher’s duel with Robbie Peto. Stetson’s starter fanned nine and only allowed three hits, but one of those hits would haunt him.
Maryland’s offense finally forced Peto to blink in the top of the sixth, when Maxwell Costes homered to left field, his second of the year and the Terps’ third hit of the game, to give the Terps a 1-0 lead. Hatters manager Steve Trimper pulled Peto after an exhausting 105 pitches, bt the Stetson bullpen could not stem the tide.
Randy Bednar cracked the game open in the seventh, lining a double into left to make it a 3-0 lead. Nick Turnbull struggled to relieve Parsons in the bottom of the eighth, leaving runners on first and second and giving way to Andrew Vail after only one out recorded. Vail comfortably retired the next two Hatters, ending any hopes Stetson had of a comeback.
If there were any doubts remaining, the Terps erased them in the top of the ninth by overpowering Stetson relievers Danny Garcia and Mike Materetsky for four more runs. Back-to-back solo home runs by Bednar and Taylor – the first of his collegiate career – extended the Maryland lead to 5-0. RBI singles by Benjamin Cowles and Tommy Gardiner provided further insurance, as the Terps’ lineup completely batted around. John Murphy closed out the game with a 1-2-3 ninth, preserving the Maryland win.
Parsons, picked by the Cleveland Indians in the 2015 MLB Draft, earned his second win against Stetson. The first came last March 26 when he pitched a complete game shutout at home. Despite a quality start, Peto’s one run allowed ensured that he would be tagged with the loss.