The Maryland baseball team will travel to Champaign this weekend to take on the Illinois Fighting Illini for a three-game series. Illinois is 19-8 overall and 0-3 in conference play, while the Terps are 13-14 overall and 1-2 in conference play.
The Fighting Illini got swept in their last weekend series by Iowa but picked up two wins against No. 19 Coastal Carolina on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Illinois will likely throw its ace, senior Andy Fisher on Friday. The left-hander has a 3-1 record with a 3.60 ERA. Maryland is expected to throw its ace as well as Hunter Parsons will take the mound, coming off a scoreless outing against Indiana.
After Fisher, expect Ty Weber and Cyrillo Watson on the mound for the Illini Saturday and Sunday. Those three have been the weekend starters for the majority of the season.
Offensively, Illinois will look to ride the hot bat of junior Michael Massey. The junior has gotten a hit in 12 straight games. Additionally, Illinois is expecting to get some power back in its lineup with the return of Zac Taylor. Taylor, who has three home runs on the season, has been injured since March 10th but should be back in the lineup this weekend.
Maryland will look to turn its fortunes around after dropping three straight games, and it will start with Parsons on Friday. The senior right-hander has a 2.20 ERA and is coming off of his best outing of the season. After Parsons, Zack Thompson and Trevor Labonte will likely get the starts on Saturday and Sunday.
To beat Illinois, the Terps will need to pitch better, but also break out of their minor hitting slump. Freshman Maxwell Costes, who was a major part of the team’s early success, has just one hit in his last 12 at-bats.
First pitch is set for 7 p.m. on Friday night and the game can be heard on the Maryland Baseball Network.