Maryland defeated VCU 7-1 on Wednesday to complete a home-and-home sweep of the Rams. The Terps limited VCU to only four hits and a single run, with strong pitching from Hunter Parsons and Ryan Selmer. Maryland pounded out 12 hits, including two by Zach Jancarski (one being his first home run), two by Nick Dunn, and three by the hot hitting Kevin Biondic.
Hunter Parsons was making his first college start tonight, and it was a good one. The freshman right-hander surrendered only one run in 4.2 innings of work.
Terps go up 3-1 on consecutive doubles and a Jancarski home run
Kevin Smith reached second on a fielding error by VCU's shortstop.. Back to back doubles by Marty Costes and Kevin Biondic put the Terps up 2-0 in the first inning. VCU got a run back in the bottom of the inning. Logan Farrar got aboard via an infield hit, was bunted over to second, and then scored on a single by Jimmy Kerrigan.
The Terps scored again in their half of the fifth on Zach Jancarski's first collegiate home run, a solo shot to left field. Smith and Nick Dunn hit consecutive singles, but were left stranded. The Terps led 3-1 midway through the game.
Selmer helps Maryland get out of a bases-loaded jam
Hunter Parson was cruising, retiring 10 straight batters at one point, before issuing his first walk in the bottom of the fifth. Daane Berezo followed that with a single to right. Parsons struck out the next batter. Pitching coach Bellanger brought in freshman southpaw Andrew Miller to face the left-handed batter, Farrar. Miller walked Farrar to load the bases. Ryan Selmer entered the game, as the next hitter batted from the right side. Selmer needed only two pitches to get James Bunn to ground out to short, and the Terps still led 3-1.
Parson's final line: 4.2ip, 4h, 1r, 1er, 1bb, 4k, 70tp.
Terps pull away
The Terps added a run in the top of the sixth. Biondic looped in a single to left, and was sacrificed to second by Anthony Papio. One batter later, A. J. Lee singled sharply through the left side, and Biondic beat the throw home.
Maryland scored twice with two outs in the seventh. Nick Cieri singled, then Costes and Biondic walked to load the bases. Papio's single through the right side plated two Terrapins. The Terps added another run in the eighth inning. Jancarski singled and went to second on a wild pitch. Nick Dunn doubled home Jancarski to push the Terrapin lead to 7-1.
Ryan Selmer was strong in relief, throwing 3.1 scoreless innings without surrendering even a single baserunner. Mike Rescigno pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning. Maryland relievers had closed out the game by retiring 13 straightRams.
For the first time this year Maryland creeped above the .500 mark, now 13-12 overall. Selmer got the victory to move to 2-1.
Three things to know:
1. Maybe this was the tipping point for Maryland. Earlier this season the Terps scored plenty to win midweek games, but Terps pitchers were embarrassed by Delaware and George Washington. Now the Terps have won three consecutive midweek games against good competition, the last two based on superb pitching. It's especially nice to see strong performances from Stiles, Parsons, Selmer, and Rescigno, since the weekend rotation looks solidly locked in.
2. Kevin Biondic has done a 180 degree turnaround. Last year he hit below .200 and was so-so at first base. But this season Biondic leads the team with a .361 average, and has become a nifty fielder.
3. There are some tough coaching decisions to be made. Right now Bechtold and Lee are battling it out for a starting position at third base. The emergence of Marty Costes means that Maryland has four potential starters in the outfield. That's not necessarily a bad situation to be in.