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Maryland baseball splits doubleheader with Tennessee, wins series

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The Terps couldn’t complete the sweep, but they start the season 2-1.

Junior left-fielder Marty Costes
Andrew Kramer @mercator88

After Game 2 of Maryland and Tennessee’s weekend series was rained out Saturday, the Terps and Volunteers played a doubleheader on Sunday. Maryland took the first game 10-4, clinching the series win. However, Tennessee won the second game 13-6 to earn its first win of the season.

Game 1: Maryland 10, Tennessee 4

The first game was a seesaw affair until Maryland scored two runs in the eighth and six runs in the ninth to pull away. The Terps pounded out 12 hits, including three doubles and two triples. Zach Jancarski had three hits and two RBIs, Marty Costes and Will Watson also drove in two runs.

Tennessee struck first, as leadoff hitter sophomore Jay Charleston went the other way for his first career home run. But Maryland starter Tyler Blohm settled in and kept the score at 1-0 through five frames.

The Terps scratched out a run to tie the game in the top of the sixth inning. Kevin Biondic singled and went to second on a stolen base. Justin Morris moved him over to third, and Stallings had to come out of the game. Biondic scored on a wild pitch.

Tennessee retook the lead in the bottom of the inning. Justin Ammons was hit by a pitch, then stole second base and moved to third as the throw went into center field. Blohm was relieved by righty Elliott Zoellner, who allowed a long fly ball to put Tennessee back on top.

The Terps tied it up once more in the next inning. With one away, Taylor Wright tripled off the wall in right field and Will Watson hit a sacrifice fly to right. However, Tennessee once again retook the lead in the bottom of the seventh. A walk and a sac bunt put a runner in scoring position. Freshman lefty Sean Fisher came in for Zoellner. Ammons singled in the go-ahead run, and went to second on Costes’ throw to the plate. Derkay doubled to give the Vols a 4-2 lead.

But Maryland scored two in the eighth to tie the score yet again. The Terps loaded the bases with no outs, as Morris walked, Randy Bednar singled and Marty Costes walked. Zach Jancarski singled to right, and while Morris scored, Bednar was gunned down at the plate. Nick Dunn was intentionally walked to load the bases, then Wright hit an infield single that tied the score. The Terps left the bases loaded, but had new life again.

Maryland batted around in the top of the ninth, scoring six runs and putting the game out of reach. Biondic led off with a triple, Morris walked, and Costes scored both runners with a double that rolled to the wall. A failed pickoff attempt let Costes go to third. Jancarski lined a double down the third base line to make it 7-4 Terps. Dunn walked, then A.J. Lee singled in Costes. A balk and a wild pitch scored Dunn, and Watson’s double put the Terps up 10-4.

John Murphy set the side down in order in the bottom of the inning. Sean Fisher got his first collegiate win, and Maryland had clinched the series.

Game 2: Tennessee 13, Maryland 6

Tennessee’s bats came alive, as the Vols cranked three home runs and 16 hits, pulling away early before winning by seven.

Both teams came out swinging in their first at-bats. Costes led off with a home run. After Jancarski got aboard via an error, Dunn hit his third home run of the series to give the Terps a 3-0 lead.

However, Tennessee scored five in the bottom of the first to take a 5-3 lead. Charleston started with an infield single, and Ammons doubled him in. Derkay roped a single, then Andre Lipcious doubled off the wall in right to pull the Vols within a run. Benito Santiago doubled home both runners and the Vols had scored four runs off Maryland starter Hunter Parsons without making an out. A single through the hole in the right side scored Santiago.

Parsons’ struggles continued in the next inning. He hit the first two batters, then walked a Vol to load the bases. That ended Parson’s day, with freshman right-hander Mark DiLuia coming in to pitch. Things didn’t get any better, as Lipcius cranked a grand slam to make it 9-3. Santiago followed with a double and came home on a check-swing single by Nico Mascia. Through two innings, the Vols had 10 runs on 10 hits.

Charleston made it 11-3 with a leadoff home run in the bottom of the third. Santiago did likewise in the fourth.

The Terps scored two runs in the fifth inning. They loaded the bases via a hit-by-pitch, single and walk before Bednar singled home two runners with a single. Maryland added another run in the sixth without the benefit of a hit. Jancarski and Lee walked; with Watson at the plate, Santiago tried to pick Lee off of first. The throw went into right field and Jancarski was able to score. However, that was the last time the Terps got on the board in the nightcap.

Left-hander Billy Phillips, who overcame leukemia to pitch for the Terps this season, made his Maryland debut in the bottom of the sixth. He threw a scoreless frame and looked sharp. Mike Vasturia and Biondic handled the last two innings.

Parsons took the loss, and Maryland’s record in 2018 sits at 2-1. The Terps will visit William & Mary on Tuesday before starting their first home series Friday against Army.