On a warm Williamsburg afternoon with the wind blowing out, Maryland baseball tried to set the tone for the day on the first pitch of the game, as Marty Costes sent a ball all the way to the wall.
Zach Jancarski was the only Terp who continued to try to send that message, launching two home runs over the wall of Plumeri Park. A.J. Lee and Kevin Biondic were the only other Maryland players to add hits to the scoresheet on the day, as William & Mary went on to win 10-4.
After Costes flew out to lead off, Jancarski blasted one to left center field to open the scoring with his first home run of the season. William & Mary took a different approach early, with right fielder Ryan Hall drawing a leadoff walk and later scoring to tie the game at 1-1 on a bloop single to left field from designated hitter Hunter Smith.
That offensively driven first inning was a precursor to what would turn out to be a typically high-scoring midweek game.
After struggling a bit early, Tribe pitcher Nick Butts regained control in the second inning, striking out three straight batters after issuing a leadoff walk to Maryland shortstop Lee. William & Mary found greater success in the bottom half of the inning, scoring both an earned and unearned run and knocking Terps starter Elliot “The Fuzz” Zoellner out after just 1.1 innings.
Left-hander Billy Phillips came in in relief, but couldn’t keep inherited runners from scoring from second and third. Jason Waldman came home from third on a fielder’s choice, and Craig McLane scored on a double off Randy Bednar’s glove in right field. Before Maryland came to bat for a third time, it was 3-1 Tribe.
Even with new pitcher Aljo Sujak in the game, Maryland went quietly again in the top of the third, and William & Mary again took advantage. The Tribe’s three-run third spelled the end for Phillips. Hunter Parsons came in to clean up the mess, getting McLane to ground out to end the inning.
The Terps started to claw their way back into the game in the fourth, using two doubles to score a pair of runs and cut the deficit to 6-3. Taylor Wright walked, advanced to third on a Lee double and scored on a Will Watson groundout. Lee trotted home from third on a Biondic double off the wall in right center. Parsons sent the Tribe down in order in the bottom half of the fourth, and just like that, Maryland was right back in the game.
With two outs and the bases loaded in the bottom of the sixth inning, the Terps got the ground ball they needed to avoid trouble, but Lee threw it over Biondic’s head, allowing two more William & Mary runs to score. That was essentially the nail in the coffin, as the lead was now 8-3 and the Maryland offense was nowhere to be found. Jancarski tried to give his squad some life with his second home run of the day, but it was the last time the Terps would score on the day.
The Tribe added two more insurance runs in the bottom of the seventh to take a 10-4 lead. No more than four batters came to the plate in the eighth or ninth innings for either team, as both squads seemed content to move on to their respective weekend series without straining too hard to close out the game.
Maryland will be back in action against Army at 4 p.m. Friday in College Park for its home opener.