Maryland baseball, behind a quality start from Hunter Parsons and a go-ahead two-run home run from Kevin Biondic,defeated Northwestern 4-3 on Easter Sunday.
The Terps (14-14, 2-1 Big Ten) took their first Big Ten series against the Wildcats (8-14, 1-5 Big Ten) after a dropping Friday’s opener and walking off (literally) with a win Saturday.
Hunter Parsons took the mound, looking for his fifth consecutive quality start after throwing a complete game shutout against Stetson last week. Parsons had a decent outing, but had two tough innings, surrendering three earned runs and three walks in seven innings of work, settling down after the fourth.
Maryland had much better production from their lineup on Sunday, especially from the first three in the order. Nick Dunn led off the game with a home run, Marty Costes went 2-for-4 with two runs scored, and Kevin Biondic was the late-inning hero, hitting a two-run home run in the eighth.
Unlike the first two games of the series, the Terps were the first team to get on the board, scoring a pair of runs in the first. Dunn led off for the third straight game, where he has been productive this series. That continued Sunday, when he took the first pitch he saw and drove it over the right field wall to give the Terps a 1-0 lead. Costes followed with a single, then stole second and advanced to third on a fly out from Biondic. AJ Lee drove home Costes with an RBI single, his fourth hit and second RBI of the series, doubling their lead over the Wildcats.
The Terps didn’t hold the lead for long, as Northwestern answered with three of their own in the third. Leo Kaplan began the inning with a single, then stole second, putting him in scoring position for Jack Dunn. Dunn wasted no time, doubling into right field, scoring Kaplan. Alex Erro scored Dunn on a RBI single, extending his hitting streak to 14 games. Erro later scored on a Willie Bourbon RBI single to center, which went under the glove of Zach Jancarski, allowing Bourbon to advance to third.
Parsons faced more trouble in the fourth, surrendering a single and two walks as Northwestern loaded the bases. However, he was able to buckle down and strand all three runners. On the offensive end, the Terps had no answer for Northwestern starter Jack Pagliarini. At one point, Pagliarini retired 15 Maryland batters in a row, a stretch from the second inning to the seventh.
It took a while after the first inning, but Maryland finally got to Pagliarini in the eighth. The inning started out promising as Justin Morris walked, but Dunn quickly erased that threat, grounding into a double play. Marty Costes followed up with a single, bringing Biondic up to the plate. As he has other times this season, the first baseman came up in the clutch, crushing a ball over the left-center field fence to give Maryland the late 4-3 lead.
John Murphy came in for relief in the eighth inning with the Terps down a run, and stayed in for the ninth to close the game out for Maryland, but ran into some trouble in the ninth, losing control and loading the bases. He exited with two outs, giving way to Biondic, who allowed a line drive to left that Will Watson grabbed with a slide to seal the win.
Maryland continues their seven-game home stand, starting with William & Mary on Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET. The Terps continue their Big Ten schedule next Friday as Illinois comes down for a weekend series.