In Sunday’s rubber match of the three game series with Illinois, Maryland baseball fell to the Illini 4-2.
The Terps actually out-hit Illinois, eight to four, but left 13 on base. Maryland pitchers issued seven walks, and Illinois cashed in on them to leave College Park with the series win.
Hunter Parsons breezed through the first three innings, but ran into trouble in the fourth. Ben Troike led off with a single, and one out later, Michael Massey also singled to put men on the corners. A walk loaded the bases. Parsons struck out Jack Yalowitz for the second out. However he walked Michael Michalak and Illinois led 1-0.
The Terps got a man on second with one out in the second, third, and fourth innings, but came up empty each time.
With two outs in the top of the sixth, Parsons came up gimpy after throwing a pitch. He had to come out of the game and was relieved by lefty Sean Fisher. Parsons had gone 5.2 innings, allowing one run on three hits and two walks, striking out seven. With this effort Parsons’ ERA went below 3.00 for the first time this year.
The Terps scratched across two runs in their half of the sixth to take a 2-1 lead. AJ Lee singled to right field. Nick Dunn lined a single past the first baseman, and when right fielder Jack Yalowitz misplayed the ball, Lee came all the way around to score. Kevin Biondic walked, and Taylor Wright sacrificed the runners to second and third. Marty Costes pinch hit for Chris Alleyne, and drew an intentional walk to load up the bases. Right-hander Ryan Thompson came on in relief of starter Ty Weber. After Randy Bednar struck out, Richie Schiekofer was hit by a pitch to bring in another run.
Illinois tied the game in a weird way in the top of the seventh. A single by Michalak and a groundout to first gave the Illini a runner on second with two outs. Grant Van Scoy struck out on a pitch in the dirt that got away from Justin Morris. On the throw down to first, Van Scoy crashed into Biondic and was safe; Michalak was able to score from second on the play.
Maryland’s pitchers lost the strike zone in the top of the eighth, and Illinois took advantage to score two runs. Mike Vasturia walked the leadoff hitter in the top of the eighth. With Bren Spillane due up, John Murphy was called on to pitch. He walked Spillane, and was pulled after going 1-0 on the next batter. Biondic, an Illinois native, took the mound, the third Terp pitcher to do so in this inning. He walked a batter to load up the bases with none away. Doran Turchin hit an RBI sacrifice fly, with the runner from second taking third. Another sac fly made it 4-2 Illinois.
The Terps had a chance to tie it up in the bottom of the inning but came up short. Tommy Gardner led off with a walk. Randy Bednar, who was mired in a 1 for 29 slump, singled to center. Schiekofer struck out and Morris flied out. Illinois brought in its closer, Joey Gerber to face Zach Jancarski. Gerber hit Jancarski to load the bases, but fanned Lee to end the threat. The Terps didn’t score in the ninth, dropping the game by a score of 4-2.
The loss dropped Maryland to 15-17 on the season and 3-3 in the Big Ten. Mike Vasturia got the loss to go to 1-2.