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Maryland baseball sweeps doubleheader with Maine to open home slate

The Terps rode stellar pitching performances from Hunter Parsons and Zach Thompson to take the first two in the weekend series.

Maryland baseball Hunter Parsons vs. Maine Maryland Baseball (@TerpsBaseball)

Maryland baseball opened its 2019 home schedule with a pair of wins over Maine on Friday afternoon. Thanks to a pair of strong pitching performances, the Terps cruised to a doubleheader sweep and moved to 3-2 on the young season.

Game 1: Maryland 4, Maine 0

It was Opening Day in College Park, and behind a stellar pitching performance from Hunter Parsons, Maryland shut out Maine in its home opener.

Parsons was a force to be reckoned with on the mound, carrying a no-hitter into the fifth inning and throwing eight scoreless innings of three-hit baseball, striking out five over 99 pitches.

On the offensive end, the Terps, thanks to their always rowdy dugout, toyed with Maine pitching, recording just five hits, but capitalizing off three Maine errors and five Black Bear walks.

This was the first time the Terps and Black Bears met since 1965, but Maryland got the upper hand early on Friday afternoon and ran with it. The scoring started in the first, as Randy Bednar homered over the batter’s eye in center field to give Maryland a 1-0 lead. The scoring continued in the third, as Caleb Walls walked, then aggressively advanced to second on a fly out to the right fielder. Taylor Wright then singled him home to make it 2-0.

In the fourth, Maxwell Costes walked to lead off the inning, advancing to third on a single from Michael Pineiro and scoring on a sacrifice fly from AJ Lee, putting Maryland ahead 3-0. Maryland further extended their lead in the fifth thanks to a costly error from the Black Bears. Wright doubled into the right-center field gap and advanced to third on a wild pitch, but was tagged out in a rundown after Maine brought the infield in. Justin Vought, the batter, advanced to second on the play and scored one hitter later, as Costes reached first on a bad throw from the third baseman that would’ve been the last out of the inning. Instead, it became a 4-0 Maryland lead.

Parsons continued to cruise through the Maine order, recording five 1-2-3 innings on the day. His toughest inning was his last, the eighth, where the first two runners singled, and advanced into scoring position with one out. However, Parsons got out of the jam without allowing a run. John Murphy pitched a scoreless ninth to finish the game.

Game 2: Maryland 5, Maine 3

Once again, the Terps (3-2) relied on stellar pitching and timely hitting to sweep the Friday doubleheader.

This game was all Zach Thompson, as he rebounded well from his first Maryland start against Coastal Carolina last weekend. The sophomore tossed 6.2 innings of two-run ball, striking out nine, not walking a batter and throwing 74 strikes. He held Maine (0-6) scoreless until the seventh.

The Maryland offense was clicking just enough to give Thompson a cushion. The Terps also capitalized on catcher errors, as freshman Ryan Turenne had a tough day throwing out batters on the basepaths.

Maryland began the scoring in the first, as Costes drove in Wright and Vought with a two-out, two-run double to put the Terps up early, 2-0. They increased their lead in the third, as Randy Bednar stole third base after singling and advancing on a groundout and advanced home as Turenne threw into short left field.

The scoring continued in the sixth, as Chris Alleyne singled home AJ Lee to put Maryland up 4-0. Lee walked, eventually advancing to third after a hit by pitch and double steal attempt (on which Ben Cowles was thrown out at second).

Maine ended its scoring drought in the seventh against Thompson. Turenne doubled, then advanced to third after a single from Caleb Kerbs. He later scored on an RBI groundout from Colin Ridley. Kerbs scored on an RBI single from Jake Roper to cut Maryland lead in half at 4-2. Thompson departed with two outs, but Elliot Zoellner struck out the first batter he faced to end the threat.

Maryland got a run back in the seventh as Vought scored from second on a Ben Cowles RBI single, just beating out the throw home to put Maryland up 5-2. The benches cleared after Turenne took offense to Vought’s slide, but the possible brawl quickly subsided.

Maine clawed back in the eighth, but Matthew Pineiro prevented the Black Bears from any more scoring. Two Maryland errors put runners on the corners with one out for Maine, then Joe Bramanti singled home Jeffrey Omohundro to cut the lead to 5-3. However, Turenne lined out to Pineiro at first, who ran and stepped on the bag for the inning-ending double play.

The Maine offense awoke in the later innings, but the combination of Zoellner, Sean Fisher and Nick Turnbull was just enough for Maryland to take game two.

The series will resume on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET as the Terps look to sweep the Black Bears.