Maryland baseball (24-25, 9-10 Big Ten) took advantage of an injury to defeat Minnesota 7-3 in the series opener Friday night.
Golden Gophers (23-23, 11-8 Big Ten) ace Max Meyer’s outing was suddenly shortened in the first when he got hurt behind home plate after outfielder Michael Pineiro hit an RBI sacrifice fly. Minnesota, which had superb pitching last season during its NCAA Super Regional run, resorted to the bullpen, which has been less than stellar. Maryland took advantage, scoring four runs in the third and fourth innings to take a 5-2 lead that it never relinquished.
Hunter Parsons took the mound for the Terps, looking to overcome what was a rough outing against Michigan last Friday. He did just that, giving up three earned runs and six hits in seven innings, striking out eight and walking three on 112 pitches. He has become accustomed to throwing over 100 pitches in his past several starts.
Maryland had a better day at the plate than in games past, scoring seven runs on eight hits. Randy Bednar and Pineiro led the Terps, driving in five runs in total. Bednar went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and two RBIs. Pineiro went 1-for-2 with three RBIs and two walks.
The Terps scored first in the first on Pineiro’s sacrifice fly. Pineiro drove in his second run of the game in the third on an RBI double. However, Minnesota answered back with two of their own in the bottom half on an RBI groundout and an RBI single to tie the game at 2-2.
Maryland earned back its lead with three runs in the fourth as it capitalized off several bases loaded situations. After outfielder Randy Bednar singled home designated hitter Josh Maguire, first baseman Maxwell Costes was hit to load the bases, resulting in two straight run-scoring plays. Pineiro drove in his third run of the game on an RBI walk, and catcher Justin Vought drove in a run after being hit with a pitch to extend the lead to 5-2.
Minnesota responded with a run in the sixth, an RBI groundout, before their bullpen ran into more trouble in the seventh, giving up two runs after loading the bases. A Maguire RBI sacrifice fly and Bednar RBI single extended Maryland’s lead to 7-3.
Andrew Vail pitched a scoreless eighth inning and John Murphy closed out the game with a scoreless ninth to seal the Terps’ series opener victory.
Game Two of the series is a late-night affair, starting at 8 p.m. ET Saturday.