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Maryland baseball’s comeback effort falls short in 10-7 loss to Michigan

The first-place Wolverines pulled ahead early, and a late Terps surge wasn’t enough.

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

Maryland baseball fell behind early and couldn’t recover despite a late rally as Michigan took the series opener in College Park on Friday night, 10-7.

The first-place Wolverines (32-11, 12-3 Big Ten) scored five runs in the first two innings against Terps (23-23, 8-8 Big Ten) senior ace Hunter Parsons, a lead they’d never give up. Another five runs in the seventh blew the game open for Michigan, and although Maryland scored three runs in both the seventh and eighth, the Terps couldn’t complete the comeback.

Parsons struggled on the mound, giving up five runs, four earned and six hits, in five innings on 115 pitches, striking out four and walking four. He wouldn’t get much help from his offense, as Maryland struggled against Karl Kauffman, who stifled Terps hitters. Kauffmann gave up four hits and four runs (one earned) over seven innings, striking out eight.

Michigan took an early lead in the first after Jordan Brewer drove in a run on a sacrifice fly and Blake Nelson hit an RBI double, putting the Wolverines up 2-0. In the second, Jordan Nwogu hit a two-run home run, and a Ben Cowles throwing error allowed Jesse Franklin to score as Michigan extended its lead to 5-0.

Maryland was held hitless into the fourth inning and scoreless into the sixth, but Taylor Wright’s solo home run with one out in the inning put the Terps on the board, cutting the lead to 5-1.

It wouldn’t stay like that for long, as Michigan put up a five-spot in the seventh to go up big late. The Wolverines got to reliever Sean Heine after he threw a perfect sixth, scoring three runs before he recorded an out. Jimmy Kerr, Nelson and Jack Blomgren all had RBI singles, Aka Thomas was walked by Tuck Tucker with the bases loaded and Nwogu drove in a run on a long sacrifice fly to center field as the Wolverines blew the game open at 10-1. The sac fly would’ve gone for extra bases if not for a stellar defensive play by Chris Alleyne, making a jumping catch against the batter’s eye.

Alleyne was in the center of the action again in the bottom of the inning, hitting a three-run home run to right field and cutting the deficit to 10-4. The inning would’ve been over two batters before as Michael Pineiro hit a routine double play ball to Thomas at second, but the ball went through the five-hole, allowing the inning to continue.

Caleb Walls got into the action in the eighth, hitting an RBI double off the left-center field wall, scoring Randy Bednar. Justin Vought followed with an RBI double of hit own to cut Michigan’s lead to 10-6. Michigan pitching loaded the bases as Ben Keizer walked three straight batters, including Alleyne, who help cut the deficit to three with an RBI walk. However, the Terps would strand the bases loaded as AJ Lee grounded out to Nelson, who stepped on the third-base bag to end the inning.

Wolverines closer Willie Weiss, brought in to finish the eighth, completed a four-out save. Bednar walked to lead off the ninth, but Wright grounded into a double play and Maxwell Costes struck out to end the game.

Maryland and Michigan will be back at it Saturday at 2 p.m. ET.