Maryland hosts William & Mary in College Park Tuesday at 2 p.m. with a chance to pull even at .500 for the first time this season.
After stumbling out of the gate to 1-5 start, the Terrapins (4-5) rallied with three wins over the weekend at the USA Baseball-Irish Classic, including an impressive 9-2 victory over No. 6 NC State Saturday.
The Maryland offense awoke in Cary, North Carolina, spurring a ninth inning comeback Friday against Notre Dame and putting up nine and 11 runs against NC State and Dayton, respectively, on Saturday and Sunday. Nick Dunn and Kevin Smith led the Terrapins with three RBIs each in the team’s final game of the weekend, while home runs from Madison Nickens and Marty Costes fueled Maryland Saturday in the team’s first win against a top-10 opponent since May 21, 2015 (Illinois).
Taylor Bloom returned to form Saturday to pick up his first win of the season against the Wolfpack, pitching seven innings and allowing two runs on five hits. Tyler Blohm earned the win Sunday and Jared Price, Tayler Stiles and Mike Rescigno combined to give up two hits over four innings to close out the weekend.
Like Maryland, William & Mary (6-4) is coming off a three-win weekend at the USA Baseball-Irish Classic, narrowly defeating Monmouth and Rhode Island, and blanking Dayton. The defending CAA champions’ offense, which averages 5.9 runs per game, has been powered by junior Cullen Large (.432, HR,16 RBIs). The Tribe have learned to win close games this season, with four of their six wins coming by one run. All four of William & Mary’s losses are to ranked opponents, as they opened the season with three losses against No. 2 Florida and an 11-3 defeat to now No. 10 Virginia last Tuesday.
Tomorrow’s game will be the first between the two schools since 2010, when the Tribe defeated the Terps 5-2 in Williamsburg. It will also be the first game at Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium this season, after last week’s scheduled home opener against James Madison was postponed to May 10 due to inclement weather.
STARTING PITCHING MATCHUP
TUES 2 p.m. EST
So. RHP Hunter Parsons (0-0,7.11 ERA) vs. R-Sr. RHP Aaron Fernandez (0-0, 6.75 ERA)
Hunter Parsons, who was slated to start against James Madison, is expected to get his first start of the season Tuesday. The sophomore right-hander has pitched 6.1 innings over two appearances this season, including three scoreless innings against Louisville in the Clearwater Tournament. As a freshman, Parsons made five starts for the Terrapins last season, notching wins against James Madison and Purdue.
Redshirt senior Aaron Fernandez, also making his first start of the season, will get the ball for the Tribe. In three relief appearances this season, Fernandez has given up six hits over four innings. On February 21 against Lafayette, Fernandez struck out three of five batters faced in a scoreless inning of work. The right-hander did not play in 2016, but made 11 appearances (nine starts) in 2015, posting a 3-3 record with a 4.35 ERA.