Maryland comes back from six runs down to beat William & Mary

Maryland’s bullpen combined to give up two runs over 7.1 innings and the Terrapins’ offense scored nine runs over six innings to complete a six-run comeback in its home opener against William & Mary, defeating the Tribe 9-8.

A Nick Dunn RBI-single in the sixth gave Maryland its first lead of the game, and the Terrapins added runs in the seventh and eighth to hold off William & Mary and push the Terrapins (5-5) to .500 for the first time this season.

It was the team’s fourth straight win after starting the season 1-4.

“We just came in and knew we were going to have to grind back,” Kevin Smith said.

Hunter Parsons made his first start of the season for Maryland but lasted only 1.2 innings after allowing six earned runs, including a three-run home run to Kyle Wrighte with two outs in the second.

Parsons faced two more batters before being replaced by Ryan Hill.

Parsons’ final batter was Cullen Large, who continued his scorching start to the season with a bases-clearing double, giving William & Mary the early 6-0 lead.

Hill struck out the next batter to get Maryland out of a nightmarish inning. Hill, making his fifth appearance of the season, pitched through the fifth, surrendering three hits, striking out six and giving up no runs over 3.1 innings.

Head coach John Szefc praised Hill’s performance, citing his three-plus innings of scoreless work as instrumental to the team’s comeback.

“Hill did a great job of putting three-and-third scoreless up to kind of let our guys, give us some time for our guys to come back,” Szefc said. “Because if we don’t stop it there, the end is not going to be that way.”

“When coach tells you to run down and get hot, a little adrenaline kicks in and you’re getting pumped,” Hill said. “You’re ready to get going and get in there and once you get in there you’re just like, ‘just throw strikes, get out of it and then settle down and just do your thing.'”

Junior Ryan Hill pitches after replacing Hunter Parsons early in the game. Hannah Evans/Maryland Baseball Network 3/7/2017

Hill often controlled the count, getting ahead of batters and showing good command of the strike zone.

Maryland chipped away at the lead with four runs in the bottom half of the inning, including a Kevin Biondic two-run RBI-single.

“Kevin Biondic has a big hit there to make it a big inning,” Smith said. “And once we put up that four-spot we kind of knew that we would be alright.”

“I give our offense an awful lot of credit,” Szefc said. “I mean they put up a six-spot and our guys jumped right back and put a four-spot up. And if you’re sitting in that dugout, you’re feeling pretty good about 6-0 and then all the sudden its 6-4. you’re not feeling so good anymore.”

Maryland and William & Mary exchanged three scoreless innings beginning in the third, allowing Szefc to not reach as deep into his bullpen with a game against St. Joseph’s tomorrow.

The scoring drought ended when Zach Jancarski double into right field to tie the game followed by Dunn’s go-ahead base hit.

Maryland added another run when pinch hitter Danny Maynard was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the seventh.

Tayler Stiles pitched a hitless sixth innings and Mike Rescigno gave up one run on three hits over one inning.

Redshirt junior Ryan Selmer celebrates after making his way out of a 9th inning jam. Hannah Evans/Maryland Baseball Network 3/7/2017

After exchanging runs in the eighth, Ryan Selmer completed the two-inning save with a strikeout of Matthew Keane to end the game. It was Selmer’s second save of the season.

“Selmer had it,” Hill said. “When he’s out there, I know he’s got the job done and it’s a good thing to have him out there.”

Maryland looks to extend its winning streak to five tomorrow at home against St. Joseph’s. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m.