Parsons struggles as Terps drop Tennessee finale

Maryland’s bats picked up where they left off. The Terps scored six runs in the ninth inning in the front-end of the doubleheader, and were able to tack on three just under an hour later.

But the starting pitching success Maryland had seen earlier in the day was nonexistent; Hunter Parsons failed to make it out of the second inning, surrendering eight earned runs, and taking the loss in Tennessee’s 13-6 win over the Terps.

Parsons allowed each of the first five Volunteers to reach base and score, but the game was really broken open in the second. After the 6-foot-3 junior loaded the bases with a pair of hit batsmen and a walk, head coach Rob Vaughn elected to give the ball to freshman Mark DiLuia. Then, Andre Lipcius lofted a grand slam to left field, extending the lead to six.

“The most important thing you do — whether it’s on the baseball field or in life — is to respond,” Vaughn said. “We would’ve loved for him to go out there and roll out zeroes… but it gives him a chance to bounce back and respond.”

DiLiua had more difficult moments in the following innings — he allowed a leadoff homer in both the third and fourth innings — but responded to the grand slam well in his first career appearance.

The Terps offense kept the game interesting, despite a deficit as large as nine runs. Randy Bednar drove in two runs with a two-out pinch-hit RBI single in the fifth and Zach Jancarski scored in the sixth inning after an error on a pickoff attempt.

However, the best moment from the evening came when Maryland relief pitcher Billy Phillips entered the game in the sixth inning. Phillips, who has not played for the last two years as he was battling Leukemia, made his first career appearance for the Terps. He struck out the first batter he faced, forced a double play, and got hugs and high-fives from everyone in the dugout.

Tennessee tacked on a run in the eighth on Lipcius’ sixth RBI.