Maryland drops first midweek game of season to William & Mary

William & Mary right-hander Michael Toner was looking for a shutdown inning after retiring the first two Terps he faced in the seventh frame. With the Tribe leading 8-3, center fielder Zach Jancarski crushed his second home run of the afternoon as he tried to stage a Maryland comeback with seven outs left to work with.

Last season at Plumeri Field, Jancarski went 4-for-5 with 4 RBI in Maryland’s 6-0 win against William & Mary. He continued to punish the Tribe on the road, but the Terps couldn’t keep pace offensively. Despite Jancarski’s efforts—going 2-for-3 with two runs and two RBI—The Tribe continued to score late in the game to come away with a 10-4 win in the first of two meetings between the teams this season.

It was an awfully familiar feeling when the Terps traveled to Williamsburg for their first midweek game of 2018. Of Maryland’s 11 midweek games last year, five featured at least 15 combined runs; nine had run totals in double-digits.

It was the Tribe who ended up on top, but the Terps who got off to the fast start. Jancarski—following a Marty Costes flyout on the first pitch of the game—also decided to swing at the first pitch he saw, sending William & Mary starting pitcher Nick Butts’ fastball over the fence for his first home run of the season.

The Tribe, though, responded quickly to tie the game in the bottom of the first. After Maryland right-hander Elliot Zoellner issued a leadoff walk in his first collegiate start, William & Mary’s Hunter Smith evened the score with an RBI single. The Tribe used a pair of doubles to score twice in the bottom of the second to take a 3-1 lead.

Zoellner allowed three runs in 1.1 innings, but only one was earned. He struck out two hitters before left-hander Billy Phillips entered for the Terps in the second. Phillips, too, faced just eight batters before his exit. William & Mary scored for the third consecutive inning to start the game, taking a 6-1 lead after three innings.

“That team was swinging that bat really well tonight,” Vaughn said. “I think William & Mary played a very complete game both on the mound and at the plate.”

Maryland started to climb back in its next turn to the plate. A walk by third baseman Taylor Wright preceded doubles from AJ Lee and Kevin Biondic, and just like that, the Terps grabbed two runs back in the fourth to make it 6-3.

Right-hander Hunter Parsons lasted just one inning in his start Sunday against the Volunteers, but was successful in relief Wednesday. After the Tribe put up six runs, Parsons recorded the last out of the third and then pitched the first scoreless frame for the Terps in the fourth. He retired all four batters he faced out of the bullpen.

“When you leave Knoxville with a sour taste in your mouth, that’s the thing about baseball that’s beautiful,” Vaughn said regarding Parsons’ performance. “You have some games to bounce back pretty quick so you have a chance to hop back in and redeem yourself a little bit.”

Right-hander Mike Vasturia pitched a scoreless fifth inning for the Terps, but ran into trouble the next frame. After loading the bases with two outs, left-hander Sean Fisher became the fifth Maryland reliever to enter the game. It looked like he was going to end the scoring threat, but a throwing error extended the Tribe lead to 8-3. Fisher struck out the next batter he faced.

Following Jancarski’s home run in the top of the seventh, William & Mary scored another pair of runs to extend its lead to 10-4, finishing the game’s scoring. The Tribe scored in five of their eight trips to the plate. Maryland was unable to record a hit after Jancaraski’s homer, giving the Tribe their first win of the season.

“I just think we have to go out there and stick with our approach,” shortstop AJ Lee, who reached base in three of his four at-bats, said. “I think we need to continue to do what we do at the plate.”

Maryland (2-2) is scheduled to host its home-opener this Friday against Army at 4 p.m.