Preseason Countdown #22: Best series of 2018

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While the Terps put up five come-from-behind series victories in 2018, Maryland’s late-March series win over the Stetson Hatters stands out from the rest.

Between a breakout offense on Saturday and a complete game shutout on Sunday, Maryland’s ability to overcome a Friday night loss against an eventual NCAA Super Regional participant marks the Terps’ best series win of 2018.

Heading into the weekend series after a lackluster spring break road trip, during which Maryland went 1-4, the Terps needed to get back on track with a series win at home to round out the break.

Stetson ace Logan Gilbert, who was later drafted No. 14 overall by the Seattle Mariners, led the Hatters to their only win that weekend, handling the Terps with ease. Maryland’s bats stayed as cold as the windy 46-degree weather for the Friday matinee, unable to match Stetson’s 12 runs and 14 hits in a 12-3 blowout. 

Something clicked for Maryland overnight, however, and the bats came alive Saturday afternoon when the Terps put up six runs on six hits behind a career-high 12-strikeout start from left-hander Tyler Blohm.

With the series tied at one game apiece, both teams stepped onto the field hungry for the win in Sunday’s rubber match. The tiebreaker turned into a pitchers’ duel, with the Terps’ junior right-hander Hunter Parsons facing off against the Hatters’ Mitchell Senger, both throwing complete games.

Though both offenses remained largely quiet, Maryland’s ability to capitalize on Stetson’s defensive miscues gave the Terps their game-winning run in the fifth inning. Outfielder Richie Schiekofer scored on a passed ball and, an inning later, senior Kevin Biondic scored on a fielder’s choice to give Parsons a slight cushion.

The two runs were all the Terps needed, however, winning the series-deciding match 2-0 in just under two hours. It was Parsons’ first career shutout and second complete game, after dropping the Bryant Bulldogs two weeks prior in a nine-inning marvel.

Stetson went on to win the Atlantic Sun Conference, advancing to the NCAA Super Regionals before being knocked out by North Carolina. Stetson’s postseason success makes Maryland’s series win back in March that much sweeter, rounding it out as the Terps’ best series win of 2018.

Maryland will travel to Florida for an early March series rematch against the Hatters this spring.