Before Ohio State reliever Will Pfennig recorded an out in the bottom of the seventh, Maryland had scored five runs on five hits to turn a slim two-run lead into a comfortable advantage.
Shortstop AJ Lee, center fielder Randy Bednar and third baseman Taylor Wright — the Terps’ first three batters — all picked up their fourth hits of the game in the frame. First baseman Maxwell Costes smashed a three-run homer that marked Maryland’s 20th hit of the afternoon.
Even though Maryland starter Hunter Parsons conceded seven runs for the second consecutive weekend, another offense surge in a series opener powered the Terps past a sluggish pitching performance.
Left-handed reliever Sean Fisher held the the Buckeyes to one run over the final three frames, securing the save in a 14-8 Terps victory in the front-end of Saturday’s doubleheader. Maryland is now one win away this weekend from winning its third consecutive conference series.
When Parsons takes the mound every weekend, Maryland knows it’ll likely only need four runs to win the game. More often than not, that holds true. In seven of Parsons’ 10 starts this season, the senior has held opponents to three runs or fewer.
On Saturday, for the second consecutive weekend, that wasn’t the case.
One week after conceding seven earned runs over seven innings against Northwestern, Parsons allowed another seven runs against the Buckeyes in second straight uncharacteristic performance. But the Maryland offense picked up their ace, one who has essentially single-handedly won the team games over the last two seasons.
Lee, Bednar and Wright went 12-for 15 with a combined eight runs scored and six RBI. All but one Maryland hitter picked up at least one hit, and six of the nine recorded multi-hit games.
The Terps scored twice off wild pitches in the first inning against Ohio State starter Garrett Burhenn, a freshman who entered 5-1 with a 3.16 ERA. But the right-hander conceded a season-high eight earned runs and allowed a run in five of the six inning he pitched in.
After Ohio State tallied a run on a solo homer in the top of the second, Bednar drove in a run with a two-out double to make it 3-1 Maryland only two innings in. But the Buckeyes offense had the answer for Parsons and scored five runs off him in the top of the third to take a 6-3 advantage.
A two-out rally set up a two-run Bednar triple in the bottom of the fourth. Wright then bunt singled home Bednar to tie the game at six. Catcher Justin Vought and right fielder Michael Pineiro each picked up an RBI to reclaim an 8-6 lead through five.
Both teams exchanged a run in the sixth, the final frame for both starting pitchers. As relievers entered, the tides turned in Maryland’s favor for good. The Terps scored five runs off Pfennig in the five-run seventh, while the Buckeyes only scored once off Fisher and twice in the final six innings.