After powering Maryland’s cleanup spot with 12 homers in the regular season, infielder Maxwell Costes was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Year on Tuesday — one of six Terps to earn a yearly award from the conference.
Costes, also named to the All-Big Ten first team as a first baseman, is joined by All-Big Ten second team outfielder Randy Bednar, and All-Big Ten third team recipients in starting pitcher Hunter Parsons, third baseman Taylor Wright, shortstop AJ Lee and designated hitter Michael Pineiro.
Costes and Pineiro were also named to the All-Big Ten Freshman team.
Costes’ first year in College Park rivaled that of his older brother Marty, who the Houston Astros selected last year in the MLB Draft. Costes has been one of the most consistent hitters in the Terps lineup this season, blasting a team-high 12 home runs, a mark that also ranks fifth in the Big Ten.
The Baltimore native started in all 55 regular season games, picking up at least one hit in 37 of them. He collected four hits in the final weekend of the regular season against Iowa, which helped propel Maryland to a sweep and a Big Ten tournament berth.
Costes’ 44 runs batted in and .500 slugging percentage ranked in the top 10 in the conference, while his 19 hit by pitches led all Big Ten hitters. He becomes the second Terrapin to win Big Ten Freshman of the Year in the last three seasons, joining starting pitcher Tyler Blohm.
Senior ace Hunter Parsons has continued the recent trend of dominant Friday night starters for Maryland, going 9-3 with a 3.62 ERA. The Terps won in 10 of his 14 starts and only lost one time with Parsons on the mound during conference play.
The right-hander led the conference with 97 innings pitched, one of the more difficult pitchers to take out of a game. At 120 pitches in his final regular season start, Parsons stayed in the game against Iowa after a mound visit and struck out the final batter of the eighth inning on just three pitches.
Parsons’ best start of his senior season was against Indiana — the Big Ten regular season champions — when he shut out the Hoosiers on two hits over eight innings.
Bednar improved mightily in only his sophomore season, finishing the regular season with a .300 batting average and a team-high 52 RBIs, 47 runs, 69 hits, 29 walks, and a .543 slugging percentage.
The outfielder ranked in the top 10 in slugging, runs, hits, doubles, home runs, and runs batted in. His 19 doubles trailed only Wright, his teammate, for the conference lead. Bednar was one of three Terps to start in all 55 regular season games.
Wright, who transferred into the program last season, led the Big Ten with 20 doubles. In just two seasons, the Canadian already ranks fourth all-time in Maryland history for doubles. The infielder’s 12 steals and 29 walks were tied for the team lead.
Lee, a senior captain, was a key component of Maryland’s push into the postseason in 2019. He missed several games early in the season with an injury but was dominant after returning, and finished the regular season with a team-high .301 batting average.
The shortstop hit .588 in the final week of the season, earning Big Ten Player of the Week honors. Lee had arguably the biggest hit of the Maryland season so far, demolishing a walk-off homer in the series opener against Iowa. He hit three of his six home runs this year in the final four games of the regular season.
Pineiro, who didn’t play at all during his true freshman season in 2018, contributed in a much larger role this year. The outfielder played in 41 games, hitting .250 with three home runs and 23 runs batted in.
No. 6-seeded Maryland begins postseason play Wednesday at 10 a.m. ET against No. 3 Illinois in the Big Ten tournament.