In his second season as head coach, Rob Vaughn and the Maryland Baseball team earned 29 wins, including wins against Minnesota, Indiana and future-Big Ten Tournament champions Ohio State.
But the best single-game win of 2019 came during the postseason, in the Terps’ first game of the Big Ten Tournament. Its first tournament appearance under Vaughn’s leadership, Maryland’s solid pitching staff and powerful offense came together to defeat Illinois in a 6-2 victory to advance to the winner’s bracket.
Here’s a repost of Maryland Baseball Network’s game recap from the big win:
By Paige Leckie | May 22, 2019
Maryland defeats Illinois in first game of Big Ten Tournament
In the Maryland’s first Big Ten tournament appearance under second-year head coach Rob Vaughn, the Terps continued their hot streak, defeating the Illinois Fighting Illini 6-2 on Wednesday in Omaha, Nebraska, to move on to the winner’s bracket.
Maryland got on the board first, after loading the bases on a pair of walks and an infield single. A fielder’s choice from Randy Bednar drove in Chris Alleyne from third, giving the Terps a 1-0 lead in the second.
Terrapin runners reached base in all but the first inning, when Illinois starter Andy Fisher retired the Terps in order. Even so, the Terps struggled to plate runners and provide Parsons with a bigger lead with which to work, stranding a total of 12 on the day. The lack of extra run support from Maryland came back to haunt the Terps in the ninth inning, when Illinois started to mount a comeback.
Maryland ace Hunter Parsons set the tone early, tossing three consecutive 1-2-3 innings to start before the first Illinois runner reached base in the fourth. After the Fighting Illini’s first hit Parsons walked two with two outs to load the bases. But the right-hander induced a huge ground out to end the half and strand the bases loaded, maintaining the Terps’ 1-0 lead.
The Fighting Illini continued to pressure the Terps in the fifth and plated their first run of the day, when Grant Van Scoy beat the throw home after second baseman Ben Cowles bobbled the ball.
Though Illinois tied the game at one run apiece in the fifth, Parsons maintained his composure and took down the fighting Illini in order in both the sixth and seventh inning, giving the Terps a chance to pull ahead as the right-hander threw his 115th pitch on the day.
Following Parsons’ lead, the Maryland lineup came alive in the eighth. After Taylor Wright led off the inning with a single through the left side against the shift, freshman Maxwell Costes sent a two-run homer to left field. Then, two batters later, sophomore Justin Vought went deep with a two-run shot of his own, putting the Terps ahead 5-1 and providing Parsons much-needed run support.
Parsons threw 7 1/3 innings, allowing only one run on four hits and three walks and recording four strikeouts in his 123 pitches thrown. After the righty secured the first out of the eighth with a runner on first, Mark DiLuia entered to secure the final two outs of the half. The sophomore recorded a three-pitch called strikeout and induced a fly-out to end the inning and hold on to Maryland’s lead.
Behind DiLuia, the Terps tacked on another run on a drag bunt single from Alleyne in the ninth. Illinois tacked on a run in the ninth, but senior closer John Murphy recorded back-to-back strikeouts to secure Maryland’s first win of the conference tournament.