WESTMINSTER, Md. – The slugging Ursinus College baseball team fell just short in an epic 17-16 shutout in the opening game to McDaniel but salvaged a split by taking a 12-6 final in the closing game of a sunny and blustery Centennial Conference doubleheader.
Entrenched in the playoff hunt, Ursinus (17-14, 7-7) continued to tear the cover off the baseball. The Bears, who have scored 50 runs on 56 hits in their last three games, drove three home runs out of the park on the day. Sophomore Will Peiffer crushed a grand slam and tripled on his way to a six-RBI first game.
Junior Alex Mumme kept re-writing the Ursinus record books. He powered a solo homer over the fence, his 23rd of his career. Mumme's first-inning run in Game 1 was his 49th of the season, breaking Rich Barrett's single-season school record from the 2000 campaign. Mumme also drove in three runs on the day to give him 100 for his career. He's now one shy of tying the single-season school record.
Freshman Jon Moldoff hit his first career home run, a three-run shot in the final inning of Game 2, as part of a 6-for-12 afternoon with six RBI.
Game 1: McDaniel 17, Ursinus 16
Ursinus has been in some wild games this year, but Saturday's opener was an incredible rollercoaster ride even by the Bears' standards as it featured 33 runs on 41 hits. Ursinus collected 19 hits and the Green Terror (10-20-1, 2-12) picked up 22 knocks in the thriller.
The Bears faced an early 8-1 deficit, but came back to tie it in with a six-run fifth. McDaniel took a 13-8 edge before Ursinus fought back to take the lead, 14-13, in the sixth, only to see the Green Terror score four runs in the seventh.
Ursinus generated back-to-back six-run innings in the fifth and sixth.
Down 17-15 entering the ninth, Mumme reached on an error by the shortstop. Usowski singled to center. With one out, Scavone singled past the shortstop up the middle to score Mumme.
The Bears were down to their final out with runners on first and second before McDaniel reliever Zach Fortuna was able to retire the dangerous Pieffer in order to protect the save.
McDaniel posted a four-spot in the seventh to take the lead back 17-14 on three consecutive RBI hits.
Ursinus erased a six-run deficit (8-2) to tie the game 8-8 in the fifth. McDaniel grabbed the lead back with five runs in the fifth to go up 13-8. The Bears bounced right back with another six-run inning, featuring two home runs to go up 14-13. Mumme blasted his Centennial Conference's leading 11th homer in the sixth. With the bases loaded, sophomore Tom Jacobs singled to center before Peiffer smashed a grand slam to right.
Most of the damage in the fifth was done with two outs as Ursinus collected three two-out hits to score five runs. The inning started with Gross getting plunked. Junior Dom Fiorentino reached on a bunt then Mumme dropped a single to right to load the bases. The Bears scored on a fielder's choice off the bat off Usowski. Then the two-out hit parade started.
Moldoff doubled in two down the left-field line. Scavone snuck a single just inside the right-field line. To tie the game 8-8, Peiffer powered a two-run triple to right center.
The Green Terror knocked around a dozen hits to score eight runs in their first three innings at the plate. Eight McDaniel players collected base knocks in the first three frames.
Game 2: Ursinus 12, McDaniel 6
Sophomore pitcher Nick DeFeo (3-0) went eight innings, allowing three runs on 11 hits and striking out five to give the Bears a lift on the mound.
Moldoff went 3-for-6 with four RBI and a run. Fiorentino had a 4-for-5, three-run game. Peiffer and Mumme each had three hits, with Mumme scoring twice.
Fiorentino singled to center to lead off the first. He scored when the shortstop threw the ball wildly trying to get Mumme out. Scavone then added an RBI single to give the Bears an early 2-0 lead.
In the bottom of the second, McDaniel's Jack Slater homered before Julian Jenkins tripled in two runs to take a 3-2 lead. Jenkins went 4-for-4 in the game.
Peiffer evened the game 3-3 in the third with an RBI single to right. Mumme's RBI double in the fourth got the Bears back in front.
After two innings without a run in the game, the Bears scored five runs in the seventh. Gross picked up a RBI single and junior Mike Stanziale's double down the left-field line scored two more Ursinus runs. Mumme and Moldoff each singled in runs.
Moldoff sent a three-run blast over the right-field fence in the ninth.
The Bears have a road non-conference test at 7th-ranked TCNJ Monday before hosting a critical CC tilt Tuesday with Franklin & Marshall.