CHESTERTOWN, Md. – Nolan Graber's gem helped the Ursinus College baseball salvage a split of Saturday's Centennial Conference doubleheader at Washington College.
Graber spun seven shutout innings to lead the Bears (1-3) to a 7-1 victory in Game 2, their first of the spring after the Shoremen held on for a 5-3 result in the opener.
The Bears dug themselves a quick hole in the opener, falling behind two batters in when Chris Baker clubbed a two-run homer. Quick to bounce back, Solomon Griffith knotted the proceedings in the next half-inning with a clutch two-out, two-run double, and Eric Gross' infield single plated Jerry Scavone with the go-ahead run in the third.
The Shoremen reclaimed the advantage for good on Baker's two-run triple in the fourth, adding another marker for good measure. That was the end of the scoring, though Ursinus had its chances.
The Bears put two men on in each of the final two innings, including the first two batters in the ninth, but Washington College induced a game-ending double play.
Griffith enjoyed his best game as a Bear, racking up three hits and a pair of RBIs. Scavone had two knocks of his own and Jared Minnichbach notched the first hit of his career on a second-inning double.
Casey Fitzsimmons turned in a sensational outing of long relief, permitting just one run on two hits and striking out four over 4.2 innings.
After going hitless through the first three frames, the Bears got to work in the fourth. Will Peiffer and Griffith kick-started the opening salvo with back-to-back singles, and Scavone moved both up a bag with a sacrifice bunt. After a walk to Tom Jacobs loaded the bases, Peiffer scored the game's first run on a balk. Tom Snipes then made it a crooked number with a two-out, two-run single to center.
The blows kept coming, with Tim Pyne singling to set up a three-run blast by Connor Barrett, the second of his career. Consecutive doubles by Dan Icaza and Peiffer put an exclamation point on the seven-run outburst.
The Bears only scored in one inning, but the big frame was far more than they needed thanks to Graber. The senior was sensational over seven shutout innings, working around eight hits and striking out seven without a walk. Washington College was just 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position.
Barrett finished 2-for-4 with three RBIs, while Snipes went 3-for-4 with two RBIs. Peiffer and Griffith each had a pair of hits.