COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. – The Ursinus College baseball team saw a three-run lead disappear in the eighth inning, only for the Bears to grab the lead back in the bottom half and hang on for a 5-4 Centennial Conference victory over Swarthmore on Tuesday.
Freshman Dom Fiorentino led off the eighth with a double and scored the go-ahead run on junior Travis Kozak's fielder's choice. Senior Lou Aikins, who surrendered the tying runs, rebounded to pitch a scoreless ninth and hand Ursinus (21-8, 8-3) a hard-fought triumph.
The Bears remained two games back of first-place Johns Hopkins and now lead Gettysburg and Dickinson by two full games for second.
Kozak, seniors Alex Campbell and Austin Kurey, and freshman Alex Mumme all had two hits for the Bears, who recorded 12 against the league ERA leader in Swarthmore freshman Sawyer Lake. Sophomore David Drea took a no-hitter into the fifth before exiting in the eighth, ultimately allowing three runs on five hits with one strikeout.
The teams traded runs through the first five innings, Swarthmore countering an RBI single by sophomore Carter Usowski with an RBI triple by Ryan Burnett in the fifth.
The Bears added another run in the seventh on Usowski's sacrifice fly, but the Garnet (11-20, 4-7) awoke in the top of the eighth. Wesley Fishburn sliced the margin to 4-3 with a two-run single, and a sacrifice fly by Max Grullon knotted things at 4-all.
Fiorentino led off the bottom half with a double to right-center and moved to third on a bunt single by senior Vincent Terry. Kozak's bouncer to second plated Fiorentino with the go-ahead run, and Aikins worked around a two-out walk to nail down the win.
Mumme added two doubles to his team-leading total, giving him 14 for the season and leaving him just two shy of matching the single-season school record. He scored two runs as well. Usowski was 1-for-2 with a pair of RBI, and Kozak had a run and an RBI.
Lake (3-2), who came in with a 1.23 ERA, surrendered five runs – four earned – on a dozen hits; he struck out six and walked one. Aikins (1-1) was charged with one unearned run and whiffed three in two innings.
The Bears head to Immaculata on Wednesday before completing their home-and-home with Swarthmore on Friday.