COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. – For the first time in six years – and with a little bit of help – the Ursinus College baseball team is playoff-bound.
Washington College took the Bears' postseason hopes out of their hands with a 7-6 victory in the opener of Saturday's Centennial Conference doubleheader, but Ursinus (23-14, 10-8) rebounded with a 13-5 triumph in the nightcap and officially clinched a berth in the CC Tournament when Muhlenberg won the second game of its twin bill against Franklin & Marshall.
Following a wild day of CC action, the Bears earned the number three seed for next week's four-team, double-elimination championship tournament. Ursinus will open postseason play at second-seeded Haverford on Thursday (time TBA), with top seed Johns Hopkins to host number four seed Gettysburg. All four teams will then head to Baltimore on Saturday, with the championship set for Sunday.
Senior Austin Kurey produced six hits on the day, including the 100th of his career, while freshman Alex Mumme went 5-for-6 in the nightcap and broke the school record for doubles in a season with two-bagger in each end of the twin bill.
Game 1: Washington College 7, Ursinus 6
The Bears jumped out to a pair of three-run leads in the opener, but one bad inning left them playing catch-up the rest of the way. Sophomore Carter Usowski opened the scoring with an RBI double, and a groundout by freshman Dom Fiorentino followed by a wild pitch made it 3-0 in the top of the first. Ursinus led 4-1 after senior Vincent Terry's sacrifice bunt plated Mumme in the third.
The Shoremen scored five times in the bottom of the third, and Ursinus never recovered. Usowski's sacrifice fly trimmed the home team's lead to 6-5 in the fifth, and Kurey's leadoff home run made it a 7-6 ballgame in the eighth. But the Bears had a runner on second with no outs in each of the final two frames and could not get him home as Washington College starter Billy Griffin went the distance.
Griffin allowed six runs and ten hits, but struck out 10 – including three in a row to end the game – and walked only one.
Game 2: Ursinus 13, Washington College 5
Everyone got in on the fun in Game 2, with Mumme going 5-for-6 with three runs and Kurey adding a 4-for-5 performance that included two doubles, four RBI, and a pair of runs. Usowski was 3-for-6 with three runs and three RBI and senior Avery Perez hit a two-run home run for the Bears.
Washington College put up a single run in the first, but it was all Ursinus from there. Usowski and Mumme singled back-to-back to open the second, and Kurey drove them both in with a gapper to left-center. Perez followed with a blast to left, the third homer of his career, to make it 4-1.
Senior Kieran Geyer's two-out, two-RBI double highlighted a three-run third, and an RBI single off the bat of Usowski stretched the margin to 8-1. Ursinus went up 9-1 after Fiorentino's sacrifice fly in the fifth and was never threatened.
Then came the waiting game. Needing either Haverford or F&M to lose to make the playoffs, the Bears officially crashed the postseason when Muhlenberg held on for a wild 18-16 win over the Diplomats.
Mumme doubled with one out in the sixth to establish a new program benchmark with his 17th of the season.
Senior Seth Regensburg (7-2) battled through seven innings to earn the win, working around 13 Shoremen hits and a walk to allow just four earned runs. He struck out seven, including the 200th of his career; Regensburg is the third pitcher in program history to reach that milestone.
Senior Lou Aikins struck out three in a pair of scoreless frames.
Mumme scored three times and had an RBI for Ursinus, while Perez had two hits and two runs. Geyer drove in a pair and Kozak scored two of his own. Terry was one of seven Bears with two hits and also scored.
The Bears finished with 20 hits, their third time this season reaching that total. With four knocks on the afternoon, Usowski became the first Ursinus player since Brandon Sullivan in 2012 to reach 50 for a season; Campbell and Kozak are two away from attaining that benchmark.