BALTIMORE, Md. – The Ursinus College baseball team pushed top-seeded Johns Hopkins to the limit in the final series of the Centennial Conference Championship Tournament, but came up just short of forcing a winner-take-all Game 7 as the Blue Jays broke a tie game in the bottom of the ninth to walk off with their second straight conference crown.
The Bears, making their first postseason appearance since 2011 and competing in the CC championship for the first time in a decade, saw their breakthrough campaign end with a 25-16 overall record. Johns Hopkins, ranked in the top five of both Division III polls, won their 19th straight game and collected the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Like the rest of its tournament run, Ursinus was fueled in this one by freshman Alex Mumme and its seniors. Mumme finished 3-for-4 with his 20th double, extending his own single-season program record and running his final average to .417. Seniors Alex Campbell and Austin Kurey provided the clutch hits in a three-run fifth that gave the Bears the lead, classmate Vincent Terry produced his third consecutive three-hit outing, and Seth Regensburg battled through six tough innings just three days removed from a marathon start in the tournament opener at Haverford.
Hopkins (36-6) grabbed a 2-0 lead in the second on a two-out RBI single by Conor Reynolds and a hit-by-pitch to Mike Smith with the bases loaded. But the Bears broke through against Preston Betz in the fifth, doing all of their damage with two outs. With runners on second and third, Campbell brought both home with a base hit to right field and, after Mumme lined a single into left, Kurey grounded a single through the left side to make it 3-2 Ursinus.
Regensburg held off the high-powered Blue Jays until the seventh, when he walked Reynolds and hit the next batter before giving way to senior Brandon Weidenfeld. The left-hander got an out on a sacrifice bunt, but Hopkins pulled even on back-to-back walks, the second with the bases loaded. Senior Connor McCarthy came on and delivered a critical hold as the Bears got an inning-ending double play when Darwiche struck out on a squeeze attempt that left a charging Brian Lin a dead duck at home plate.
McCarthy pulled another magic act in the eighth, stranding the bases loaded with one out on consecutive infield pop-ups. Ursinus was not so fortunate in the ninth, when Tommy Mee and Darwiche singled and Mike Eberle walked it off with a base hit to left center.
McCarthy (0-3) pitched well but took the loss, surrendering one run on five hits in two innings of work.
The Blue Jays, who have not lost since April 8, got two hits from Reynolds (2-for-3, 2 walks, RBI), Lin, Mike Smith, and Eberle. Cameron Mineo (6-0) earned the win with three perfect innings of relief.
Terry went 3-for-4 with a run to give himself 10 hits in 12 at-bats over the final two days (three games) of the season.
Regensburg worked 6-plus innings, allowing three runs on seven hits. He walked three and struck out seven. Regensburg finishes his career ranked third all-time in strikeouts (214) and fourth in innings (214.2).
Campbell (1-for-4, two RBI, run) and junior Travis Kozak (2-for-4, run) joined sophomore Carter Usowski with 53 hits on the season, tied for the fourth-highest total in school history and giving Ursinus three members of the 50-hit club for the first time ever. Campbell, Kurey, and fellow senior CJ Diana all reached the 100-hit milestone this season; Terry upped his career total to 92, while Kozak will enter his senior campaign with 91.
With 25 victories, Ursinus matched its highest total since going 29-10 during the 2000 season, their last conference championship. The Bears also won 25 games in 2009.