REDLANDS, Calif. – After a weekend of travel troubles, the Ursinus College baseball team made it to southern California in time to open its season at Redlands on Monday. The Bears got solid debuts from a number of freshmen, but their pitching was no match for a dangerous Bulldogs offense in a doubleheader sweep.
Ten freshmen saw their first collegiate action for Ursinus, which fell 10-5 in the opener and 11-2 in the nightcap. Connor Barrett, Jacob Feigel, Drew Fowler, Jerry Scavone, and Vince Sposato all joined junior Drew Roesch in registering their first career hits.
Game 1: Redlands 10, Ursinus 5
Junior Aidan Rogers took the ball for the season opener but struggled with his command from the first pitch, walking the first three batters he faced. Fortunately, one was erased when freshman catcher Tom Jacobs gunned down the leadoff man at second, and the others went back to the dugout on a 5-4-3 double play to end the inning and get the Bears out unscathed.
Ursinus took advantage of the Bulldogs' missed opportunity to take the lead in the second. Junior Carter Usowski roped a double into the right-center gap, took third on a passed ball, and trotted home on a deep fly out to center by Scavone, who notched an RBI in his first career plate appearance.
Redlands (12-3) answered right back in the bottom of the frame, putting up three runs with two outs. A wild pitch with the bases loaded evened the score before the Bears lost a fly ball in the sun in left, which fell in for a two-run double.
Sophomore Dom Fiorentino looked to have pulled Ursinus closer in the third, but his two-out double was played perfectly off the right-field wall and Redlands executed perfectly to nab Jacobs at the plate. The Bulldogs capitalized with four more runs in their half, chasing Rogers with two outs.
Scavone came through again in the fourth, driving in another run with an infield single to score sophomore Alex Mumme. Barrett's first career hit, an RBI liner into left, made it 7-3 and forced Redlands starter Matt Crow out of the game with the bases loaded and only one out. Senior Travis Kozak's infield single scored another run, but Ursinus had a runner cut down at the plate on the play to end the rally.
Redlands had an answer again, equaling Ursinus' outburst with three runs of its own in the bottom of the fourth to make it 10-4. Freshman Jacob Feigel's first career hit, an RBI single in the fifth, capped the scoring.
Mumme finished 2-for-4 with a double and two runs, while Scavone drove in two runs in his debut. Usowski scored twice for the Bears, who turned a pair of double plays.
Rogers (0-1) was charged with seven runs in 2.2 innings in his fourth career start. He walked seven and surrendered five hits.
Game 2: Redlands 11, Ursinus 2
The Bears were unable to get anything going in the nightcap. Michael Rishebarger held Ursinus hitless until Roesch's single with two outs in the fifth.
In the meantime, the Bulldogs tallied three runs in each of the first two innings. Aaron Singh led off the bottom of the first with a homer, and Brendan Moore capped the second with an RBI double. Moore added a bases-clearing double in the fourth to make it 9-0.
The Bears scored twice in the sixth – on a sacrifice fly by Fiorentino and a run-scoring groundout from Usowski.
The first four hitters in Redlands' starting lineup combined to go 9-for-10 with a homer, three doubles, eight runs scored, and seven RBI.
Junior David Drea (0-1) was charged with nine earned runs in 3.1 innings in his season debut.
The Bears head toward Los Angeles for a single game against Whittier on Tuesday. First pitch is slated for 5:30 p.m. EST.