COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. – Carter Usowski drove in three runs, including the game-winner in the bottom of the ninth inning, to help lift the Bears to a 13-12 walkoff win over Gwynedd Mercy to complete a big comeback at Thomas Field.
Usowski stepped to the plate in the bottom of the ninth inning with a drawn in five-man infield, one fielder put directly behind second base for the Griffins (5-8). Usowski hit a hard ground ball up the middle that deflected off the pitcher's glove to the fielder who was behind second base. The fielder touched the bag to try to start a double play to end the scoring threat but Usowski beat the throw to first base for a walk-off victory.
It was a hard-fought victory for Ursinus (5-8) after trailing 8-1 after two innings of play. The Bears clawed their way back with 13 hits and taking advantage of Gwynedd Mercy's seven miscues. The first four hitters for the Bears' remained crucial to the comeback. The contingent of senior Travis Kozak, sophomore Dom Fiorentino, sophomore Alex Mumme, and Usowski totaled 10 runs batted in. Ursinus used two big innings to come back which included a four-run fourth inning and a five-run sixth.
Ten Ursinus hitters came to the plate in the fourth inning. Sophomore Mike Stanziale singled to left center to get the inning started. Sophomore Jake Supran then chipped in with a pinch-hit single to center. Freshman Connor Barrett reached on an error to score Stanziale. Later on in the inning, Kozak singled down the left-field line to plate another run. Fiorentino and Usowski were each hit by pitches, forcing in Ursinus runs.
In the sixth inning, 11 Bears came up to the dish. Mumme highlighted a potent frame by blasting a two-run home run to center field. The dinger marked his third of the young season and the sevent of his career. Later on in the inning, freshman Tom Jacobs drew a walk. Barrett then reached on a fielder's choice and Usowski scored on a throwing error by the pitcher, who fielded Barrett's bunt but threw low to home plate in an effort to force the lead runner with the bases loaded. Kozak's two-run double down the left-field line, which caromed off the third baseman's glove, gave the Bears their first lead of the game at 12-11.
The Griffins battled back to tie the game in the eighth inning before Ursinus' winning run in the ninth. Junior Drew Roesch drew a leadoff walk and went to second on Kozak's sacrifice bunt. After a walk to Fiorentino, both men moved up a bag on a wild pitch. Mumme worked a 3-2 count before being intentionally walked, and Usowski walked it off with a well-placed grounder.
Kozak had a big day at the plate, going 3-for-5 with three RBI. Fiorentino finished 2-for-3 with two runs and two RBI, and Usowski drove in three runs.
On the mound, junior Matt Rapp notched his first collegiate win. Rapp threw a scoreless ninth inning, stranding a runner on second in the process. Junior Mark LeDuc and sophomore Ben Kerns combined to pitch 5 2/3 innings, giving up three hits and one run, which was unearned.
Ursinus starts Centennial Conference play with a doubleheader against Dickinson on Saturday, which is slated for a 12:30 p.m. start.