COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. – The Ursinus College baseball team completed a sweep of McDaniel by scores of 6-4 and 12-5 Saturday afternoon at Thomas Field.
Timely hitting, pitching and big innings powered the Bears (8-11, 3-3) past the Green Terror to get to a 3-3 Centennial Conference record on the season and give them three straight wins in a span of just over 24 hours.
Sophomore Dom Fiorentino finished the day going 4-for-5 with four runs and three RBI for Ursinus, while senior Travis Kozak and freshman Tom Jacobs chipped in four hits apiece. Kozak came around to score four runs and Jacobs knocked in three runs on the day.
Sophomore Mike Stanziale drove in four runs to lead the Bears in that category, including the game-tying RBI single in a three-run seventh in the opener.
Game 1: Ursinus 6, McDaniel 4
With strong pitching from freshman Nolan Graber and two crucial innings late in the game, the Bears took down the Green Terror, 6-4, in the first game of the doubleheader.
The Bears trailed 2-1 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning, but Stanziale ignited a rally by tripling to right field with one away. Fiorentino dropped in a single to left to score Stanziale to tie the game at 2-2.
Fiorentino then advanced to second on a balk, and freshman Jerry Scavone hit a flare single to short right field. Jacobs then hit a single down the line to plate Fiorentino for a 3-2 edge.
McDaniel (6-10, 0-6) struck back with two runs of its own in the seventh courtesy of three hits and two Ursinus errors, but the Bears won it in the bottom half, when they plated three runs.
Kozak was hit by a pitch to start the inning. Kozak, a speedy runner, was off and running on a hit-and-run as junior Carter Usowski knocked in a hit to left moving Kozak to third. Stanziale then lined a base knock to left to score Kozak to tie the game 4-4.
After a McDaniel pitching change, Fiorentino walked to load the bases. Pinch-hitter sophomore Jake Supran battled back from an 0-2 count to work a walk and give Ursinus a 5-4 lead. Jacobs flew out to center for his third RBI of the game to score Stanziale with an insurance run.
Graber (2-2) kept McDaniel's hitters at bay as he worked valiantly through eight efficient innings of walk-free baseball, throwing only 80 pitches while allowing four runs, just one run being earned. Graber has adjusted nicely to collegiate pitching; in his last two extending outings, he's logged 14 innings, yielding four runs (one earned) and 11 hits and one lone walk while striking out seven hitters.
Junior Matt Bull closed the deal for the Bears in the ninth for his second save of the season.
The Bears collected a dozen hits. Kozak, Stanziale, Fiorentino and Jacobs each recorded two-hit games.
Game 2: Ursinus 12, McDaniel 5
The Bears posted five runs in the fourth inning and four runs in the fifth inning to overpower the Green Terror in the second part of the twin bill.
After the Green Terror plated two runs in the top of the fourth, Ursinus was down 4-3 before a five-run bottom half. Jacobs worked a leadoff walk followed by freshman Eric Gross getting beaned. McDaniel went with a different hurler before sophomore Brian Varani turned over the order with a bunt single. Kozak was hit by a pitch to score Jacobs, tying the game 4-4. Fiorentino walked to scored Gross to take a 5-4 lead, and then Stanziale's two-RBI single to center gave the Bears a three-run advantage. The Bears then tacked on another run courtesy of a wild pitch.
The fifth inning started similarly as Jacobs opened the frame with a single up the middle and Gross was hit by a pitch again. Three straight hits followed. Varani drove an RBI double to the center-field fence, Kozak knocked a single to left, and a Fiorentino RBI single to right field came one batter later to get the score to 11-4. Mumme grounded out to first to tack on another run.
McDaniel added a run in the ninth after being held scoreless after the fourth inning. Ursinus sophomore Ben Kerns (1-0) picked up the win in relief. The southpaw gave the Bears 3.2 innings of solid relief, allowing two runs – one earned – on three hits with two strikeouts and a walk.
Ursinus registered 11 hits in the game, with Stanziale driving in three runs to lead the Bears. Kozak, Fiorentino, Jacobs and Varani each slugged two hits each to help generate offense for Ursinus.
Ursinus continues on with CC action when the Bears make the trip to Franklin & Marshall Tuesday for a 3:30 p.m. game.