AUBURNDALE, Fla. – The Ursinus College baseball team scored nine runs in the seventh inning, six of them coming on a pair of two-out home runs, to overturn a 6-0 deficit and held on for a 9-8 victory on Thursday, completing a stunning sweep of SUNY Poly in Auburndale.
Senior Greg Petorak hit the go-ahead grand slam in the top of the seventh, and classmate Alex Campbell hammered a two-run bomb two batters later to cap a shocking comeback for Ursinus (6-2), which rode a complete-game gem from senior Connor Moriarty to an 8-2 victory in Game 1.
The nine runs in the seventh were the Bears' most in a single inning since they scored 19 in the fourth inning of a 25-14 shootout against Arcadia in 2014.
Game 1: Ursinus 8, SUNY Poly 2
The Bears trailed 2-0 in the third inning but took control from there, starting on the comeback trail senior CJ Diana's RBI groundout in the bottom of the frame.
Freshman Alex Mumme delivered the first of his two doubles to plate the go-ahead runs in the fourth, and Ursinus broke the morning affair open with a four-run fifth. Freshman Dom Fiorentino's RBI single started the fireworks, and Petorak followed with a run-scoring knock through the left side. After a pick-off, Mumme brought Petorak home with a ringing double to center, and senior Vincent Terry polished off the outburst with an RBI single to right.
Senior Kieran Geyer's RBI single in the sixth concluded the scoring.
Mumme finished 2-for-3 with three RBI, while Usowski was 2-for-4 with a double of his own. Junior Travis Kozak had two hits and scored a run out of the leadoff spot, and senior Austin Kurey registered two hits and a pair of runs. Terry delivered his first RBI of the season with his hit in the fifth.
Moriarty allowed two third-inning runs but was otherwise dominant in his first start of the campaign. The right-hander gave up just five hits and struck out three without a walk in running his career record to 8-1.
Game 2: Ursinus 9, SUNY Poly 8
The Wildcats scored four runs in the bottom of the first and were cruising along with a 6-0 lead entering the final inning of play. That's when the Bears' bats, previously dormant, came to life.
Held down to just two hits through the first six frames, Ursinus registered seven in the seventh inning alone. Strano's walk and a base hit by Campbell jump-started the explosion. Kozak's RBI groundout got the Bears on the board before Usowski made it 6-2 with a run-scoring knock to center field.
A walk to Diana and a single by sophomore Vince Altopiedi – in his first at-bat of the season – loaded the bases for Kurey, who trimmed the deficit to 6-3 with a sacrifice fly. The Bears' odds still looked bleak with two outs, but Fiorentino was beaned to re-load the bags.
That set the stage for Petorak, who blasted one over the fence to shock SUNY Poly and give Ursinus an unfathomable 7-6 lead. Not done yet, the Bears tacked on two more for good measure, as Campbell succeeded Strano's triple with his second career round-tripper.
Campbell's homer proved critical when the Wildcats plated two in their last at-bat, the last on a walk with the bases loaded. Making his first relief appearance in two years, senior Lou Aikins got Dante Rose to bounce into a game-ending fielder's choice, sealing Ursinus' remarkable triumph.
Strano and Campbell were each 2-for-3 with two runs scored for the Bears, and Usowski added a second 2-for-4 outing.
Junior Steve DiStefano garnered his first career win with 1.2 innings of scoreless relief.
The baseball team closes out its Florida trip with a doubleheader against Muskingum on Friday.