LOS ANGELES, Calif. – The Ursinus College baseball team saved its best moment of the opening West Coast trip, tying the game in the eighth and taking the lead in the ninth on the way to an 8-6 victory at Occidental, the Bears' first of the season.
Clutch hitting saved the day as Ursinus (1-6) concluded its week-long swing in the Golden State on a positive note by scoring six two-out runs. Sophomore Brian Varani's two-out infield single pulled the Bears even, and junior Drew Roesch delivered the go-ahead RBI double with two outs in the ninth.
After falling behind 1-0 early, Ursinus stormed ahead with a four-run fourth as Varani's bunt single with one out opened the floodgates. A base hit by senior Travis Kozak and a walk to junior Carter Usowski packed the sacks for sophomore Alex Mumme, whose single through the left side tied the game in front of classmate Dom Fiorentino's sacrifice fly.
After Roesch drew a walk, freshman Jerry Scavone capped the outburst with a two-run single up the middle.
Occidental (7-5) countered with three runs in its half of the third to tie it, but the Bears regained the upper hand on Usowski's two-out single in the fourth. The Tigers swung back in front with two markers in the bottom of the sixth, setting the stage for the Bears' late rally.
Ursinus was down to its last out in the eighth with only a man on first, but freshman Eric Gross was plunked by a pitch and both runners moved up on a wild pitch. After a walk to freshman Tom Jacobs, Varani tied the game with an infield single.
A two-out steal of second by Usowski preceded Roesch's dramatic double to center in the ninth, and freshman Jacob Feigel dashed home on a passed ball to make it 8-6.
After Occidental opened the ninth with a double, Bull came in and induced two flyouts before punctuating the save with a swinging strikeout.
The Bears' first three hitters – Kozak, Usowski, and Mumme – all had two hits and scored at least one run, with Usowski scoring twice. Varani was 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run and added a sacrifice bunt. Usowski and Mumme each stole a base.
DiStefano (1-0) worked 4.1 innings in relief of junior starter Mark LeDuc, allowing just two earned runs on seven hits with two walks and three strikeouts.
Their first win under their belts, the Bears stay on the road to face Immaculata on Wednesday, March 14.