KISSIMMEE, Fla. – The Ursinus College baseball team opened the new campaign much like it spent the last one – with plenty of fireworks.
The Bears scored 22 runs and pounded out 27 hits in two thrilling shootouts in the Sunshine State, falling 14-13 in a see-saw battle with Worcester State before coming back to edge Gordon, 9-8, in 10 innings in the nightcap.
Junior Alex Mumme picked up right where he left off from last season's record-breaking exploits, going 5-for-11 with a home run, five RBI, and four runs scored for the day. Classmate Dom Fiorentino had three triples among his four knocks, and sophomore Connor Barrett racked up a career-high four RBI in the opener.
Game 1: Worcester State 14, Ursinus 13
The 2019 campaign kicked off in exhilarating fashion as the Bears overcame four separate deficits before ultimately falling one hit short.
Down 3-0 in the second, Ursinus capitalized on a two-out error and pulled within a single run as Barrett came up with a two-run double to score classmates Will Peiffer and Tom Jacobs, who had doubled to keep the inning alive.
The Bears got to level ground in the third as senior Carter Usowski and junior Alex Mumme began the frame with back-to-back doubles. The teams traded single runs in the fourth, with senior Alex Soriano's RBI double answering the Lancers' marker from the top of the frame.
Worcester State went ahead with three runs in the fifth and had Ursinus down to its last out in the bottom half, but Peiffer drew a walk and Jacobs was hit by a pitch to pack the sacks for Barrett, who delivered once again with a bases-clearing double to make it 7-7.
The Bears grabbed their first lead on Fiorentino's three-bagger, a two-out liner to left field that had Soriano scoring easily from first after being hit by a pitch.
The teams swapped two-run innings in the eighth, with freshman Jon Moldoff tying the score once more on an RBI double and Jacobs giving Ursinus the upper hand at 10-9 on a one-out RBI single.
Worcester State came back with five runs – including a pair of homers – in the ninth to take a 14-10 lead, but the Bears were far from finished. Usowski brought home Fiorentino after the junior's second three-bagger, and Mumme sent a towering fly over the fence in left field to make it 14-13 with the 13th home run of his career. A new pitcher entered for the Lancers and managed to retire the next two batters to bring a wild one to a close.
Mumme finished 3-for-6 with three RBI, Fiorentino went 3-for-6 with two triples and an RBI, and Barrett drove in four runs for the Bears.
Game 2: Ursinus 9, Gordon 8 (10)
The nightcap was no less entertaining. Fiorentino led off with another triple as part of a two-run first, and Ursinus went ahead 3-1 before surrendering two runs in the third to leave the sides locked at 3.
Mumme and Moldoff produced RBI singles in a three-run fourth, only for the Lions to respond with two of their own. Gordon took a 7-6 lead with two runs in the sixth.
Held down for three innings, the Bears' offense awakened again in the eighth. Back-to-back walks to Mumme and Usowski were succeeded by an infield hit off the bat of junior Mike Stanziale, loading the bases with no outs. An error allowed the tying run to score, and Peiffer plated the go-ahead man with an RBI groundout.
The Lions pulled even again in the bottom half, but Mumme's dart to sophomore catcher Eric Gross cut down the potential go-ahead run at the plate to end the frame.
Following a scoreless ninth, Stanziale and Scavone had consecutive base hits and Soriano drew a walk to load the bases for Peiffer, who took advantage with a sacrifice fly. Senior Matt Bull made the lead stand up with a 1-2-3 10th to earn his first career win with two strong innings of relief.
Mumme was 2-for-5 with two runs and two RBI as one of five Ursinus players with multiple hits. Moldoff and Stanziale each went 2-for-3, while Scavone was 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run and junior Jake Supran finished 2-for-4. Peiffer did not have a hit but drove in three runs.