COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. – The Ursinus College baseball team showed why it's never out of a game with a big late rally against nationally ranked Swarthmore, but the Bears were unable to complete a stunning turnaround as the visitors held on for a 7-6 Centennial Conference decision.
The Bears (10-8, 1-2) were generally held down through eight-plus innings by Swarthmore southpaw Ryan Warm and entered the ninth trailing, 7-2. But what appeared to be a comfortable victory for the No. 6 Garnet – the defending CC champs – proved to be anything up as the hosts nearly came all the way back.
Walks to freshman pinch-hitter and junior Dom Fiorentino, sandwiched around a base hit by sophomore Eric Gross, loaded the bases with one out for junior Alex Mumme, who had slugged his 18th career homer in the first inning. The Bears' most potent bat delivered again, plopping a base hit down the right-field line to score two and put men on the corners with only one out.
After Swarthmore stemmed the tide briefly with a strikeout, sophomores Will Peiffer and Jerry Scavone drew back-to-back walks, with Scavone's forcing in a run. A wild pitch brought in another and moved the tying run to third base – along with Scavone to second – and set the wheels in motion for a managerial chess match. With the count 1-0, Swarthmore went to senior right-hander Charles Groppe, and the Bears countered with junior Jake Supran. The lefty worked a tough at-bat before sending a blooper into center, but Jared Gillen was playing in and was able to sprint in to make the play for the final out.
Mumme put the hosts ahead early with a towering solo shot to left-center in the bottom of the first, moving him within three of matching the all-time program record.
Swarthmore (14-5, 2-1) took the lead on RBI singles by Cole Beeker and Conor Elliott in the third, and added another run in the fifth. The Garnet edged out to a 5-1 lead in the sixth before Beeker's RBI double tacked on another.
The Bears loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the eighth, but Warm got Scavone to ground into a double play to short-circuit the rally. The Garnet added one in the ninth on an RBI single by Sam Jacobson, who was gunned down at second by Peiffer to end the inning.
Mumme also had a spectacular outfield assist in the eighth, hurling a long throw all the way across the field to nab Beeker trying to advance to third base as Gross applied an easy tag.
Warm worked into the ninth and was charged with three runs. He allowed seven hits with three walks and six strikeouts.
Freshman A.J. Palumbo got the nod for Ursinus and generally held his own against a prolific Garnet offense that came in leading the conference in a plethora of categories. The rookie was charged with five runs on 10 hits; he walked two and struck out four.
Mumme finished 3-for-4 with three RBI and three runs scored, while freshman Jon Moldoff was 3-for-4 with a triple.
Ursinus heads to DeSales for a non-conference tilt on Wednesday before completing the season series with Swarthmore on Friday on the Main Line.