COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. – The Ursinus baseball team did something Saturday that it had never done before in as a member of the Centennial Conference.
Behind their high-octane hitting lineup, the Bears swept 11th-ranked No. 11 Johns Hopkins (17-7, 3-2) in the home doubleheader, the first time they had ever swept a regular-season series from the Blue Jays.
Ursinus came into the day with one win over Johns Hopkins at Thomas Field since 2001. After it was all said and done Saturday, the Bears picked up two victories in one day.
The Bears (12-9, 3-3) were able to stay disciplined at the plate on their way to scoring a total of 26 runs on the day, knocking off a strong Johns Hopkins squad thanks to 24 hits and 16 walks.
Saturday featured many hits, walks, and pitching changes between the two squads. In the opening game, the Bears were tied 8-8 in the eighth inning before junior pinch-hitter Mike Stanziale delivered a clutch two-out triple over the right fielder's head to plate the go-ahead runs in an 11-8 triumph.
In Game 2, the Bears were knotted again with Johns Hopkins, this time at 7-7 after a big sixth for the Blue Jays. Ursinus pulled away with a huge five-run bottom of the sixth in which the Bears batted around. The Bears plated those pull-away runs on five hits and took full advantage of a pair of Johns Hopkins miscues en route to polishing off the sweep with a 15-9 final.
Junior Alex Mumme gave the Bears the lead when he sent a blast over the left field fence. It was Mumme's 19th career home run as a Bear. The inning continued with RBI singles by sophomores Jerry Scavone and Tom Jacobs and senior Carter Usowski.
Game 1: Ursinus 11, Johns Hopkins 8
Ursinus took the lead in the eighth and hung on for the opening game victory.
Sophomore pitcher Matt Schmitz (1-0) slammed the door on any potential Blue Jay rally as he threw the last two innings in scoreless fashion.
Early on, the Bears got on the scoreboard first for three runs. Usowski knocked in two on his single to center.
The Blue Jays posted four in the top of the second but the Bears matched them. Freshman Jon Moldoff doubled two home to start the second-inning scoring. Scavone also doubled to plate a run, and Jacobs scored on a balk.
In the process, Ursinus chased starter Preston Betz from the game in the second inning after putting seven runs on his ledger.
The Bears paced Johns Hopkins, 8-5, until Austin Sacks snuck a three-run homer just over the right-field fence to tie the game.
All locked at 8-8 in the eighth, Stanziale worked a two-out rally of his own with his triple and scored on a passed ball. Stanziale figured out submarine reliever Josh Hejka on his clutch drive.
Moldoff and sophomore Will Peiffer were the only Bears to pick up two-hit games. Moldoff drove in two and scored twice.
Usowski joined Moldoff and Stanziale with two RBI.
Game 2: Ursinus 15, Johns Hopkins 9
Ursinus generated a five-run sixth frame that elevated the hosts past the Johns Jays.
Doing damage in the eight-hole was Jacobs, who had himself a game. The sophomore catcher collected three hits, drove in four and scored once.
Five other Bears registered multi-hit games. Usowski and Scavone each crossed the plate three times to upset the Blue Jays.
Ursinus scored in each inning from the second through the sixth. Two errors on Hopkins led to a pair of runs in the second, and Moldoff's two-run single made it 4-1 in the third.
In the fourth, Jacobs doubled home Usowski and came home himself on Stanziale's RBI single. After a two-run Hopkins fifth, Jacobs added another RBI double with two outs in the bottom of the frame.
Sophomore starter Nick DeFeo gave the Bears a decent outing of five innings of four-run ball against the talented blue Jays.
Freshman A.J. Palumbo (3-2) picked up the win in relief, as he was able to provide some bullpen stability in the night cap. Palumbo got eight outs, allowing two runs on six hits with a strikeout before senior David Drea closed the door by getting three straight outs – two of them via strikeout – with two men on in the ninth.
The Bears knocked 15 hits and did their best to make the Blue Jays' six errors pay. Usowski finished 2-for-3 with three runs scored and a pair of RBI, while Mumme (2-for-5, two runs, RBI), Peiffer (2-for-6, two runs), Moldoff (2-for-5, two RBI, run), and Stanziale (2-for-4, RBI, run) all had multiple hits.
The Bears get another crack at 6th-ranked Swarthmore Sunday after nearly stunning the Garnet Tuesday as a ninth-inning rally fell a run short.