COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. – The Ursinus College baseball team scored a key Centennial Conference doubleheader split on Sunday afternoon, taking the first game over Washington College by a score of 6-5. Washington (18-3, 3-1 Centennial) returned the favor in the second game, handing Ursinus (10-11, 2-2 Centennial) a 9-6 setback.
Ursinus kept Washington scoreless through seven innings in the first game, taking a 2-0 lead into the eighth innings. Ursinus got an RBI single by senior center fielder Ben Gresh (Pottstown, Pa./Pottsgrove) that scored senior shortstop Brandon Sullivan (Gilbertsville, Pa./Boyertown). Senior right fielder Garrett Smith (Syracuse, N.Y./West Genesse) would later score when senior third baseman Joel Ackerman (Murrysville, Pa./Franklin Regional) was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
From there, senior right hander Nate Schnell (Gilbertsville, Pa./Boyertown) held Washington to just one hit through seven innings. He retired the first seven batters of the game and did not let a runner get back second base.
In the eighth, Washington put four on the board junior third baseman Dennis Wu had a RBI single, followed by RBI hits from junior center fielder Sean Connole and a two RBI hit from sophomore second baseman Nick Marinelli.
Ursinus got all four back in the bottom of the eighth as Smith had a two-run double down the left field line, followed by a two-run single by junior catcher Kevin Wilson (Brunswick, Maine/Brunswick) that gave the Bears a 6-4 lead.
In the ninth, senior catcher John Rolewicz doubled to start the inning, He would later score on a RBI double by freshman left fielder Scott Matthews, however, the tying run in the form of freshman pinch runner Michael Festa was thrown at home on a brilliant relay from sophomore left fielder Josh Schnell (Gilbertsvile, Pa./Boyertown) to Sullivan to Wilson. From there, senior left hander Steve Christakos (Rockville, Md./Walter Johnson) got back-to-back strikeouts to end the game, picking up his first save.
Schnell improved to 2-1 with a three strike out, one walk performance. In eight plus innings, he allowed four earned runs and scattered seven hits.
Smith finished game one a perfect 3-for-3 with two RBI and two runs scored, while Sullivan, Wilson and Gresh all had two hits.
Washington junior left hander Kyle Aldrich took the loss, falling to 3-2. He gave up two runs in one inning of work. Starter Joe Kearney-Argow went six innings, striking out three and walking two.
Matthews was 2-for-3 for Washington in the loss, as was Wu.
In game two, the second innings proved to be costly for Ursinus as three errors led to six runs as Washington batted around. Connole had a two-run double in the inning, while senior shortstop Ryan Normoyle and senior catcher John Rolewicz had RBI hits.
Trailing 6-0, Ursinus got one back in the third on a RBI single by Wilson. Washington would add three more in the fourth as Normoyle had a two-run double and Rolewicz had a sacrifice RBI.
In the sixth, Ursinus got four as senior first baseman Rich Guthridge (Schwenksville, Pa./Spring-Ford) had a three-run home run and Gresh homered in the inning as well.
Ursinus put one across in the seventh, on a sacrifice fly by Josh Schnell.
For Washington, Normoyle was 3-for-4 with two runs scored and three RBI. Matthews and Connole were 2-for-4 each. Ursinus was led by Josh Schnell who was 2-for-3.
Washington sophomore left hander Brian Lewis got the win, improving to 3-0. He struck out sixn and walked just one in six innings of work. Sophomore right hander A.J. Schmalfus got his first save of the season, pitching two innings of scoreless baseball.
For Ursinus, junior left hander A.J. Wright (Holland, Pa./Council Rock South) took the loss, falling to 1-2. He allowed nine runs, but only three were earned in 3.1 innings of work. He struck out two and walked two.
Ursinus begins a two-game series with F&M on Tuesday in Lancaster, before facing the Diplomats at home on Thursday.