AUBURNDALE, Fla. – Mount Union played over 20 innings of baseball Monday to come out with a split in a pair of games against Ursinus (Pa.) at the Lake Myrtle Sports Complex in Auburndale, Florida in the RussMatt Invitational. The Raiders won game one, 2-1, in 14 innings and dropped game two, 5-1, in 9 innings.
Both teams settled down and entered a pitcher's duel early on. After giving up the one run, Mount Union starting pitcher Ryan Osman (Pittsburgh, Pa. / Moon) went on to retire the next nine batters before giving up another hit in the bottom of the fourth, and even then he got the next Bears' batter to ground into an inning ending 5-4-3 double play.
Ursinus starting pitcher Nick Defeo also got into a groove. The Raiders were able to get runners on and make contact, but the Bears defense backed the junior up and didn't allow a Mount Union baserunner to get past second base through four innings.
Colin Skufca (Wooster) and the Raiders defense would not faulter in extra innings as the play of the day came in the bottom of the 12th inning. Ursinus loaded the bases with one out when Tom Jacobs lined out to left fielder RJ Dean (Cuyahoga Heights), who came up and fired a cannon to catcher Coleman Stauffer to nail down the runner at home for an inning ending double play.
Thomas Gallant (Pataskala / Watkins Memorial) then delivered the go ahead hit in the top of the 14th. Coleman Stauffer (Boardman) got to the third on a failed pickoff attempt, then Gallant roped an RBI-double down the left field line to finally break a tie that lasted 12 innings.
The Raiders ended the marathon game in the bottom half of the 14th on a leaping catch by shortstop Dwayne Sumler (Indianapolis, Ind. / Warren Central) who then threw back to first for a game-ending double play.
The Raiders used just two pitchers through the 14 innings. Osman went 7.0 innings, giving up four hits, one run, walked two, and struck out seven. Skufca got the win, going 7.0 innings, giving up six hits, walked two, and struck out three.
In game two, Travis Wood (Hudson) got the scoring started with an RBI-double off the wall in right to bring home Corey White (Louisville) from first. But then Ursinus tied it back up in the top of the fourth on a solo home run to right.
Mount Union and Ursinus again went to extras and the Bears would then strike for four runs in the bottom of the ninth to win the ballgame, 5-1.
Billy Keller (Medina / Highland) threw 4.2 innings of work for the Raiders, giving up five hits, four runs, walked four, and struck out four. Nolan Graber pitched a complete game for Ursinus, giving up seven hits, one run, walked one, and struck out three.
The Raiders are now 4-4 after the doubleheader, and will face WPI in a doubleheader on Wednesday in the RussMatt Invitational.