02/04/08 — No. 7-ranked Tusculum rallies past Mount Olive

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No. 7-ranked Tusculum rallies past Mount Olive

By MOC Sports Information
Published in Sports on February 4, 2008 2:29 PM

MOC Sports Information

MOUNT OLIVE -- Sixth-ranked Mount Olive rallied to take a one-run lead in the bottom of the eighth, but No. 7 Tusculum (Tenn.) exploded for five runs in the top of the ninth to defeat the Trojans 9-5 on Sunday afternoon.

Mount Olive, which swept a doubleheader over Tusculum Saturday, took two out of three in the season-opening series for both teams.

The Trojans (2-1 overall) used a two-out walk to Anthony Williams in the bottom of the second to overcome an early deficit. David Cooper doubled down the left field line and Alex Vertcnik brought in both runners with a single through the left side to give the Trojans a 2-1 lead.

Jason Sherrer made it a two-run lead with a solo home run with one out in the fifth. The home run was the first of the year for Mount Olive.

Tusculum struck for two unearned runs in the top of the eighth to regain the lead 4-3. A throwing error on a ground ball to third brought in the first run and Paul Ringer's sacrifice fly put the Pioneers back on top.

Mount Olive loaded the bases with nobody out in the bottom of the eighth as Jesse Lancaster drew a leadoff walk, Anthony Williams singled and Cooper beat out a bunt single. Vertcnik brought in the tying run when Tusculum was unable to execute a force at second. Rich Racobaldo's sacrifice fly gave the Trojans a 5-4 lead.

Trojan closer Patrick Ball (0-1) struck out the first batter he faced to open the top of the ninth, but walked the next batter. Carlos Rivera followed with a single and Gonzalez put Tusculum ahead to stay with a two-run double. Matt Ford looped a two-run single to left off of Craig Beasley and Webb singled in the final run.

Sherrer had three of Mount Olive's 10 hits, while Cooper and Anthony Williams had two hits apiece. Vertcnik, whose eighth-inning two-run double in game two Saturday broke a 4-4 tie in the Trojans' 6-4 victory, drove in three runs.

Mount Olive returns to action Wednesday as the Trojans play host to North Carolina Wesleyan in a non-conference match-up. First pitch is 2 p.m. at Scarborough Field.