03/17/08 — Double play saves No. 1 MOC

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Double play saves No. 1 MOC

By News-Argus Staff
Published in Sports on March 17, 2008 1:48 PM

Barton Sports Information

MOUNT OLIVE -- Top-ranked Mount Olive College turned a game-ending, bases-loaded double play Sunday afternoon to escape archrival Barton 10-8 in Conference Carolinas play.

The Trojans (28-2 overall) completed a weekend sweep of the Bulldogs and remained unbeaten in 12 league outings this season.

Barton (14-17, 4-8 CC) led until the bottom of the fifth inning, when MOC rallied from a 6-5 deficit with four runs. Catcher Jason Sherrer homered to deep center, chasing Barton reliever Brandon Spence.

Rich Racobaldo and Dylan Holton followed with singles and another run scored on a sacrifice fly by Anthony Williams. Kramer Sneed relieved John Anderson. After a wild pitch and a walk, Jesse Lancaster singled in a run and Alex Vertcnik hit another sacrifice fly for a 9-6 cushion.

After a Racobaldo homer in the seventh made it 10-6, the Bulldogs pulled within 10-8 in the eighth. Jeremy Tucker, in his first game back after suffering a severe thumb injury, was hit by a pitch. Aaron Watkins sacrificed pinch runner Derek Thomas to second and he trotted to third on a wild pitch.

Travis Holloman doubled in a run and scored on Ryan McCleney's single.

Nick Nigito, the final of five Barton pitchers, retired the Trojans in order in the eighth. Closer Patrick Ball came in for MOC and quickly registered a strikeout, but then issued walks to Michael Parker and Brandon Sneed. Alan Corbett reached safely on a fielder's choice when the second baseman dropped the ball on a possible force play, leaving the bases loaded.

Watkins was at the plate to finish the game, but his grounder up the middle was fielded cleanly by shortstop David Cooper, who flipped to Williams to start the double play.

Both teams logged 12 hits.

Kyle Jones (2-0), the second of five Mount Olive pitchers, picked up his second win in 3 2/3 innings of action. He scattered three hits, allowed one run and fanned two.

Racobaldo and Holton had three hits apiece for the Trojans. Sherrer and Lancaster added two apiece. Sherrer and Racobaldo homered and Lancaster, Sherrer and Erik Lovett doubled.

Mount Olive entertains Shepherd (W. Va.) on Tuesday.