02/14/09 — MOC baseball splits Conference Carolinas opener

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MOC baseball splits Conference Carolinas opener

By MOC Sports Information
Published in Sports on February 14, 2009 11:21 PM

WILSON - Dylan Holton's three-run double highlighted a five-run second inning and Rich Racobaldo added a two-run homer as No. 6 Mount Olive defeated Barton 8-3 in game one of a Conference Carolinas baseball doubleheader Saturday at Wilson, N.C. The Trojans had their four-game winning streak snapped in the nightcap, falling to Barton 6-4. The doubleheader was the conference opener for both teams.

Mount Olive (6-4 overall, 1-1 Conference Carolinas) overcame a 1-0 deficit in the opener as the Trojans loaded the bases with nobody out in the top of the second. Jesse Lancaster drew a leadoff walk and Airlon Vinson and Jonathan Smith followed with singles. Kyle Hinrichs' rbi-single tied the game. Holton cleared the bases with an opposite-field double to left-center and scored on Racobaldo's double to give the Trojans a 5-1 lead.

The lead stretched to 7-1 in the fourth on Racobaldo's two-run homer, his first of the season. Andy Hilliard added an rbi-single in the seventh to close out the Trojans' scoring.

Trojan starter Ryan Kussmaul allowed only two hits in 4 1/3 innings, but came out in the top of the fifth after Barton loaded the bases with one out. Thomas Hinson ended the jam on an infield pop-out and a ground out to short.

Hinson (1-0) limited Barton to a run on three hits in 3 2/3 innings for the win. Paul Novicki retired the side in order in the ninth.

Racobaldo was 3-for-5 and Holton was 2-for-4 to pace the Trojans' 12-hit attack. Racobaldo and Holton each drove in three runs.

In the nightcap, Barton took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second on Brandon Sneed's two-run homer. Mount Olive answered with three runs in the top of the third as Hinrichs led off with a home run. Racobaldo and Alex Vertcnik added back-to-back rbi-doubles to put the Trojans on top 3-2.

Barton (7-4, 1-1) regained the lead on Jimmy Metzinger's two-run homer in the fourth.

Mount Olive tied the game 4-4 in the top of the fifth as Montoya Young led off the inning with a single. Vertcnik brought Young home with his second double of the game.

Barton took the lead for good with two runs in the bottom of the fifth. The Bulldogs loaded the bases with nobody out and scored the tie-breaking run on a force out at second. Ryan McClenney added an insurance run with an rbi-single.

Trojan starter Brent Haynes (1-1) pitched four innings and took the loss. Kyle Jones pitched two scoreless innings of relief in the scheduled seven-inning game.

The two teams conclude their three-game series with a single game Sunday at 1 p.m.