02/05/12 — MOC sweeps doubleheader

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MOC sweeps doubleheader

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on February 5, 2012 1:53 AM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Geno Escalante made the most of his Mount Olive College debut and powered the Trojans to a double header sweep of Lenoir-Rhyne at Scarborough Field.

Mount Olive won the first game 9-5 and claimed game two 7-6.

The nationally-ranked Trojans showed plenty of offense on the afternoon. Mount Olive recorded 16 hits and 16 runs over the course of the double-header.

"Overall I was relatively pleased with how we played," Mount Olive head coach Carl Lancaster said. "We clearly have some things to work on defensively, but two wins is better than two losses on the first weekend."

In the first game it was Escalante that pushed the Trojans ahead.

Mount Olive opened the game with a single run in the bottom of the first inning. Mike Murcurio led off with a walk and was sacrificed to second base ahead of an RBI single by Escalante.

Lenoir-Rhyne answered with four runs in the second inning when two walks, a Trojan error and a single allowed a run to score and Dalton Hall followed with a three-run double that put the Bears up 4-1.

Mount Olive bounced back with a run in both the second and third innings. Escalante gave the Trojans the lead for good in the fourth inning with a three-run home run that plated Mercurio and Matt Patrone.

"This team is going to be able to hit on any given day," Lancaster said. "I thought we did a good job of moving runners and running the bases."

The Trojans pitching staff made the lead stand up. Jake Moser lasted five innings and allowed four runs en route to the mound win. Talton Cherry finished the game with four innings of relief to earn the save.

The only dull spot on the Trojans brilliant afternoon was seven errors in the two games. Three of those came in the first game and two miscues directly led to Lenoir-Rhyne runs.

"We have some issues on our infield that need to be addressed," Lancaster said. "We made four errors at second base which can not happen if we want to beat good teams consistently."

In game two, a pair of Mount Olive errors loaded the bases in the final inning before defensive replacement Daniel Oliver ended the contest with a leaping catch.

Nolan Lancaster got the mound win in game two in his first ever collegiate pitching appearance. Lancaster lasted 3 1/3 and did not allow a run. Matt Dillon worked the final inning, allowed two unearned runs and got the save.

Nick Gaeta delivered the big offensive blow with a game-tying home run in the bottom of the fifth. Jacob Rogers plated Patrone with the go-ahead run three batters later. Gaeta added an insurance run with a sacrifice fly in the sixth.

On the day the Mount Olive catchers, Escalante and Gaeta, finished 4-for-9 with seven runs batted in.

Mount Olive and Lenoir-Rhyne conclude the three-game series with a single game at 1 p.m. today.