02/11/12 — No. 1-ranked Trojans, Bulldogs split twinbill

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No. 1-ranked Trojans, Bulldogs split twinbill

By MOC Sports Information
Published in Sports on February 11, 2012 11:08 PM

WINGATE -- Jake Moser allowed only one earned run and four hits through seven innings and Mount Olive's offense built an 11-run lead as the No. 1-ranked Trojans posted a 13-8 victory over Wingate in the opening game of their doubleheader Saturday afternoon.

Antonio Callaway, Geno Escalante and Mike Mercurio paced the Trojan offense with two RBI apiece.

The Trojans suffered their first loss of the season in the nightcap as a walk-off RBI single with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning gave Wingate a 6-5 victory. Nick Gaeta drove in three runs for the Trojans.

Mount Olive (4-1 overall) used a five-run first inning and a four-run third inning to jump out to a 9-1 lead in the first game. Mercurio hit a two-run double in the third and was one of six Trojans to drive in at least one run in the first three innings.

Moser (2-0) struck out six and walked only one in his second start of the season.

A Trojan error to lead off the bottom of the second led to an unearned run for Wingate (5-1), which received votes in this week's Collegiate Baseball top 30 poll. Jason Hunter hit a solo home run in the fifth for the Bulldogs. Moser was aided by double plays in the second and third innings.

A pair of Wingate errors led to a run in the top of the eighth to extend Mount Olive's lead to 13-2. The Bulldogs rallied for six runs in the bottom of the ninth before Skyler Sopotnick came in with two on and two out, and got a comebacker to the mound to end the game.

In the nightcap, Gaeta's three-run double in the top of the fifth broke a 2-2 tie and gave Mount Olive a 5-2 lead. Trojan starter Zach Smith held Wingate to two runs on just one hit in five innings, but also issued seven walks.

After Wingate scored a run in the bottom of the sixth to pull within 5-3, Trojan relief pitcher Talton Cherry (0-1) sandwiched a pair of strikeouts around a single and a walk to put Mount Olive an out away from the doubleheader sweep. Will Sapp's single pulled Wingate within a run and the Bulldogs tied the game on a Trojan infield throwing error.

Sapp scored the winning run on Thomas Spitz's RBI single through the right side.

Each game in the doubleheader lasted more than three hours.

The teams conclude their three-game series today at 1 p.m.