03/16/12 — Hinton gets job done in relief for MOC

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Hinton gets job done in relief for MOC

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on March 16, 2012 1:48 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Chris Hinton did his job.

And teammates Jermaine Berry and Will Bynum helped salvage what could have been a disastrous outing for No. 27-ranked Mount Olive College on Thursday afternoon.

Hinton tossed 62/3 innings of seven-hit relief, while Berry and Bynum each slugged late-inning home runs in the Trojans' wild, come-from-behind 16-14 triumph over California (Pa.) University at Scarborough Field. MOC defeated the Vulcans for the second time in seven days, and improved to 39-9 all-time against Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference schools since 1999.

The Trojans (15-6 overall) seized a seven-run lead after two innings, but one defensive miscue opened the floodgates for the Vulcans (9-9) during their next at-bat.

The MOC infield bobbled a routine grounder that could have led to a double play and kept starter Justin Weaver on the hill. The error, one of two Trojan hiccups on the afternoon, shook up Weaver and forced head coach Carl Lancaster to call on his depleted bullpen.

Reserve Nolan Lancaster couldn't record an out.

"A big error, he makes that play and we probably get out with one (run) at the worst, but all of a sudden, we've got nine runs on the board and we're losing," said coach Lancaster. "Our bullpen just isn't getting it done."

Hinton did.

The Princeton High alum surrendered a run-scoring single to Kyle Petty, but induced an inning-ending double play that stopped the Vulcans' 11-run uprising. California extended its lead to 12-9 in the fourth before Hinton retired the next eight batters he faced.

"I knew what I had to do ... throw strikes and let my defense work for me," said Hinton, who threw his longest outing of the season. "I tried to hit my spots, throw something different at them each time."

Mount Olive, which plated a run in seven of eight innings, knotted the contest at 12-12 on Berry's RBI single in the fifth. Hinton retired the side in the sixth and his teammates rewarded him with a three-run outburst.

Bynum, a Greene Central alum, opened the sixth with a solo home run over the left-field fence. It was his second dinger of the season. Lead-off batter Mike Mercurio singled and trotted home on Antonio Callaway's triple down the right-field line.

Callaway scored on Jacob Rogers' sacrifice fly -- his fourth RBI of the game to make it 15-13. Berry swatted a lead-off home run in the seventh and Cal-Pa scored in the eighth for the final 16-14 margin.

"Jermaine and Will are crucial to our offense," said Hinton. "Our offense, one through nine, are solid batters and at any time anyone can hit it out of the park like you saw today."