04/18/12 — Mid-week game benefits family

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Mid-week game benefits family

By MOC Sports Information
Published in Sports on April 18, 2012 1:48 PM

MOC Sports Information

MOUNT OLIVE -- Geno Escalante extended his hitting streak to 33 games, drove in five runs and No. 3-ranked Mount Olive College pounded out a 13-2, victory over Conference Carolinas archrival Barton College at Scarborough Field on Tuesday evening.

The mid-week contest was dedicated to Jake May, a 17-year-old senior at Eastern Wayne High School who is waging his own war against leukemia and is currently in remission. Proceeds from ticket sales and food sales at the game by Highway 55 Burgers, Shakes and Fries benefited May's family.

Jake threw out the ceremonial first pitch and received a standing ovation from the Trojan and Bulldog fans in attendance.

"I think, once again, we were able to see the baseball fraternity come together for a good cause," MOC head coach Carl Lancaster said. "It's strange any time, in particular baseball, when you have an unusual situation like Jake's for example, two teams competing at a high level, rivarly-type deals ... situations like Jake's kind of overcomes it.

"Personally, myself and my team are glad we can be a part of that. We had a great turnout and there were some significant contributions to Jake's family. We really have to thank Kenny Moore for donating food for such a great cause.

"Really, I'd like to say thanks to everybody. It was a very good event and we were glad that we could do it for the family."

Shortly after catching the pitch from Jake May, Escalante extended his hitting streak with an RBI single up the middle in the bottom of the first inning. Barton tied the game 1-all in the top of the second, and Escalante knocked in Jacob Rogers put MOC ahead to stay, 2-1, in the third inning.

An infield error and a walk put Mount Olive runners on first and second with no outs in the bottom of the fifth. Escalante then drove a 1-1 pitch high over the right field foul pole for a three-run homer to extend the Trojans' lead to 5-1. The home run was Escalante's seventh of the season.

Mount Olive (35-7 overall) broke the game open with a seven-run sixth inning, highlighted by a two-run double down the left field line by Bradon Reitano and a stand-up triple into the right field corner by Cameron Sherrer. The Trojans sent 11 batters to the plate in the inning.

Escalante needed only a triple to become the first Trojan to hit for the cycle twice in a career, let alone in the same season. But Escalante walked on four pitches in the sixth and hit into a force play to end the seventh.

Antonio Callaway, who entered Tuesday's game tied for third in the nation in runs scored and tied for sixth in stolen bases, scored three runs and stole a base. Callaway now has 60 runs scored and 33 stolen bases on the season.

Rogers has 72 runs scored.

Trojan reliever Derek Justice (3-0) took over in the top of the second with one out and the bases loaded. Justice struck out the first batter he faced, but Chris Rawlings beat out an infield single to tie the game 1-1. Justice got a strikeout to end the inning and finished with six strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings of scoreless relief.

MOC has won all three meetings against Barton this season.

The Trojans conclude regular-season play at home this weekend with a three-game series against league newcomer North Greenville (S.C.) University. The teams will play a single game Friday and a doubleheader Saturday.