02/10/13 — Mount Olive flexes its muscle

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Mount Olive flexes its muscle

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on February 10, 2013 1:51 AM

MOUNT OLIVE - Nationally top-ranked Mount Olive College got two solid performances from its starting pitchers and captured both games of a double header against Newberry College on Saturday night.

The Trojans took the first game 6-3 and followed with a 16-1 win in the nightcap.

"I am pretty pleased overall with where we are after five games," Mount Olive head coach Carl Lancaster said. "I was glad to see that when (Newberry) made a mistake our guys made it hurt. We capitalized when we had the chance."

In game one, the Trojans (5-0) got off to a hot start.

Mike Mercurio hit the second pitch of the afternoon over the left field fence for a solo home run. Two batters later Geno Escalante made the score 2-0 with a blast of his own. Bradon Reitano followed with a double and later scored on an error by the Wolves.

Newberry cut into the lead with one run in the third inning. Mount Olive answered in the fourth when Bryan Dunlavey singled and later scored on a double from Mercurio that made the score 4-1.

A similar scenario played out one inning later when each team scored one run.

The Wolves got within two runs in the seventh inning when Brandon Sheridan doubled and scored on a groundout by Wesley Camp. The Trojans added an insurance run in their half of the seventh when Reitano smashed his second home run of the season that made the tally 6-3.

Matt Dillon earned the win on the mound. Dillon lasted six innings and allowed two runs, both earned. The junior struck out two batters and walked two.

"Matt was sharp and he gave us good innings in a close game," Lancaster said. "We went to (Zach) Bernard for the last three innings and he was good too."

Newberry (4-4) jumped on top with one run in the second inning of game two, but failed to hold on to the advantage for long. Mount Olive answered with three runs in the bottom of the third inning. Matt Patrone delivered the big blow with a one-out RBI triple that was sandwiched by a pair of errors by the Wolves.

The visitors continued to be their own worst enemy in the fourth inning when Mount Olive added six runs. Each of the runs was unearned as the Wolves committed back-to-back errors that could have ended the inning.

The Trojans added five more runs in the fifth inning on zero hits. Five consecutive walks, a hit batter and an error put the Trojans ahead 14-1.

Mount Olive's lead was more than enough for starting pitcher Alex Regan. The sophomore allowed one run in a six-inning effort for the win.

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