02/18/13 — MOC offense explodes late against Le Moyne

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MOC offense explodes late against Le Moyne

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on February 18, 2013 1:47 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Luke Barry made another strong case for a starting job and Bradon Reitano delivered yet another yard-clearing shot for No. 1-ranked Mount Olive on a cold, windy Sunday afternoon.

Barry's two-RBI single and Reitano's grand slam spearheaded a seven-run, eighth-inning uprising during a 12-4 triumph over No. 24-ranked Le Moyne (N.Y.) College at Scarborough Field.

The Trojans (10-0 overall) earned a series sweep over the Dolphins, who departed 0-3.

"The final score was no indication of how close the game actually was," Mount Olive head coach Carl Lancaster said. "It's early and we're still not there (as a unit). We were beatable this weekend, we really were.

"But the guys keep battling. I declare they do."

Mount Olive plated nine runs with two outs and batted 6-for-14 with runners in scoring position. Geno Escalante's two-out, two-RBI rip broke a 3-3 deadlock in the seventh.

Barry cranked out a pinch-hit, run-scoring single in the eighth. Mike Mercurio drove in two and Reitano cleared the bases with his second grand slam in the last four games. It was Reitano's fourth round-tripper of the season and boosted his team-leading RBI total to 21.

MOC has swatted 11 homers as a team this season.

"We opened the floodgates when they went to the bullpen," Lancaster said. "We've got to find a place to put Luke in the lineup. Reitano got one up in the wind and hit it pretty good. That was kind of icing on the cake.

"He's got a knack for baring down when things are tight.

The eight-run outburst boosted MOC's total to 32 runs scored in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings combined this season.

Starting pitcher Derek Justice permitted two runs on two hits and six walks during four innings of work. Zach Smith made his first mound appearance of the season and Talton Cherry threw two innings after having Tommy John surgery a year ago.

Smith, Cherry and Bernard provided five innings of four-strikeout relief. Smith earned his first decision of the season.

"Justice struggled with his command on the mound, which he hasn't done previously, but the conditions were pretty bad today," Lancaster said. "Cherry threw again today with no pain. It's good to be able to bring some guys along, throw an inning or two and not risk hurting them early in the year."