03/09/13 — MOC sweeps Barton on baseball diamond

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MOC sweeps Barton on baseball diamond

By MOC Sports Information
Published in Sports on March 9, 2013 11:10 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- No. 1-ranked Mount Olive struck for seven runs in the third and fourth innings combined, and Chris Orphanos earned his second decision on the mound during an 11-4, game-two triumph over Conference Carolinas archrival Barton on Saturday afternoon.

Alex Regan struck out six batters, picked off two runners and tossed a seven-inning complete game during the Trojans' 8-1 victory over the Bulldogs in the opener.

MOC (21-2 overall) improved to 8-1 in conference play this season and extended its win streak to 16 over Barton. The Trojans have won 55 of 78 meetings against the Bulldogs since 1994.

Braden Reitano's solo home run in the bottom of the first inning put Mount Olive ahead 1-0 in game one.

The Trojans broke the game open in the third inning. Will Bynum singled home a run and scored on Reitano's one-out sacrifice fly. Mike Mercurio and Geno Escalante followed with back-to-back doubles.

Jermaine Berry drew a walk and Daniel Oliver connected on a run-scoring double. Zak Orrison lined a two-run single to left, which pushed the Trojans farther ahead 7-0.

Regan (4-1) retired the first seven batters he faced before Phillip Cotten lined a single up the middle with one out in the third inning. However, Regan picked Cotten off first and got a flyout to end the inning. He allowed a two-out single in the fifth, but ended the inning with another pickoff.

Regan recorded four strikeouts in the final two innings, including strikeouts for the final two outs of the game. He finished with a five-hitter.

Game two started off with a bang.

Barton got robbed when left fielder Matt Petrone reached over the fence to snag Mitchell Wheeler's potential two-run home run. The Dogs eventually scored to take a 1-0 lead that would be short-lived once the Trojans stepped into the batter's box.

MOC moved in front 3-1 in the bottom of the second on Bryan Dunlavey's two-RBI double to right field. Berry, who singled, and Tyler Farmer, who reached on a two-out walk, both scored on the extra-base knock.

Dunlavey trotted home on Orrison's RBI single.

Mercurio plated a third-inning run and connected on a two-RBI single in the fourth. Petrone's RBI single and Escalante's sac fly boosted the Trojans' margin to 8-1.

Single runs in the fifth and sixth innings pushed the Trojans' run total to double digits.

Orphanos (5-0) went seven innings, striking out seven and walking none. Saturday's contest was Orphanos' second of the season after making his first five appearances out of the bullpen.

Talton Cherry, the second of three Trojan pitchers in the game, retired the side in order in the eighth in his one inning of work. Barton added three unearned runs in the top of the ninth for the final score.

Mount Olive opened the weekend series with a 13-3 victory Friday.

Junior Matt Dillon struck out 11 in his second consecutive start, while Escalante and Berry accounted for eight of the team's 18 hits. Dillon (4-0) surrendered a first-inning solo home run to Wheeler, but made life difficult for the Bulldogs most of the evening.

The Trojans put the game away in the bottom of the third, scoring four times on five hits. Mercurio singled home Petrone, who led off with a double. Escalante singled, then both he and Mercurio raced home on a two-out double by Daniel Oliver.

Orrison capped the run with an RBI single.

Dillon and Josh Frederick combined for a four-hitter. Frederick threw a scoreless ninth.

Mount Olive returns to action next weekend with a Conference Carolinas series against King (Tenn.) College. The teams will play a doubleheader on Saturday and a single game Sunday.