03/16/13 — MOC baseball splits double-header

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MOC baseball splits double-header

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on March 16, 2013 11:30 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Mount Olive took the field Saturday for the first time in a week.

At times the top-ranked Trojans showed some rust.

Mount Olive struggled to get its offense going in the opening game of a doubleheader with Conference Carolinas foe King at Scarborough Field. The Tornado claimed game one 5-1. The Trojans won game two 7-1.

Neither team recorded a hit in the opener until King's Stephen Mullins lined a two-out single to center field in the top of the fourth inning.

The Trojans (22-3, 9-2 CC) scored the first run of the game in the bottom of the fifth inning by utilizing some small ball. Bryan Dunlavey reached on an error, stole second base and base and scored when King pitcher Reiss Stanley committed a throwing error on Will Bynum's bunt attempt.

The Tornado used an infield single and back-to-back Mount Olive errors in the top of the seventh to tie the game at 1-1.

King took a 3-1 lead on Carl Roberts' two-run, pinch-hit single to left field in the top of the eighth innings. The Trojans' Bradon Reitano was hit by a pitch in the bottom of the eighth inning and Mike Mercurio came to the plate representing the tying run. Mercurio grounded into an inning-ending double-play.

Mount Olive was held to a season-low three hits. Junior right-hander Matt Dillon endured the loss on the Mound. Dillon surrendered three runs (all earned) on six hits with and two walks in 7 2/3 innings of work.

"We just didn't look like we played with any energy," Trojans' head coach Carl Lancaster said. "I wasn't really pleased with our team today. We made several errors and we left runners on third base a couple of times. Not being on the field for a week didn't help us at all. It is tough for us to find games, especially mid-week games."

In game two, Mount Olive pushed across a pair of runs in the home half of the first inning. Matt Patrone scored on an error and Jermaine Berry supplied an RBI single.

The Tornado scored a single run in the top of the second inning. Patrone delivered a run-scoring bunt single in the bottom of the second as the Trojans extended their lead to 3-1. Reitano provided an RBI single in the bottom of the fourth inning as the lead grew to 4-1. Mercurio followed with an RBI double.

Patrone belted a solo home run to left field in the bottom of the sixth inning. Berry's RBI double capped the scoring as Mount Olive's lead swelled to 7-1. Patrone and Berry both finished game two with three hits and two RBI.

Sophomore left-hander Alex Regan picked up the win on the mound. Regan allowed one run on three hits with four strikeouts and one walk.

"Regan was really good today," Lancaster said. "Dillon was really good through about six innings and then he ran out of gas. Tomorrow (Sunday) is a big game for us."

The Trojans and Tornado complete their three-game series today at 1 p.m.