04/15/13 — No. 2-ranked Trojans complete series sweep of Limestone

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No. 2-ranked Trojans complete series sweep of Limestone

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on April 15, 2013 1:47 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Will Bynum and Mike Mercurio sparked a five-run, third-inning uprising and No. 2-ranked Mount Olive College pounded out a series-ending, 15-4 victory over Conference Carolinas baseball foe Limestone (S.C.) on Sunday afternoon.

The Trojans, by virtue of the weekend's league results, clinched their fourth consecutive regular-season championship and 11th overall in the program's Division II era. MOC (39-4 overall, 17-3 CC) secured the No. 1 seed for the season-ending conference tournament for the fourth straight year.

Mercurio and Bryan Dunlavey combined for six hits and seven RBI for the Trojans, who extended their win streak to a season-best 17 games.

Leading by 1 through 21/2 innings, Mount Olive grabbed a six-run lead during the third. In addition to Bynum and Patrone, Mercurio supplied a two-RBI single.

Dunlavey drove in runs on a fourth-inning sacrifice fly and a fifth-inning single. Dunlavey concluded the day 3-for-4 with three RBI and two stolen bases. He has a conference-leading 32 bases on the season and ranks 10th nationally.

MOC cranked out a series-high 20 hits on the day. Mercurio ended up 3-for-5 with four RBI, while Bynum batted 3-for-5 with an RBI. Patrone (two RBI), Geno Escalante (two RBI), Daniel Oliver (RBI) and Zak Orrison (RBI) provided two hits apiece.

Alex Regan (10-1) got out of trouble in the first inning on a 5-4-3 double play and retired 13 out of 16 batters he faced after the third inning. The sophomore southpaw permitted one earned run and struck out three Limestone batters in seven innings.

Josh Frederick and Zach Smith each tossed one inning of scoreless relief.

The Trojans hold a 37-13 advantage in the all-time series against Limestone.

Ranked No. 1 in the Southeast Region, MOC plays host to Francis Marion on Tuesday. First pitch is 6 p.m. at Scarborough Field. The Trojans conclude regular-season play with a three-game conference series at in-state foe Pfeiffer U on Friday and Saturday.