Trio homers for No. 1-ranked Trojans, who beat FMU
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on April 17, 2013 1:47 PM
MOUNT OLIVE -- Jermaine Berry, Geno Escalante and Bradon Reitano each belted a home run, and No. 1-ranked Mount Olive College turned back Francis Marion (S.C.) University, 7-5, at Scarborough Field on Tuesday evening.
Talton Cherry shut down an eighth-inning rally for the Trojans, who reached the 40-win mark for the fourth consecutive year and the sixth time in the last seven years overall.
Prior to the game, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held to commemorate the addition of stadium seating to Scarborough Field. A moment of silence was held for the victims of Monday's explosions at the Boston Marathon, also.
MOC rallied from an early deficit to build a 7-2 lead after Berry blasted a three-run homer high over the left-field fence in the bottom of the seventh inning. Berry's home run was his second of the season.
Trojan starter Chris Orphanos (8-0) retired 14 of his last 17 batters going into the top of the eighth before Francis Marion capitalized on an infield error to score three unearned runs. Orphanos allowed a lead-off walk and a one-out single before giving way to Josh Frederick.
An error led to the first run of the inning, but Frederick prevented a run when he threw a runner out at the plate on a short bouncer for the second out. But Stephen Johnson followed with a two-run single to left.
Cherry took over and got a strikeout looking to end the inning. He retired the first two batters before Brett Fulmer kept the game alive with a pinch-hit single. However, Trojan second baseman Zak Orrison fielded a grounder up the middle and stepped on second for the force to end the game.
Cherry earned his first save of the season.
In the bottom of the fifth, Matt Petrone's safety squeeze drove in the tying run and Reitano followed with a two-run homer to give Mount Olive a 4-2 lead. Reitano's home run was his eighth of the year.
Escalante finished with three hits and an RBI on the night. Reitano (two RBI), Mike Mercurio and Daniel Oliver provided two hits apiece. The Trojans collected 13 hits against the Patriots, who departed 22-16 overall this season.
The Trojans (40-4 overall) conclude regular-season play with a weekend series at in-state Conference Carolinas foe Pfeiffer U. The teams will play a single game Friday and a doubleheader on Saturday.
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