By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on May 17, 2013 1:48 PM
MOUNT OLIVE -- There were some questions about how Mount Olive would perform during its first outing in the 2013 NCAA Division II Southeast Regional after playing one game in 21 days.
The top-seeded Trojans answered all those questions and then some.
Mount Olive broke open the game with a five-run fourth inning and defeated sixth-seeded Lincoln Memorial (Tenn.) 9-3 at Scarborough Field on Thursday evening. The No. 1-ranked Trojans (47-6 overall) face Armstrong Atlantic State at 3 p.m. today.
LMU played Georgia College in an elimination game this morning.
Mount Olive sophomore left-hander Alex Regan matched Carter Capps' single-season school record for wins (14). The sophomore surrendered three unearned runs on seven hits, struck out seven and walked none in eight innings.
"I felt like I settled down and let my defense do the work," Regan said. "I try not to put too much pressure on myself in high-pressure games. The single-season wins record means a lot to me because Carter Capps set that in he's in the Major Leagues now."
The Trojans (47-6) took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning on Will Bynum's bases-loaded walk. Mount Olive left the bases loaded and squandered an opportunity to add to its lead.
Nolan Woody's two-run double in the top of the second put the Railsplitters in front 2-1.
Matt Patrone delivered a two-out RBI single in the home half of the fourth inning that tied the game at 2-2. The Trojans didn't waste another bases-loaded situation as Mike Mercurio delivered a three-run double which boosted the Trojans' advantage to 5-2.
Jermaine Berry followed with an RBI single.
"We were just waiting for that one big hit," Mercurio said. "Tonight we got it and after that everyone seemed to catch on and started swinging it just as well as everyone else. It was good to see the reaction from the guys when I got to second base."
Lincoln Memorial (26-25) picked up a run on a Trojans' error in the top of the sixth inning to cut the margin to 6-3.
Trojans' freshman catcher Colby Conway filled in admirably for senior Geno Escalante. Escalante missed the contest after being ejected in Mount Olive's last regular-season game. Conway finished 3-for-4 at the plate and the Trojans pounded out 11 hits.
"The freshman came through big didn't he?" Mount Olive head coach Carl Lancaster said. "He had some big hits, but I was more impressed with the way he caught. He was really good back there."
Mercurio's RBI single in the bottom of the sixth inning pushed the Trojans' lead to 7-3. The senior shortstop tallied three hits and four RBI.
Berry added his second RBI single of the night and finished with three hits. Mercurio later scored on an error as the margin swelled to 9-3.
MOC's Talton Cherry worked a scoreless ninth inning.
Other Local Sports
- Southeast Regional wrap
- Princeton softball rallies past Rosewood
- Rosewood-Princeton softball box
- Dixon-North Duplin baseball box
- Mount Olive eliminated from regional
- MOC defeats Armstrong Atlantic
- Local golf briefs
- Dixon defeats North Duplin baseball
- Sasser signs with UNCW
- Southeast Regional round-up