MOUNT OLIVE --- In the series finale, the No. 4 University of Mount Olive Trojans split the doubleheader with the Barton College Bulldogs falling in game one 7-6 in extra innings before taking game two 9-1 at Scarborough Field in Mount Olive, N.C., Saturday.
Mount Olive came out attacking in the bottom of the first as Blake McLean singled to start the inning and JT Stone was hit by a pitch to move McLean into scoring position.
Joe Mason scored the game’s first run on an RBI-single through the left side and put UMO up 1-0.
Following a walk to Nate Estes to load the bases, Logan Welch hit a long fly ball to left to allow Stone to tag up and score and Mount Olive led by two going into the second.
The second inning forced Barton to make a pitching change to start the inning and the Trojans instantly put the pressure on the new arm as Junior Snow drew a walk.
Jon Cosme got on base with a bunt single and McLean reached for a second time with a base hit through the right side to load the bases.
Stone got an RBI the hard way as he was plunked with a pitch and walked in a run.
Mason followed up with an RBI-single and Estes grounded out for an RBI of his own and the Trojans lead grew to 5-0.
Barton fought back with a run in the third, a momentum-killing three-run home run in the fourth, and back-to-back sacrifice flies in the sixth to take the lead 6-5.
Mount Olive had their backs against the walls in the seventh as Stone helped get the inning going by reaching on a Bulldog error. Stone then moved to third on a big wild pitch that hit off the plate and bounced high enough in the air that the Barton catcher lost sight of it allowing the UMO second baseman to run to third.
After two outs were recorded Coy Barnett came into pinch hit with the final out and came up with the biggest hit of the game to that point as he hit a ball right back up the middle and tied the game sending it to extra innings.
UMO go into a mess of trouble in the extra frames. In the eighth after retiring the first Barton batter, a walk followed by a Trojan error led to two more walks allowing BC to push in a run and take the 7-6 lead.
The Trojans had no shot of a second comeback as they were retired in order in the bottom half and fell in game one.
Mount Olive had a different series finale as the Trojans had a similar start scoring two runs in the bottom of the first. This time it was off the bat of Logan Welch who gave the Trojans a 2-0 lead.
The Trojans went on to tack on three more runs over the next three innings on unordinary plays. In the third UMO scored on a throwing error from the Barton catcher on a double steal and in the fourth Stone had another hit by pitch bases loaded RBI as in game one.
UMO also in the fourth scored a run via a ground out and moved ahead 5-0.
The lead continued to expand on sacrifice flies in the fifth and sixth as well as a Zack Smith RBI-single off the pitcher to move the Mount Olive lead to 8-0.
Once again Barton used the long ball to score their first and what ended up being only run of the game in the seventh.
A Mason RBI-single up the middle allowed for the final run of the game to come home and the Trojans held on to take the final game of the series 9-1.
KEY STATS GAME ONE
Austin Kapela (0-1) was pinned with the loss in relief in game one going three complete innings, surrendering three runs, one earned, off no hits and struck out one.
Joe Mason led the Trojans going 2-for-4 from the plate with two RBI.
KEY STATS GAME TWO
Caleb Irwin (3-0) got the win in game two going seven complete, allowing a run off six hits and struck out five.
Logan Welch led the team with two RBI on the afternoon.
Mount Olive will remain at Scarborough Field to host Wingate University in a two-day series starting March 12. First pitch for Tuesday is 4 p.m.