MOUNT OLIVE — University of Mount Olive Trojans fell to the No. 1 North Greenville University Crusaders 9-6 in the series finale on Saturday at Scarborough Field. Mount Olive took the series 2-1 after sweeping the doubleheader on Friday.
Mount Olive found themselves behind from the start as North Greenville had a lead-off runner reach after a hit-by-pitch and two batters later a sacrifice fly scored the game’s first run.
UMO responded in the bottom of the first as a lead-off runner surrendered by the Crusaders led to what would be the tying run.
Gunner Tolston doubled to right center to start the inning and after being moved to third on a ground out Joe Mason plated Tolston with a single through the left side and the game was knotted at one.
Tolston gave the Trojans the 2-1 lead in the bottom of the third with a solo home run to right.
Over the next few innings, NGU steadily took over the lead and increased their lead with a single run in the fourth and two runs in the fifth, sixth and seventh to take an 8-2 lead.
An error by the Crusaders allowed a run to score for Mount Olive in the bottom of the seventh and decreased the deficit to five.
Following a run by North Greenville in the top of the eighth, Mount Olive had to try and make a comeback in the ninth.
The Trojans did not go down without a fight as with one away Carson McCurdy reached on a throwing error to keep the inning alive.
Tolston then homered for the second time giving the stadium some life and the Trojans trailed 9-5.
Jon Cosme came into pinch hit and drew a walk to continue the inning.
JT Stone then found a hole in left center and Cosme was able to come all the way around to score and another run went on the board.
Mason reached with a single through the right side and Stone went to third to put even more pressure on NGU.
Following a pitching change, a double play ended the comeback attempt and UMO fell in game three 9-6.
Seth Houston (0-1) got pinned with the loss in relief as he allowed two runs off two hits in his third of an inning pitched.
Gunner Tolston led the team with three RBI, four runs scored, going 3-for-4 on the day.
The Trojans are 12-4 in nonconference games and 5-2 versus ranked opponents thus far this season.
Mount Olive remains at home for their final game at Scarborough Field in the regular season today against Virginia State. First pitch begins at 3 p.m.