No. 4 Mount Olive Sweeps Chowan In Non-Conference Baseball Doubleheader

No. 4 Mount Olive Sweeps Chowan In Non-Conference Baseball Doubleheader

Mike Mercurio's bases-loaded double highlighted a seven-run fifth inning as nationally fourth-ranked Mount Olive rallied from an early 5-0 deficit for a 9-5 victory over Chowan in game one of a non-conference baseball doubleheader Wednesday at Scarborough Field. Trojan pitcher Matt Hinkle, who missed all of last year and more than a month of this season, pitched 3 2/3 innings of scoreless relief to pick up his first win since the 2011 NCAA Division II National Finals.

The Trojans completed the sweep with a 10-3 victory in game two as starting pitcher Collin Dubose allowed only two hits and one earned run in five innings to remain unbeaten on the season. After scoring nine unanswered runs in game one, Mount Olive scored 10 unanswered runs in the nightcap.

In game one, Cody Britt singled and stole second, then scored on a double by Matt Petrone to pull Mount Olive (28-4) within 5-3. The Trojans loaded the bases when Braden Reitano walked and Jermaine Berry was hit by a pitch. Geno Escalante was then hit by a pitch as Petrone came home to make it a one-run game.

Mercurio cleared the bases, driving a 1-0 pitch to the left-center field fence to give Mount Olive its first lead at 7-5. Daniel Oliver doubled to virtually the same spot to drive in Mercurio and Zak Orrison followed with the Trojans' third straight double to left-center to bring home Oliver and cap the scoring.

Hinkle (1-0) took over in the top of the second with one out and runners on the corners. Chowan capped its four-run inning with a sacrifice fly, but Hinkle ended the inning with a line out. Hinkle retired the side in order in the third and fifth innings and allowed only two baserunners in 12 batters faced overall. Josh Frederick allowed no hits and walked one in two scoreless innings to close out the game.

Chowan (12-23) took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first when Josh Catalano scored after John Hunter beat out an infield single deep in the hole at short. The Hawks loaded the bases, but Trojan starter Zach Bernard got a strikeout to end the threat. In the second inning, Drew Mason drove two runs with a double and Hunter added a hit-and-run rbi-single as Chowan went on to build a five-run lead.

The Trojans answered with two runs in the bottom of the second on Bryan Dunlavey's rbi-single just inside the right field line and Orrison's sacrifice fly.

Chowan starter Bobby Mason limited the Trojans to one earned run through three scoreless innings and reliever Josh Barmoy retired the side in order in the fourth in his only inning of work before Mount Olive erupted in the fifth.

In the nightcap, Catalano led off the game with a double and scored on Drew Mason's rbi-single. Mason stole second, went to third on a wild pitch and scored on a passed ball to give Chowan a 2-0 lead.

Mount Olive tied the game with two runs in the bottom of the first as Escalante drove in a run with a sacrifice fly and Orrison singled in a run. Dunlavey's two-out rbi-single in the bottom of the third put the Trojans ahead to stay.

Petrone accounted for both Trojan runs in the fourth, driving in a run with a double and scoring on a throwing error after stealing third to extend Mount Olive's lead to 5-2. Bretton Gouthro's pinch-hit two-run double highlighted a five-run fifth inning as the Trojans broke the game open.

Dubose (3-0) struck out four and retired 11 of the final 14 batters he faced. Talton Cherry pitched a scoreless sixth and Taylor Carr pitched the seventh.

Mount Olive plays host to nationally 27th-ranked California (Pa.) this weekend at Scarborough Field in a three-game non-conference series. The two teams play a doubleheader Friday beginning at 3 p.m., then conclude the series with a single game Saturday at noon.