Homers Propel No. 1 Mount Olive In Doubleheader Sweep Of Newberry

Homers Propel No. 1 Mount Olive In Doubleheader Sweep Of Newberry

Mike Mercurio and Geno Escalante blasted homers in a three-run first inning, and Mount Olive got strong performances from Matt Dillon and Zach Bernard as the top-ranked Trojans defeated Newberry 6-3 in the first game of a non-conference doubleheader Saturday afternoon at Scarborough Field. In the nightcap, the Trojans used timely hitting and eight walks to run away with a 16-1 win.

The Trojans began their home-opener with a blast. Mercurio greeted Wolves' starter Alex Roberts (0-1) with a long blast over the left field fence for his second home run of the season. One out later, Escalante slammed a solo shot to right-center. The first of Reitano's two hits, a two-out double, led to a third run in the frame with the help of a Newberry error.

The three-run cushion was a welcome gift for Trojan hurler Matt Dillon (1-0), who worked his way around baserunners in the first three innings. Despite four hits and two walks, the Wolves managed just a single run, a two-out double by Albert Baur in the third. Baur's hit came after Trojan right fielder Tyler Farmer gunned down Newberry's Ryan Cramner as he tried to score on a fly ball.

The Trojans' defense provided all the help Dillon needed. Third baseman Jermaine Berry made several tough stops.

Mount Olive added an unearned run in the fourth when Bryan Dunlavey's hustle produced a 4-1 lead. After a lead-off walk and a wild pickoff attempt, Zak Orrison legged out an infield hit to put runners on the corners. Orrison was thrown out trying to steal, but Dunlavey was able to score on the play. The run loomed large when the Wolves trimmed the lead back to one in the fifth on an RBI-single by Baur.

Dillon was able to escape further trouble in the fifth and gave way to reliever Zach Bernard an inning later.

The teams traded runs, the Trojans getting an RBI-double from Mercurio in the sixth and the Wolves answered with one in the top of the seventh. Mercurio finished a triple away from hitting for the cycle.

Reitano's second blast of the season gave Bernard an insurance run, and he retired the final four batters he faced for his first save as a Trojan.

In the nightcap, Newberry threatened to blow the game open early, but Trojan starter Alex Regan (2-0) found a way to get out of jams in the first two innings. In the first, Anthony Siler singled down the left field line, but when he tried to stretch the hit into a double, Matt Petrone gunned him down at second base. Two singles later, Regan coaxed a double play grounder from Baur to end the threat.

In the second, shortstop Brandon Sheridan gave the Wolves the lead with a lead-off homer to left. Minutes later, the Wolves were threatening for more. Alex Kirby followed with a single, but was thrown out trying to steal by Escalante. Chas Goodwin then singled and Nolan Schrenker walked. Siler grounded to shortstop and Schrenker was ruled safe by the umpire. When he strolled off second base, he was tagged out to end the inning.

The missed opportunities stung Newberry for the moment, but the onslaught Mount Olive answered with soon made the outcome obvious.

In the third, Newberry (4-4) contributed a pair of errors to Petrone's RBI-triple and Berry's run-scoring single. The Trojans tallied three in the frame to take the lead for good. Regan settled down from his early struggles and allowed Newberry hitless over the next four innings. Talton Cherry came in and retired the Wolves in the seventh.

The Trojans (5-0) ended all doubt by batting around in the fourth and fifth innings. In the fourth, Reitano slammed a three-run double as part of a six-run uprising. Reitano's shot bounced off the top of the left-field wall. Mount Olive had seven hits in all in the inning, including an RBI-doubles by Petrone and Daniel Oliver and an RBI-single by Dunlavey.

In the fifth, Mount Olive's patience paid off with five runs on five hits, two hit batsmen, an error and a sacrifice fly by Orrison.

The teams conclude their weekend series with a single game Sunday beginning at 1 p.m.