Reitano Drives In Six; Mount Olive Remains Perfect With Win Over Shaw

Reitano Drives In Six; Mount Olive Remains Perfect With Win Over Shaw

Braden Reitano slugged his third homer of the season, driving in six and six Trojan pitchers combined on a five-hitter as nationally top-ranked Mount Olive remained unbeaten with a 19-2 non-conference baseball win over Shaw University Thursday afternoon at Scarborough Field. Reitano's three-run blast was part of a season-best 20-hit attack.

Mount Olive (7-0) scored in each of the first eight innings and nine different players recorded at least one hit. Shaw (2-2) managed just two singles through the first seven innings. Starter Garrett Blackburn made his Mount Olive debut and walked the first two batters he faced. The freshman settled down and struck out five of the final seven batters he faced.

The Bears fared little better against relievers Josh Frederick (1-0), Talton Cherry and Taylor Carr, who combined to allow one hit and two walks over four innings, striking out six.

The Trojan hitter made life easy for their hurlers. In the bottom of the first, Geno Escalante slammed a two-out pitch from Avery Upshur (0-1) off the centerfield wall for a triple. When the relay was bobbled, Escalante completed the circuit around the bases. An inning later, Mount Olive used two walks and a hit batsman to add a second run. RBI-singles from Escalante and Tyler Farmer stretched the lead to 4-0 before blowing the game open in the middle innings.

In the fourth, Daniel Oliver came within feet of a grand slam, but his teammates still managed four runs. In addition to Oliver's sacrifice fly, Mike Mercurio doubled home a run and scored on a wild pitch and Escalante singled home the team's eighth run.

Escalante finished the game 3-for-4 with five runs scored. Farmer and Matt Patrone also had three hits.

Reitano's three-run homer came in the fifth. He added an RBI-double in the sixth and a two-run single in the seventh.

Shaw broke through with a pair of runs in the eighth before Licio Tamburlini tossed a scoreless ninth.

Mount Olive returns to action Saturday when 24th-ranked LeMoyne comes to Scarborough Field for a three-game series. A doubleheader will start things on Saturday beginning at 2 p.m., followed by a single game Sunday.