No. 1 Trojans Score Six In First; Earn Doubleheader Split With Wingate

No. 1 Trojans Score Six In First; Earn Doubleheader Split With Wingate

Mount Olive scored six runs in the bottom of the first and pitcher Collin Dubose pitched strong in relief, helping the nationally top-ranked Trojans earn a doubleheader split with Wingate 9-4. In the opener, Mount Olive rallied from an early, 4-0 deficit, but visiting Wingate scored twice in the seventh to post an 8-7 win in a non-conference baseball doubleheader Tuesday afternoon at Scarborough Field.

Dubose (2-0) took the mound in the top of the second after the Bulldogs (12-10) brought the tying run to the plate after Mount Olive's first inning outburst. Dubose immediately coaxed a double play from shortstop Michael Godinez. Thomas Spitz followed with a two-run single that trimmed the Trojans' lead to 6-4.

Wingate got no closer against the freshman right-hander. Dubose allowed just four hits and one earned run, while striking out three in six innings of relief.

Mount Olive (18-2) padded its lead in the third, Bryan Dunlavey led off with a single and stole second, then Cody Britt walked and Matt Petrone singled to load the bases with no outs. Bradon Reitano and Mike Mercurio cashed in two of the runners with a pair of sacrifice flies for an 8-4 advantage. In the fifth, Geno Escalante added a sacrifice fly after the Trojans loaded the bases on two walks and a hit batsman.

Mount Olive built its early lead with some help from pitcher Tyler Brown (0-2), who walked one and tossed two wild pitches. Jermaine Berry singled home one run and Zak Orrison singled home another. Daniel Oliver's hit was the biggest of the inning, striking Brown in the pitching arm, forcing him from the game. Britt doubled home two more runs, then raced home on another wild pitch.

In the opener, the Trojans came back thanks to homers by Mike Mercurio and Jermaine Berry. The Bulldogs, however, rallied to hand Mount Olive only its second loss of the season.

Wingate scored a pair of runs in the first and added two more in the second against starter Derek Justice. The Trojan southpaw settled down after the rough start, allowing his teammates to rally. In the bottom of the second, Berry walked, then his hustle put runners on second and third following a single by Oliver. Zak Orrison brought both runners home on a single down the left field line. Orrison raced home moments later on a wild pitch to make it 4-3.

An inning later, Mercurio's third blast of the season pulled the Trojans even, 4-4.

Mount Olive took its first lead of the game in the fourth when Mercurio singled home Reitano legged out an infield single, then stole second.

Wingate regained the lead in the fifth when Grant McCoury slugged a two-run homer over the left field wall. The lead was brief. Berry slammed the first pitch he saw from C. J. Harris over the left field fence to tie the contest at 6-6, then Oliver followed with a double to chase Harris. One out later, pinch-hitter Luke Berry grounded out to short to bring home the go-ahead run.

In the seventh, Wingate's Brian Yeung led off with a single and Josh Clark doubled off reliever Talton Cherry (0-1). McCoury's sacrifice fly tied the game at 7-7, then Blake Prince doubled to put Wingate ahead to stay. Kyle Brady (1-0) retired five of the six batters he faced to get the win.

The Trojans return to Conference Carolinas action with a three-game series against Barton beginning with a single game Friday night at 6 p.m. The teams conclude the set Saturday with a doubleheader beginning at noon.