Trojans Win Battle Of Regional Top-Ranked Teams 6-3

Trojans Win Battle Of Regional Top-Ranked Teams 6-3

Daniel Oliver's two-run single highlighted a three-run seventh inning to break a 3-3 tie and Alex Regan added to his nation's leading win total with five scoreless innings of relief as nationally second-ranked Mount Olive defeated No. 28 Winston-Salem State 6-3 in non-conference baseball Sunday at Scarborough Field. The contest was a match-up of regionally top-ranked teams with the Trojans ranked No. 1 in the Southeast Region and the Rams ranked No. 1 in the Atlantic Region.

Mount Olive (46-6) loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the seventh when Bradon Reitano was hit by a pitch, Mike Mercurio doubled down the left field line and Jermaine Berry drew a walk. Reitano scored the go-ahead run on Colby Conway's high bouncer to second for an rbi-groundout. Oliver then drilled a 1-0 pitch to left to drive in Mercurio and Berry.

Regan (13-1) took over for Trojan starter Matt Dillon in the top of the fifth with nobody out and runners on second and third after Lew Grassley's rbi-double – Winston-Salem State's third consecutive hit of the inning – broke a 1-1 tie. Regan retired the next three batters, but the Rams added a run in the inning on an rbi-groundout to take a 3-1 lead.

Regan limited Winston-Salem State (38-10) to three singles the rest of the way and did not allow more than one baserunner in any inning after the Rams had collected eight hits in the first four-plus innings. He retired the side in order in the ninth to get the win in his first relief appearance of the season. Regan struck out three and walked none to become the first pitcher in the nation to reach the 13-win mark this season.

The Trojans rallied in the bottom of the fifth as Zak Orrison led off with a double and Petrone followed with a single to put runners on the corners. After a pitching change, Orrison came home on Reitano's line single to right. Berry's sacrifice fly to right drove in Petrone to tie the game 3-3.

Both teams capitalized on failed pickoff attempts to score their first run. Travis Moore led off the game for Winston-Salem State with a single to left and advanced all the way to third when Dillon's throw on a pickoff attempt was off-target. German Reyes' one-out single through the right side brought in Moore to give the Rams a 1-0 lead.

Winston-Salem State starter Tyler Hickernell held the Trojans to just two hits through the first four innings, but his throwing error helped Mount Olive score its first run in the bottom of the third without benefit of a hit. Petrone and Mercurio drew walks and both runners advanced when Hickernell's throw to second on a pickoff attempt went into centerfield. Petrone scored on Berry's groundout to short.

Sunday's contest was the Trojans' regular season finale.

Mount Olive will find out its post-season fate next Sunday when the field is announced for the 2013 NCAA Division II Baseball Championship. The Trojans are expected to receive an at-large bid to the Southeast Regional and hope to host the regional for the third consecutive year. The Southeast Regional takes place May 16-20. The final regular season Southeast Region Poll will be announced Wednesday.