Mount Olive Tops No. 4 Franklin Pierce 7-5

Mount Olive Tops No. 4 Franklin Pierce 7-5

University of Mount Olive took the series finale from No. 4 Franklin Pierce 7-5 at Scarborough Field Tuesday night on the back of back-to-back home runs by Joe Koehler and Stephen Wallace in non-conference baseball. 

Mount Olive (10-10) was behind the eight ball in the first inning as Franklin Pierce (12-2) started where they left off in Monday's game. Max Sheehan dropped down a bunt and beat the throw to start off the ballgame. Justin Brock drew a walk and both runners advanced on a wild pitch. On the wild pitch the Trojan catcher had trouble finding the ball and Sheehan continued to run and scored on the play.

Jay Jabs drew a walk and runners were on the corners with still no one out. Chris LaVorgna picked up the first RBI of the night with a single into center as Brock came in and the Ravens took a 2-0 lead.

The Trojans did wait long to answer back as in the bottom of the second Wallace got on base after being hit by a pitch and advanced to second after Duke Hill drew a walk. David Mayo reached on a fielder's choice that took out Wallace at third. After a strikeout, Jack Sherrill drove in Mount Olive's first run of the game with a base hit into right and Hill scored.

Zak Orrison followed suit and singled into center for the game-tying RBI as Mayo scored.

Mount Olive sat down Franklin Pierce in order in the top half of the third and came up big in their half of the third. Koehler came up to the plate with one away and put a drive into a pitch on the inside corner and placed it over the wall in right for a solo home run and gave the Trojans the lead. The Ravens made a pitching change and it did not take long as Wallace added another run to the board as he too went long with a home run, however this one to left field and Mount Olive led 4-2.

The Ravens were able to score a run on a wild pitch in the fourth to draw to within one.

In the bottom of the sixth Mount Olive looked to put the game out of reach as Mayo doubled down the right field line to lead off the inning. Alvin Swoop dropped down a sacrifice bunt and Mayo moved up to third. Sherrill drew a walk to put runners on the corners. A failed pickoff attempt allowed Mayo to score and Sherrill to take third as the ball rolled up the line in foul ground.

Following a groundout Bradley Ragan was struck by a pitch and runners were once again on the corners. Lang came up after a pitching change with two away and cleared the bases with a long triple down into the corner in right and Mount Olive open the lead to 7-3.

Franklin Pierce had one final chance to make the game interesting in the eighth and Brock singled through the left side to lead off the inning. Jabs was hit by a pitch and Brock advanced to second. A groundout set up Matt Burns for an RBI-single past second and Brock came in to score. Kurtis White plated the second run with two away as he was able to beat out a throw from the Trojan shortstop and Jabs scored. 

The 7-5 cushion was enough as Austin Hutchison, in his first relief appearance after starting all six of his previous outings, shut down the Ravens and picked up his first save as a Trojan.

Josh Flott (1-2) got the win for Mount Olive as he went seven complete innings allowing four runs off three hits and struck out three. 

Sam Steeves (0-1) was pinned with the loss for Franklin Pierce as he went two and a third and allowed three runs off three hits and struck out a pair.

Mount Olive will have two days off before Southern Wesleyan comes to Scarborough Field on Friday for a three game series. Friday's matchup is set for a 6 p.m. start followed by a doubleheader Saturday starting at noon.