No. 4 Trojans Rally To Complete Sweep of No. 27 California (Pa.)

No. 4 Trojans Rally To Complete Sweep of No. 27 California (Pa.)

Mount Olive rallied from a 6-2 deficit and Chris Orphanos shut the door on No. 27 California (Pa.) hitters late in the game as the nationally fourth-ranked Trojans completed a three-game sweep with a 7-6 non-conference baseball win Saturday afternoon at Scarborough Field.

The Trojans (31-4) were forced to climb out of an early hole for the third time in a week, this time spotting the Vulcans (16-7) leads of 2-0 and 6-2. The culprit this time was defense and timely California (Pa.) hitting. California got a solo home run from shortstop Matt Peters to open the second, then took advantage of two errors to score five unearned runs over the next two frames. Catcher Kyle Petty delivered the big blow, a bases-clearing double in the fourth to make it 6-2.

The Trojans settled down after Petty's hit. Matt Hinkle allowed a lead-off single in the fifth, then Orphanos gave up a one-out hit an inning later. Those were the only base runners the Vulcans managed over the final four innings.

Orphanos (6-0) allowed only the one single in four innings of relief, retiring the final eight batters he faced.

The strong relief work gave the Trojans' attack the opportunity it needed to fight its way back. In the bottom of the fifth, Mount Olive did just that.

A single by Bryan Dunlavey and a walk to Cody Britt got things started against Vulcan starter Kyle Thomas. After a failed bunt attempt cut down the lead runner, Braden Reitano delivered an RBI-single. Geno Escalante's hustle turned a bobbled groundball into a California (Pa.) miscue, cutting the lead to 6-4, and Jermaine Berry singled home a third run in the frame to make it a one-run game.

Berry and Reitano continued to wreak havoc on Vulcan pitching in Saturday's finale. Berry went 2-for-5 to finish the series with 10 hits in 14 at-bats. Reitano finished the weekend 7-for-13 with three extra-base hits and six RBI.

In the sixth, the Trojans took the lead for good. Zak Orrison singled and moved to second on Dunlavey's sacrifice bunt. After Orrison swiped third, he raced home on Cody Britt's sacrifice fly to tie the game. With the bases empty and two outs, the Trojans started again. Matt Petrone singled to keep the inning alive and stole second. Reitano concluded the comeback with an RBI-double.

The Trojans return to action Tuesday night when the 2011 Southeast Regional champions Catawba return to Scarborough Field for a doubleheader beginning at 4 p.m.