Mike Mercurio Homers Twice; Trojans Sweep Doubleheader From Pfeiffer

Mike Mercurio Homers Twice; Trojans Sweep Doubleheader From Pfeiffer

Mike Mercurio homered in both games, and the Trojans got strong pitching throughout as nationally top-ranked Mount Olive swept a Conference Carolinas baseball doubleheader from Pfeiffer 13-1 and 7-4 Saturday afternoon in Misenheimer, N.C. The sweep extended the Trojans' winning streak to 20 games heading into the series finale on Sunday.

In the opener, Mount Olive made the Falcons pay for nine errors, leading to seven unearned runs. The first error opened the door for the Trojans in the top of the second. Matt Petrone drove a two-out pitch to left field where the ball was misplayed allowing three runs to score.

The cushion was more than enough support for Mount Olive starter Matt Dillon (9-1), who tossed six strong innings, allowing one run on five hits and striking out six. Teammate Zach Smith held Pfeiffer to two singles over the final three frames for his first save.

Mount Olive's bats had plenty of life in them in the opener. In the fourth, the Trojans doubled their lead when Reitano singled to bring home Tyler Farmer, then Reitano and Petrone scored on Mercurio's two-out double. Mercurio and Reitano were a thorn in Pfeiffer's side all day. In the opener alone, Reitano delivered four hits, while Mercurio drove in five.

Pfeiffer got one run back in the bottom of the fourth before the Trojans blew the game open in the eighth and ninth.

Still leading 6-1, Mount Olive got an RBI-single from Reitano, then added a pair of unearned runs to make in 9-1. In the ninth, Bryan Dunlavey singled home Farmer, the trotted home along with Zak Orrison on Mercurio's fifth homer of the season.

In the nightcap, Mercurio's sixth homer, with two aboard, blew open a close game, and Alex Regan (11-1) tossed a complete game six-hitter.

The Trojans (42-4 Overall, 19-3 Conference Carolinas) never trailed after Daniel Oliver slugged his sixth homer in the third inning. Reitano singled to score Petrone later in the inning for a 2-0 lead. In the fourth, the Falcons (18-29, 11-11) got one of the runs back on a double play groundout.

Then Mount Olive turned to Mercurio in the fifth, and he came through with a long blast over the left-centerfield wall. An inning later, Petrone added a two-run single for a 7-1 lead.

Pfeiffer gave the Trojans a scare late when Matt Wade hit a solo homer in the sixth, then added a pair of unearned runs in the seventh. The Falcons brought the tying run to the plate with two outs in the bottom of the seventh before Regan coaxed a groundout to end the game.

The teams wrap up their series Sunday with a single game at 1 p.m. This is the final contest before next weekend's Conference Carolinas Tournament in Burlington, N.C.