Long Ball Pushes Trojans Past Barton In Series Opener 11-5

Long Ball Pushes Trojans Past Barton In Series Opener 11-5

Home runs by Chase Edwards, Bradon Reitano, and Jay Gonzalez led the way for the nationally 27th-ranked University of Mount Olive Trojans to take game one of the weekend series, 11-5 from Barton College for Conference Carolinas baseball in Wilson, N.C. The Trojans were able to hold off a potential ninth inning comeback as Barton scored three runs in the final set of at bats of the ball game.

The Trojans (26-11 Overall, 11-2 Conference Carolinas) hit the opening salvo in the third. Second baseman DeAndre Allen drew a six pitch walk to lead off the inning. Zak Orrison drove in the first run of the ball game as the Trojan shortstop took a first pitch down the left field line for a double that brought home Allen. Orrison advanced to third after a fly out to left field off the bat of Gonzalez.

Edwards plated the second Trojan run with a RBI-double into right field and Orrison came home to give Mount Olive the early 2-0 lead.

Another run came home for the Trojans in the fifth. Orrison singled with one away to give the visiting nine a base runner. Gonzalez singled up the middle and the speed of Orrison allowed him to take third. A failed pick-off attempt of Gonzalez at first ended up going into foul territory past first base and Orrison took off from third and scored.

Mount Olive added the fourth run of the game in the sixth. Rob Shipman singled with one out into left center field to lead off. Willi Martin followed him with a single to left. Justin Manning poked a shot down the right field line and drove in Shipman and the Trojans lead extended further.

Barton (11-22, 6-7) plated their first run of the game off a long home run by the right fielder Avery Harper. Jacob Willis was hit by pitch and took first and Snooter Merryman reached on a fielder's choice as the flip at second was dropped and both runners were safe. However, Trojan starter Kodi Whitley was able to get out of the jam as he got the pitcher's best friend 4-6-3 inning ending double play.

Home runs told the tale in the seventh for UMO. Edwards was even in the count before he lifted a deep home run in between the American flag and hitter's eye out in center field. Reitano took the first pitch he saw and it cleared just right of the score board in left field.

JT Bunce doubled down the left field line to lead off for the Bulldogs in the bottom of the seventh. He was moved to third on a groundout by Calvin Hawke and then scored on a wild pitch to move the score to 6-2 still in favor of the Trojans.

The eighth inning saw an explosion of offensive by the Trojan batters. Cody Britt got on after he was hit by a pitch and then stole second on the next play. Allen doubled him in with a shot into center field. After a ground out Gonzalez hit a two run home run to left field and plated two more for Mount Olive. Edwards doubled to follow Gonzalez to right center and advanced to third after a passed ball.

Reitano doubled down the left field line and brought in Edwards. Shipman hit the third RBI-double of the inning and the final run of the five run out-burst as he drove in Reitano.

Barton looked to try and rally after the big inning from the Trojans. Bunce singled to short to lead off the inning for the Bulldogs and then stole second on the next play. Hawke worked out an eight pitch walk and Bunce advanced to third on a throwing error by the catcher. After a strikeout Mitchell Wheeler got the first run home on the RBI-groundout to second. Andrew Webster came up next and drew the Bulldogs closer as he hit a tower two-run shot over the scoreboard in left field. However those were the final runs scored by Barton as Mount Olive shut the door and took game one of the series 11-5.

Whitley (4-1) worked efficiently enough to earn his fourth win on the year. He went seven giving up only two runs off seven hits and added two strikeouts. Josh Frederick and Deshorn Lake both came in and pitched an inning of relief. Frederick allowed no runs, two hits, and had one strikeout. Lake allowed three runs off two hits and added a strikeout.

Bradon Warren (0-4) got the loss for the Bulldogs as he went six and two thirds surrendering six runs off 11 hits and also had five strikeouts. Mike Brienza and Seth Breasseale came in and pitched relief for Barton. Brienza went two thirds and allowed five runs off five hits. Breasseale gave up only one hit in his one and two thirds innings of work and also picked up a strikeout.

The win extends the streak to nine for Mount Olive. The series ending doubleheader is set for 12 p.m. tomorrow at Nixon Field in Wilson, N.C.