Jay Gonzalez goes 4-for-5 with two RBI as the nationally 19th-ranked University of Mount Olive comes back in the eighth inning to take the final home game of the regular season 9-6 from Virginia State University in Mount Olive, N.C. for non-conference baseball. Rob Shipman also had two RBI off his 2-for-4 night.
Mount Olive (34-11) scored in every inning except the sixth and seventh, but it all started for the Trojans in first.
After a groundout Chase Edwards got the first hit for the Trojans with a double down the left field line. Edwards then advanced to third on a deep fly out to right field. He then scored on a wild pitch and UMO took the early lead.
Virginia State (24-16) brought home their first run after the bases were loaded Jamison Griffin was hit by a pitch to drive in VSU's opening run.
In the second Justin Manning lead off the inning with a walk and Luke Barry came up and got hit by a pitch to give the Trojans early base runners. Cody Britt singled through the left side to load the bases. DeAndre Allen singled past first base to bring in the go ahead run for Mount Olive. Gonzalez singled into center one batter later to bring in Britt and Mount Olive led 3-1.
Bradon Reitano to start the third doubled down the left field line and advanced to third on a wild pitch on the next batter. Shipman came up and knocked Reitano in with a sacrifice fly to add a run.
The Trojans continued to score in the fourth. Gonzalez singled to shortstop to lead off the inning. Edwards doubled down the left field line to drive in Gonzalez. Reitano looked to get in the hitting trend as well as he doubled to left center and Edwards scored.
Virginia State looked to make a comeback in the top of the fifth. Nicholas Christopher singled to start it off. Joshua Markins singled an out later through the left side. Tyler Coleman walked after an eight pitch battle to load the bases. David Markins singled through the left side and scored one in Christopher. Percy Evans walked to bring in a run and the bases were still loaded. Corey Grant singled in another run through the right side as Coleman scored. Daryl Williams singled home the tying run as a bloop shot between Reitano and Allen fell and David Markins came in.
Zak Orrison with two outs in the fifth reached first on a throwing error by the shortstop. After he stole second, Gonzalez singled a shot up the middle and Orrison came around to break the tie as Mount Olive regained the lead.
Mount Olive's offence was shut down for two innings but could not be extinguished completely as the eighth inning saw the spark reignite. Gonzalez lead off with a triple to left that got under the glove and rolled to the wall. Edwards was walked and then he stole second a pitch later. A walk to Reitano loaded the bases and Shipman reached on a fielder's choice that scored Gonzales and Shipman picked up the RBI and the Trojans extended the lead.
Manning grounded out and scored a much needed insurance run in Edwards and UMO led 9-6.
Virginia State was sat down one, two, three and Mount Olive closed out their home regular season with a win.
Brody McDonald (3-0) was credited with the win in relief of the starter Hunter Barnett. McDonald threw three and two thirds giving up one run off five hits and striking out five. Zach Bernard (6)came in the ninth and picked of the save shutting down Virginia State.
Rodell Stewart (2-4) was stuck with the loss as he went four innings allowing three runs off three hits and added two strikeouts.
The final game at Scarborough field is now complete in the regular season as Mount Olive travels to Tigerville, S.C. to close out Conference Carolinas play and the regular season before heading to Burlington, N.C. for the Conference Carolinas tournament. First pitch Friday in the doubleheader is set for 1 p.m.