Mount Olive Takes Second Round Game From Pfeiffer 11-7

Mount Olive Takes Second Round Game From Pfeiffer 11-7

The University of Mount Olive used the long ball to defeat Pfeiffer University 11-7 in round two of the 2014 Conference Carolinas Baseball Tournament in Burlington, N.C. Bradon Reitano had the key hit in the game for Mount Olive as he hit a two run home run in the fifth to break the tie ball game and give the Trojans the lead for good.

In the second inning Mount Olive (38-11) came out swinging as Junior first baseman Rob Shipman beat out a throw from second for a single. The catcher Justin Manning drew a walk. Chase Edwards reached on a fielder's choice as the throw to third was not in time to get Shipman and loaded the bases. Junior Cody Britt shot the opening salvo with a line drive over the right fielder's head and Shipman and Manning came in to score. DeAndre Allen found the right side for a single that brought home Edwards and the Trojans took a 3-0 lead.

Pfeiffer (26-23) got on the board in the bottom of the second as Dalton Lindley drove a pitch to dead center field as the wind took it just to the right of the hitter's eye. John Elwood doubled to right field with one away. Kevin Price singled through the right side and plated Elwood on a close play at the plate for the Falcons second run.

The Falcons were able to tie the game back up in the bottom half of the fourth. Kyle Hackney reached on a throwing error and Elwood also reached by way of the error to give Pfeiffer runners at first and third. On an attempted intentional pass Elwood came in to tie the game as the pitch tipped off the glove of the Trojan catcher and the game went square at three.

Mount Olive came roaring back in the fifth. Zak Orrison singled into left to lead off the inning. After two outs were recorded senior left fielder Reitano hammered a 0-1 pitch to left center over the UNC-Burlington sign and gave the Trojans the lead back 5-3.

"I had been nibbling around the last couple at bats so I had been selective at what I swing at, but it was good to get an off speed pitch up and handle it pretty well" said Reitano.

The Trojans looked to add more runs in the sixth as another home run by Mount Olive pushed the lead further. Cody Britt drew a two out walk and Allen came through with the second big fly for UMO as he drove a pitch out and over the left center field wall.

"I knew he was going to throw me another fastball and I choked up on the bat and put the ball in play. I didn't think I got all of it but the wind helped me out I guess." (Allen)

Pfeiffer tried to start a comeback in their half. Jon Gray walked with one out to give the Falcons a base runner. Tyler Summers singled past third to advance Gray to second. After a double steal Matt Wade drove Summers and Gray in with a two out RBI-single up the middle. That was all the Falcons could manage as a fielder's choice groundout ended the inning with Mount Olive on top by two 7-5.

However the runs were answered back by Mount Olive in the seventh. Barry picked up a one out walk to begin the inning. Reitano came up and singled back up the middle. Shipman delivered the third home run by Mount Olive as he hit a bases clearing moon shot over the right field scoreboard and on to the roof of the recreation center behind right.

Shipman commented on his at bat after the game. "I just battled, I knew I had runners on first and second so I defiantly didn't want to groundout. I was thinking to myself the only pitch he can come with (3-2 count) is a fastball and sure enough he did and I put a good swing on it and the rest is history".

Mount Olive added another run in the ninth on an RBI-groundout by Reitano.

Pfeiffer looked to make a comeback in the final set of at bats. Wade started it off with a single up the middle. Brandall Peters pinch ran for Wade and advanced to second on a base hit by Dylan Goodman. Peters was advanced to third on a flyout and then scored on a wild pitch. Goodman moved to second on a groundout. Elwood was hit by a pitch and Price brought home the second run with a single into right as Goodman scored.

Hunter Barnett shut the door with a fielder's choice for the final out of the game.

Brody McDonald (0-0) picked up the win in relief of the Trojan starter. For McDonald his line was three and two thirds allowing two runs off four hits and a pair of strikeouts. Barnett went the final two innings giving up two runs off five hits and one strikeout.

Tyler Lequire got the loss on the mound for Pfeiffer. He went six innings allowing seven runs off seven hits and also had three strikeouts.

Reitano spoke about the team moral and the next game for the Trojans. "We feel good, Derek (Justice) is on the mound and he's a great competitor and we'll be swinging the bats behind him and play solid defense, so it should be fun".

"I feel awesome, we feel like we're rolling. Good teams find ways to win the big games and with the 21st straight win it feels good. We're getting stronger and keep rolling through the day and tomorrow, there's no telling how far this team can go" said Shipman about his feelings and the team's thoughts going into the later game.

The win keeps Mount Olive in the winner's bracket where they will face the winner of the King/Erskine game. First pitch is set for 5 p.m. but could change base of time of play in the previous game.