Justin Manning got the clutch hit as the No. 12 University of Mount Olive walked off in the seventh inning to take game one as the Trojans swept Wingate University 9-8, 8-6 on a rainy afternoon in Mount Olive, N.C. for non-conference baseball. Game two was called in the sixth inning after rain made the field un-playable.
Game One: Mount Olive 9 Wingate 8
Mount Olive (33-10) went down early as Wingate (24-18) started game one off hot. Shane Billings singled to lead off the game. Billings advanced to third after he stole second and moved to third after the throw down went into center. Michael Godinez drew a walk on a wild pitch and it allowed Billings to score the first run. Back-to-back singles loaded the bases for Josh Clark who grounded out to the pitcher and Godinez scored. One more groundout pushed home the final run as the Bulldogs jumped out to a 3-0 lead.
Wingate added three more runs in the fourth and moved ahead 6-1. Mount Olive however fought back in the bottom half and Joe Koehler and Rob Shipman drew walks to start off the inning. Chris Leduc came up and fouled one pitch off before he teleported a ball over the left center field wall for a bases clearing home run. Allen came up and tripled into right center and Zak Orrison drove him in on a sacrifice fly to right. Mount Olive went into the fifth down by just one run.
The Bulldogs gave themselves a three run cushion with an RBI-double by Bradley Brown in the top of the fifth. Shipman drew a lead-off walk to begin the Trojan half of the fifth. Leduc reached on a fielding error and Shipman moved to third after the shortstop threw the ball into the fence. Allen walked to load the bases and with two away Gailmard singled home two as Shipman and Leduc scored.
Jason Morozowski singled up the middle and kept the offence rolling as Allen came home for the final run and Mount Olive tied the game at eight.
The final at bats came up for Mount Olive and the Trojans started off with a lead-off single from Allen. Two fly outs made the pressure mount as the Trojans needed only one to win. Morozowski surprised the Bulldog defense as he dropped down a bunt on a 1-1 pitch and beat out the throw to put runners at first and second. Manning came up looking to drive in the winning run. On a 1-1 pitch Manning lifted the pitch to shallow right field and a diving effort was made by the right fielder, however he could not hold on and Allen sped around from second and Mount Olive walked off in game one.
Dario Santangelo (1-0) picked up his first career win. In relief, Santangelo pitched a perfect sixth inning striking out the side and ending the seventh with a strikeout. He finished with five k's and surrendered just two walks.
Cameron Price (0-2) allowed the winning run and got pinned with the loss.
Game Two: Mount Olive 8 Wingate 6
Game two started in the rain and was called in the top of the sixth and with Mount Olive ahead 8-6, the Trojans picked up a condensed five inning win in the nightcap.
The first inning had some offense as Wingate (24-19) used back-to-back doubles to score the game's first run. Mount Olive (34-10) did not allow the lead to last as the Trojans got clicking in the bottom half.
Orrison ended up on third after he walked, was moved to second on a groundout, and stole third. Morozowski and Manning were walked and the bases were loaded with still no one out. A passed ball allowed all the runners to move up as well as Orrison to score to tie the game. Koehler hit a deep fly ball to right center that bounced over the wall for a bases clearing ground-rule RBI-double. Shipman picked up and RBI-single and continued the hits for Mount Olive. A hit by pitch and a walk reloaded the bases and Orrison walked home a run and the Trojans led 5-1.
The Bulldogs took back two runs on two RBI-singles through the left side and trailed by two. Mount Olive exploded for three runs in the bottom of the second on back-to-back monster home runs by Shipman and Leduc.
Leading 8-3 in the top of the fourth Wingate sneaked home a run after two, two out singles and two straight walks pushed a solo run home. In the top half of the fifth Blake Price singled to lead-off the inning. After two out he was driven in by Brando Wolf on an RBI-single back up the middle. Billings scored Wolf on another RBI-single and the Bulldogs trailed by two. After a scoreless bottom of the fifth the rain really began to pour at Scarborough field and the game was finally called before the start of the sixth and Mount Olive won by virtue of the game completion minimum requirement.
Hunter Barnett (1-1) started the game and picked up his first win going three and two thirds. He allowed four runs off eight hits and struck out three.
Mount Olive will hit the road as the Trojans close out the conference regular season with a three game series at Belmont Abbey College. First pitch Friday is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.