University of Mount Olive played its first game over 13 innings in school history since 2005, but the Trojans were unable to find the winning run as they fell to North Greenville 5-4 in 16 innings Friday night in Tigerville, S.C. for Conference Carolinas Baseball. Mount Olive had both the starting and relieving pitchers throw over 100 pitches in the ballgame.
Zak Orrison tied the game up for Mount Olive ( 9-7 Overall, 4-3 Conference Carolinas) 3-3 in the top of the ninth inning with a home run to force extra innings. Mount Olive was unable to push across the go ahead run and the game turned into much longer of a game than both teams expected.
Mount Olive had a chance to take the lead in the 11th as a lead-off single by Orrison set up back-to-back walks to load the bases with one away. The North Greenville (15-8, 7-0) pitching staff was able to register the final two out without allowing the go ahead run to score.
In the bottom of the 11th the Crusaders also made an attempt to win the game as a walk to the lead-off batter. Bennett Hill advanced to second on a wild pitch and back-to-back putouts put a damper on the threat for the time being. A walk and a wild pitch put both runners in scoring position still with two away. Mount Olive, however got a strikeout to end the Crusader threat and the game continued with more free baseball.
Neither squad made much of a threat until the 16th inning. Brett Lang found a hole with one away to give the Trojans a base runner. Derek Deler followed suit with a single through the left side. After a strikeout, Santos drew a walk to load the bases. Nate Estes worked the count to 3-1 and picked up an RBI as Estes was hit by an inside pitch and Lang trotted home to give Mount Olive the 4-3 lead.
North Greenville had their backs against the wall heading into the final set of at bats for the Crusaders. Back-to-back singles through the left side put two runners on for NGU. Nathaniel Maggio drove in the tying run as his RBI single through the right side of the infield brought the game back square at four.
Hunter Dilworth came up with one out and placed a hit into shallow left center field. The catch was made and Collins Robinson, who came in to pinch run for David Houser, tagged up and took off to try and win the game. The throw was on line from the outfield but the tag was just late and the Crusaders walked off.
Mount Olive broke the tie and took the lead in the fourth on a Lang double and added a run off an error in the fifth. North Greenville progressively fought their way back as the Crusaders added a single run in the seventh and the tying runs in the eighth.
The Trojans tied the game off Orrison's solo home run in the ninth and then what followed was a record breaking game for Mount Olive despite the final outcome.
Dario Santangelo (0-2) took the loss for the Trojans in relief, but made history nonetheless. Santangelo tossed 143 pitches over his eight innings of relief which set the record for most pitches thrown in relief by any Trojan pitcher. The left hander allowed two runs off eight hits and recorded 13 strikeouts during the game.
Michael Bonifay (2-0) was credited with the win as his pitched the final three innings for North Greenville. He allowed one run and picked up five strikeouts.
Both teams will turn around and play the final two games of the series Saturday. The double header is scheduled to begin at noon.