University of Mount Olive was able to hold off a late surge by Barton College to take the series finale 10-9 in Conference Carolinas baseball from Wilson, N.C. Trojans led by Nate Estes's multiple RBI performance including the go ahead run in the eighth.
Mount Olive (18-14 Overall, 10-8 Conference Carolinas) got off on the right foot as the Trojans took the lead in the first. Zak Orrison reached to begin the game on a fielding error by the Barton (23-12, 11-7) right fielder. Orrison was caught steal on the next play for the first out.
David Mayo reached on another Bulldog error. Brett Lang moved Mayo to second with a base hit through the left side. Stephen Wallace was hit by a pitch and the bases were loaded. After a strikeout, Bradley Ragan drove in the game's first run with an RBI single past the Barton shortstop and Mayo scored. Brandon Day continued with an two RBI-single to right.
Estes picked up his first RBI of the game as he scored the final run of the inning with a single to right center.
Barton struck back in the bottom half, but could only manage to strike across one one off an Andrew Webster RBI-single.
The Bulldogs tied the game up in the bottom of the third. Back-to-back one out singles led up to a bases clearing triple by Webster. Webster was driven in on a RBI-groundout from Ben Williams and the game was tied at four.
Orrison led off the Trojan half of the fourth by being hit by a pitch. He then stole second and advanced to third on a bad throw by the Barton catcher. Mayo knocked Orrison in on a ground out and Mount Olive regained the lead 5-4.
Mount Olive looked to extend their lead in the sixth. Mayo led off the inning with a walk and moved into scoring position after a single by Lang. Wallace doubled home a run as Mayo scored and the Trojans continued to attack. The final run came in off a fly out in foul territory that was far enough down the line that Lang was able to tag up and score.
Barton came back however in the bottom of the sixth to take the lead as two straight two RBI-doubles by Tyler Garrett and Calvin Hawke put the Bulldogs ahead 8-7.
Lang plated the tying run in the top of the seventh with a sacrifice fly to straight away center and Estes scored.
Following a scoreless bottom of the seventh, Mount Olive looked to regain the lead in the top of the eighth. Joe Koehler led off the inning with a single up the middle. Koehler ended up on third after a groundout moved him to second and a single to right by Day advanced him to third. A balk was called on the Bulldog pitcher and Koehler trotted in from third and the Trojans took the lead 9-8.
Estes picked up an insurance run with a base hit into left and Day came in from third for the RBI.
Barton came back to score a run in the bottom of the eighth as Williams flied out to left and picked up the sacrifice RBI to draw to within one run.
Heading into the final frame the Bulldogs made some threat of a comeback. Hunter Pearre drew a walk to lead off the inning. Following a strikeout Troy Maslowski was hit by a pitch and then both runners moved into scoring position on a wild pitch. After another strikeout Tyler Garret was intentionally walked to load the bases with two away. The threat ended though as a strikeout ended the inning and the game with it as Mount Olive took the series finale.
Dario Santangelo (2-2) was credited with the win for Mount Olive as he finished the last three innings allowing one run without surrendering a hit and struck out six.
Mount Olive will remain on the road as the Trojans will travel to Salisbury, N.C. to take on Catawba College for a one game contest. First pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m.