February 17, 2013

#1/4 MOUNT OLIVE KNOCKS OFF #18/24 BASEBALL, 12-4, IN SERIES FINALE

Mount Olive, N.C. – Catcher Geno Escalante drove in the go-ahead runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to lead #1/4-ranked Mount Olive College to a 12-4 win over the #18/24 Le Moyne College baseball team on Sunday afternoon at Scarborough Field.

Mount Olive opened the game's scoring with three runs on three hits and a Le Moyne error in the first inning. Left fielder Matt Petrone singled with one out, moved to second on a wild pitch and then advanced to third on an infield single by Escalante. After a strikeout and a walk by third baseman Jermaine Berry to load the bases, first baseman Daniel Oliver singled through the right side to drive in Petrone and Escalante. Berry then scored on an error by the first baseman on a pickoff attempt.

The Dolphins got on the scoreboard in the top of the third inning with two runs on one hit. Senior center fielder Zack Wiley (Toluca Woods, Calif./Crespi) walked with one out and then stole second base. After a pop out and a walk by senior catcher Brian Stinson (Binghamton, N.Y./Chenango Valley), senior first baseman Paul Speicher (Shrewsbury, Mass./Shrewsbury) doubled to left center to knock in Wiley and Stinson.

Le Moyne evened the score at three apiece in the top of the sixth inning. With one out, senior right fielder Kody O'Connor (Mexico, N.Y./Mexico) launched his 10th career home run to left field to tie the score.

The Trojans took advantage of a Le Moyne error in the bottom of the seventh to plate two runs. After a pair of ground outs to the left side of the infield and a single up the middle by shortstop Mike Mercurio, Petrone reached on a dropped pop fly by the shortstop to keep the inning alive. Escalante then doubled to left center on a 1-1 pitch to drive in Mercurio and Petrone for the eventual game-winning run.

Mount Olive (10-0) tacked on seven runs, six of which were unearned, in the eighth inning. Berry reached on an error to open the frame, moved to second as Oliver was hit by a pitch and advanced to third base on a wild pitch. Pinch-hitter Luke Berry followed with a single through the drawn in right side of the infield to plate Jermaine Berry and Oliver. After a line out and a sacrifice bunt, Mercurio singled through the right side to knock in pinch-runner Tyler Farmer. Following a double by Petrone, a Le Moyne pitching change and a walk by Escalante to load the bases, designated hitter Braden Reitano blasted a grand slam to left field to finish off Mount Olive's scoring.

The Dolphins were able to plate one run in the top of the ninth, but could not cut into their deficit any further. Junior pinch-hitter Nate Reynolds (Johnson City, N.Y./Maine-Endwell) led off with a single up the middle and then moved to second on an error by the pitcher as sophomore pinch-hitter Max Nagelsmith (Duanesburg, N.Y./Christian Brothers Academy of Albany) reached on a fielder's choice. Two batters later, junior left fielder Pat Wiese (Fayetteville, N.Y./Christian Brothers Academy of Syracuse) singled to left center to drive in Reynolds.

Sophomore southpaw Jon Dunn (Honeoye Falls, N.Y./Honeoye Falls-Lima) suffered the loss after yielding two unearned runs in one inning on the mound. Classmate Ryan Davis (Queensbury, N.Y./Queensbury) didn't factor into the decision after striking out three batters over the opening six innings, while allowing just three runs (two earned) on only five hits. Zach Smith earned the win for Mount Olive out of the bullpen after retiring all six batters he faced, including two via strikes.

Le Moyne (0-3) returns to action on Friday at the Riverside Spring Classic in Williamston, North Carolina against Seton Hill University, which was ranked 22nd in the NCBWA preseason poll and 27th in the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper preseason poll. First pitch with Griffins is scheduled for 12:00 p.m.