No. 3 Trojans Sweep Lenoir-Rhyne In Season-Opening Doubleheader

No. 3 Trojans Sweep Lenoir-Rhyne In Season-Opening Doubleheader

Braden Reitano's grand slam home run capped a six-run eighth inning as nationally third-ranked Mount Olive rallied for a 7-3 victory over Lenoir-Rhyne in game one of a non-conference baseball doubleheader Saturday at Hickory, N.C. Chris Orphanos pitched the final five innings in relief for the win in his Trojan debut.

The Trojans took the nightcap 18-1 as Daniel Oliver hit a grand slam home run in a 10-run second inning. Oliver, who also homered in game one, drove in seven runs, all in the first two innings.

Trojan senior catcher Geno Escalante, who hit safely in each of his final 46 games of the 2012 season, went 0-for-3 with a walk in game one to see his streak come to an end. Escalante's 46-game hitting streak is tied for the fourth longest in NCAA Division II baseball history.

In the opener, Mount Olive (2-0) trailed 3-1 going into the top of the eighth when No. 9 batter Zak Orrison doubled with one out, advanced to third on a balk and scored on Matt Petrone's rbi-single. Mike Mercurio was hit by a pitch and Escalante walked to load the bases.

Jermaine Berry drew a walk and Petrone came home to tie the game 3-3. Reitano then cleared the bases with a home run over the left field. Reitano's grand slam was the first of his collegiate career and his eighth career home run overall.

Orpahnos (1-0) took over for Trojan starter Matt Dillon to open the bottom of the fifth inning. Lenoir-Rhyne scored a pair of runs on back-to-back rbi-doubles by Rai Robinson and David Martin to give the Bears their first lead at 2-1.

Lenoir-Rhyne (0-2) added a run in the bottom of the seventh and had a chance for a big inning with one out and two runners on. But Orphanos induced a 3-6 double play to end the inning.

Orphanos retired the side in order in each of the final two innings, striking out two in the eighth and recording a strikeout for the final out in the ninth. He finished with five strikeouts.

Mount Olive got on the scoreboard first when Daniel Oliver belted a solo home run with two outs in the top of the second inning to give the Trojans a 1-0 lead.

Dillon, last year's Conference Carolinas Pitcher of the Year, struck out seven and allowed three hits in four innings.

The Trojans took control early in game two as Oliver's three-run double in the first inning helped give Mount Olive a quick 4-0 lead. In the second inning, the Trojans loaded the bases on consecutive singles by Escalante, Berry and Reitano. Oliver homered to left to extend the Trojans' lead to 10-0.

After Mike Dunlavey was hit by a pitch and Orrison walked for the second time in the inning, Mercurio followed with a three-run homer to left-center. Mercurio also doubled in a run earlier in the inning. Berry capped the inning with an rbi-single to give the Trojans a 14-0 lead after two innings.

Sophomore left-hander Alex Regan (1-0), a transfer from Lethbridge College in Alberta, Canada, tossed five scoreless innings in his first start as a Trojan. He struck out five and scattered five hits.

Mount Olive and Lenoir-Rhyne conclude their three-game series with a single game Sunday at 1 p.m. Mount Olive plays its 2013 home opener next weekend as the Trojans play host to Newberry for a three-game series at Scarborough Field. The two teams play a doubleheader Saturday beginning at 2 p.m. and a single game next Sunday at 1 p.m.