Nationally Top-Ranked Trojans Complete Series Sweep - Defeat No. 19 Le Moyne 12-4

Nationally Top-Ranked Trojans Complete Series Sweep - Defeat No. 19 Le Moyne 12-4


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Contact: David Shulimson, Sports Information Director

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February 17, 2013


MOUNT OLIVE, N.C. – Geno Escalante's seventh-inning two-run double broke a 3-3 tie and Braden Reitano's second grand slam of the season capped a seven-run eighth inning as nationally top-ranked Mount Olive completed a three-game series sweep with a 12-4 victory over No. 19 Le Moyne in non-conference baseball Sunday at Scarborough Field. Zach Smith picked up the win in his first appearance of the season, retiring all six batters he faced in relief.

Mount Olive (10-0) saw a three-run lead disappear and had nobody on with two outs in the bottom of the seventh. After Mike Mercurio kept the inning alive with a single up the middle, the inning appeared to be over when Matt Petrone hit a high infield pop up. But the sun and heavy winds helped cause the ball to be dropped. Escalante followed with a double to left-center to bring home both runners and give the Trojans a 5-3 lead.

In the eighth inning, Luke Berry hit a pinch-hit two-run single and Mercurio added a two-out rbi-single to extend Mount Olive's lead to 8-3. After a double by Petrone and a walk to Escalante loaded the bases, Reitano drilled a 2-0 pitch over the left field fence to give the Trojans a 12-3 lead. The home run was the fourth of the season for Reitano, who also hit a grand slam in Mount Olive's season opener against Lenoir-Rhyne.

Smith (1-0), a 2012 All-Conference Carolinas left-hander, missed the first two weeks of the season with an injury. Smith retired the side in order in the seventh and eighth innings, striking out two.

Mount Olive jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first as Daniel Oliver hit a two-run single with two outs and Jermaine Berry scored from third on a failed pickoff attempt at first.

Le Moyne (0-3) got on the scoreboard in the top of the third as Paul Speicher's two-out two-run double pulled the Dolphins within 3-2. Le Moyne tied the game in the sixth on Kody O'Connor's one-out solo home run. The Dolphins added a run in the ninth after Mount Olive regained the lead.

The start of Sunday's game was pushed back 90 minutes due to overnight snow. The game was played in temperatures in the upper 60's and with 15-20 mile per hour winds.

Sunday's victory gave Trojan head coach Carl Lancaster career win No. 901, tying him with former UC Davis Phil Swimley for 19th place among all NCAA Division II baseball coaches. Swimley coached UC Davis for 36 years. Lancaster, who ranks seventh among active NCAA II baseball coaches, is in his 26th year.

Mount Olive plays host to Virginia State in a "Trojans vs. Trojans" battle Wednesday at Scarborough Field. The game marks the return of Virginia State head coach and 2012 MOC Athletics Hall of Fame inductee Merrill Morgan. Game time is 2:30 p.m.