10-Run Sixth Inning Lifts No. 1 Mount Olive Past Virginia State 16-0

10-Run Sixth Inning Lifts No. 1 Mount Olive Past Virginia State 16-0

Braden Reitano had two of his four hits during a 10-run sixth inning as nationally top-ranked Mount Olive defeated Virginia State 16-0 in non-conference baseball Wednesday at Scarborough Field. Ten consecutive batters reached base with one out as the Trojans sent 15 batters to the plate in the inning.

Prior to the game, Trojan head coach Carl Lancaster was presented with a plaque to commemorate his 900th career victory, which took place Saturday against then-nationally ranked Le Moyne. Wednesday's victory was Lancaster's 902nd and moved him into sole possession of 19th place in NCAA Division II baseball history. He also ranks seventh among active Division II baseball coaches.

Mount Olive (11-0) entered the bottom of the sixth with a 3-0 lead when Reitano led off with a line single to center, his third hit of the day. After a ground out, three consecutive walks brought home Reitano with the first run of the inning. Luke Berry scored on a wild pitch and Zak Orrison followed with a two-run single to extend the Trojans' lead to 7-0.

Mike Mercurio's single drove in Orrison and after two more walks loaded the bases, Reitano followed with a two-run single through the left side to make the score 10-0. A wild pitch brought home another run and Berry's sacrifice fly ended the streak of consecutive batters to reach base while giving Mount Olive a 12-0 lead. Brian Dunlavey's rbi-double capped the scoring in the inning.

Cody Britt added a three-run double in the eighth inning.

Virginia State (3-3) kept the game close early on as starting pitcher Rico Solomon (1-1) held Mount Olive to a run on one hit through two innings and reliever Maso Cotton allowed only one run on two infield singles in two innings. Through 3 1/2 innings, Virginia State trailed only 1-0 and was outhitting Mount Olive 3-1.

Taylor Carr started for Mount Olive and struck out two through three innings. Carr benefitted from double plays in each of the first two innings. Josh Frederick (2-0) retired nine of the 10 batters he faced in three hitless innings, striking out three and walking one. Collin Dubose, Licio Tamburlini and Barinder Rakkar each threw one scoreless inning to close out the game.

Reitano's two-out rbi-single put Mount Olive on top in the bottom of the fourth. He reached on an infield single to lead off the fourth and scored from third on Tyler Farmer's two-out rbi-infield single. Matt Petrone drove in a run in the fifth on a sacrifice fly. Mount Olive did not have more than one runner on base during any at bat until the sixth.

Mount Olive opens Conference Carolinas play this weekend as the Trojans play host to North Greenville in a three-game series at Scarborough Field. The two teams play a single game Friday at 2 p.m., then conclude the series with a doubleheader Saturday beginning at noon.