Matt Dillon Strikes Out 11, Trojans Deal Barton 13-3 Loss In Baseball Series Opener

Matt Dillon Strikes Out 11, Trojans Deal Barton 13-3 Loss In Baseball Series Opener

Mount Olive junior Matt Dillon struck out 11 for the second consecutive start and teammates Geno Escalante and Jermaine Berry accounted for eight of the team's 18 hits as the nationally second-ranked Trojans opened a three-game series with Barton with a 13-3 Conference Carolinas baseball win Friday night at Scarborough Field.

Dillon (4-0) surrendered a first inning solo homer to Mitchell Wheeler, but for much of the evening. The right-hander made life difficult for the Bulldog batters.

In the bottom of the first, Mount Olive (19-2 overall, 6-1 CC) took the lead and never looked back. With one on and one out, Escalante beat out an infield hit and both runners advanced on a throwing error. Berry then cashed in the mistake with a two-run single to center.

Dillon allowed a second inning walk, then a double to lead off the third, but handcuffed Barton (5-10, 1-6) through the middle innings, retiring nine in a row at one point.

The Trojans put the game away in the bottom of the third, scoring four times on five hits. Mike Mercurio singled home Matt Petrone who led off with a double. Escalante singled, then both raced home on a two-out double by Daniel Oliver. Zak Orrison capped off the frame with an RBI-single.

Things could have been worse for Barton. Twice in three innings Mount Olive left the bases loaded. In the sixth, however, the Trojans padded their lead on Escalante's single and an RBI-groundout by Oliver in which Barton second baseman Spiers Miller made a no-look, behind-the-back throw to first after bobbling the grounder.

In the fifth, Mount Olive added five runs on five hits. Bryan Dunlavey started things with an infield single and Tyler Farmer walked. Bretton Gouthro drove in the first run with a pinch-single, then Escalante, Jermaine Berry and Luke Berry followed with singles.

Barton got a homer from Dillon Rudio in the eighth, but Josh Frederick pitched a scoreless ninth to close out the win.

Dillon and Frederick allowed the Bulldogs just four hits while striking out 12.

The teams conclude their three-game series with a doubleheader Saturday beginning at noon.