Nationally 4th-Ranked Mount Olive Rallies From 8-Run Deficit To Beat AASU 14-11

Nationally 4th-Ranked Mount Olive Rallies From 8-Run Deficit To Beat AASU 14-11

Mount Olive scored 11 unanswered runs in the final four innings, and the bottom of the batting order delivered the game-winners in the ninth as the nationally fourth-ranked Trojans defeated Armstrong Atlantic State 14-11 in non-conference baseball play Tuesday night in Sumter, S.C.

The Pirates erased an early Mount Olive lead with a four-run bottom of the second. The Trojans (23-4) were only down 4-3 when Armstrong Atlantic threatened to blow the game open. Four runs in the fourth and three more in the fifth left Mount Olive trying to climb out of an 11-3 hole.

In the sixth, Mount Olive started clawing their way back. A single by Geno Escalante, and a one-out walk to Bretton Gouthro set the stage for Luke Berry, who ripped an RBI-double down the left field line. An error on a Bryan Dunlavey grounder brought home Gouthro and Berry to make it 11-6.

With the Trojan offense mounting a rally, pitchers Josh Frederick and Derek Justice (2-1) kept the Pirates in check shutting Armstrong out the final 4 1/3 innings.

Mount Olive inched closer in the seventh as five consecutive batters reached base after the Pirates retired the first two batters. Mike Mercurio walked to keep the inning alive, then Escalante, Jermaine Berry, Gouthro and Daniel Oliver recorded consecutive hits. Gouthro's two-run double highlighted the frame. He then scored on Oliver's single to cut the lead to 11-10.

In the eighth, Mount Olive pulled even when Will Bynum slammed a pinch-hit home run down the left field line. It was his first blast of the season.

In the ninth, the Trojans capped off the comeback with three more. Jermaine Berry led off with a single, then was cut down on a fielder's choice. Oliver followed with a double to bring home Gouthro with the go-ahead run. Bryan Dunlavey doubled, then Zak Orrison singled to bring home the final two runs.

Justice finished off the win with some difficulty. The Pirates (13-8) had runners on the corners in the seventh with one out, then loaded the bags in the eighth. In both cases Justice got out of trouble unscathed. In the ninth, Justice retired Armstrong Atlantic in order.

Mount Olive got much of its offensive production from the bottom of the batting order. The fifth-through-ninth batters drove in 12 of the 14 runs for Mount Olive.

Jermaine Berry had three hits and three RBI, while Oliver came off the bench for two hits and two RBI. Ten different Trojans recorded at least one hit.

Mount Olive returns to Conference Carolinas play on Friday when Coker comes to Scarborough Field for a three-game series. On Friday, a single game starts at 6 p.m. On Saturday, the teams will play a doubleheader beginning at noon.

The Trojans return to Conference Carolinas action with a three-game series against Coker beginning with a single game Friday night at 6 p.m. The teams conclude the set Saturday with a doubleheader beginning at noon.