Trojans Stay Perfect In Conference Tourney With 6-3 Win Over Belmont Abbey

Trojans Stay Perfect In Conference Tourney With 6-3 Win Over Belmont Abbey

Zak Orrison drove in a pair and nationally top-ranked Mount Olive got homers from Jermaine Berry and Daniel Oliver to remain perfect with a 6-3 win over fourth-seeded Belmont Abbey in day two of the Conference Carolinas Baseball Tournament Friday afternoon at the Burlington Athletic Stadium.

Mount Olive (45-4) will play the winner of Friday night's game between No. 2 Coker and No. 3 King on Saturday 11 a.m. After six games, Belmont Abbey and Pfeiffer have been eliminated.

The Trojans wasted little time getting its offense in gear against the Crusaders Friday. Jermaine Berry started the top of the second with his third home run of the season. After Geno Escalante singled and was sacrificed to second by Oliver, Will Bynum singled to center for a 2-0 advantage.

Bynum was a big part of the Trojans' attack all afternoon, going 3-for-4 with a double, a run scored and an RBI. His three hits matched a season-high set in his last start against Limestone.

The Trojans needed plenty of run support as the Crusaders (27-17-1) came out swinging. Only once did Trojan hurler Alex Regan (12-1) retire Belmont Abbey in order -- the seventh, his last inning before turning the game over to teammate Chris Orphanos, who recorded the last six outs, allowing one hit and striking out three for his second save.

Belmont Abbey had plenty of chances to carve into Mount Olive's early lead. Everytime Regan got in trouble, however, he found a way out. The Trojans threw out two potential base-stealers, gunned out another trying to steal home, and Regan picked off a runner.

In the fourth, the missed opportunities became even bigger when the Trojans put together a two-out rally. Escalante singled, but was still standing at first base with two outs. Bynum kept the inning alive with a single to left, then Dunlavey singled home one run and Orrison followed with a two-run single down the right field line to make it 5-0.

In the bottom of the fourth, Belmont Abbey was able to get on the board thanks to the long ball. With one out, John Pilla and Adam Venditti hit their first homers of the season three pitches apart to cut the lead to 5-2. Trouble continued when Conor Kwalwasser walked, but Regan picked him off first to end the threat.

A Venditti sacrifice fly in the sixth closed the gap to 5-3, but the Crusaders got no closer. Regan retired the final four batters he faced.

The Trojans picked up an insurance run in the top of the ninth when Oliver led off with his seventh home run of the season.

Mount Olive finished with 11 hits. The fifth-through-ninth batters in the Trojans' order were a combined 9-for-19.