No. 11 Mount Olive Baseball Splits Opening Series Against Lander

No. 11 Mount Olive Baseball Splits Opening Series Against Lander

Nationally 11th-ranked University of Mount Olive split a two game opening season series with Lander University over the weekend as the Trojans took the first game 8-5 and fell 8-6 in game two. Zak Orrison went 7-10 with a double to lead the Mount Olive offense.

Game One: Mount Olive 8 Lander 5

In the opening game of the 2016 season Mount Olive saw themselves down after a three run outburst in the second inning by the Bearcats.

John Mangum led off the inning with a solo homerun to right for the game's first run. Lander continued to attack with a double by Taylor Kellner. Gatlin Minick dropped down a bunt to move Kellner over and an errant throw from the Trojan pitcher allowed Kellner to score. Matt White drove in the third run with an RBI single into left and Lander took a 3-0 lead.

Mount Olive bounced back three innings later in the fifth. After a lead-off double by David MayoJack Sherrill doubled into right field and scored Mayo for the first Trojan Run. Ricky Surum dropped down a bunt and reached safely on a fielder's choice that resulted in both runners being safe. Orrison picked up his first RBI of the season with a single past second and Sherrill came in from third. Joe Koehler followed suit with a RBI single to center. Santos drove in the go ahead run with a RBI single to left and Orrsion scored to take a 4-3 lead headed into the bottom of the fifth.

Both teams exchanged home runs in the in the sixth and top of the seventh inning. In the ninth Mount Olive added two more runs to seal the win. Lander attempted a comeback but could only manage a solo home run in the bottom of the ninth and fell to Mount Olive in game one.

Brighton Hudson was credited the win for Mount Olive.

Game Two: Mount Olive 6 Lander 8

Mount Olive in the series finale came out firing in the first inning. After a lead-off double by Orrison, Koehler moved him up to third with a groundout. Brett Lang picked up an RBI with a groundout to short and Orrison scored. Mayo homered in the second to expand the Trojan lead. 

Lang picked up two more RBI after Orrison reached on a single, the Trojan catcher belted a two-run home run and Mount Olive led 4-0. Solo runs added single runs in the fifth and seventh to move the cushion to six.

Lander opened up the game in the bottom of the seventh. Zach Daly drew a bases loaded walk to bring in the the first Lander run. Colby Lusignan brought the Bearcats to within one after a bases clearing grand slam to right. 

In the bottom half of the eighth Lander completed the comeback. Kellner led off the inning with a double to right. He was moved to third after a sacrifice bunt. Sage Cornatzer picked up the game-tying run with a one out bunt single driving in Kellner from third. White put the Bearcats ahead for good with a two-run home run to left. 

Mount Olive was unable to comeback in the ninth and fell in the series finale.

The Trojans return home and open up at Scarborough Field Saturday against Shepherd. The doubleheader is set for noon in Mount Olive, N.C.