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Big Inning Costs Baseball in 15-7 Series Finale Loss at #1 Mount Olive

Story Courtesy of Mount Olive Sports Information

Box Score

MOUNT OLIVE, N.C. Ė Mount Olive broke a 6-6 tie with eight runs in the bottom of the fifth as the nationally top-ranked Trojans completed a three-game series sweep with a 15-7 victory over Pfeiffer in Conference Carolinas baseball Sunday at Scarborough Field. Antonio Callaway and Ryan Faison paced the Trojansí 18-hit attack with four hits apiece. Mount Olive (23-3 overall, 10-1 Conference Carolinas) built a 6-2 lead before Pfeiffer tied the game with a four-run fourth inning. Trojan reliever Sheldon Johnson (2-0) came in with two outs and after a walk loaded the bases, halted a rally on a foul out to first.

Faison and Jason Simone led off the bottom of the fifth with back-to-back singles and the Trojans went ahead to stay when Faison scored on a wild pitch. Mount Olive loaded the bases with nobody out after Michael Knox walked, Jacob Rogers singled home a run and Dan Hayduk beat out a bunt single.

Pfeiffer reliever Jeff Barkley (0-1) appeared to have his first out of the inning when shortstop Preston Lyon made a running over-the-shoulder catch on Nick Gaetaís pop-up to shallow left, but Gaeta was awarded first base on catcherís interference to bring in Knox and give Mount Olive a 9-6 lead.

Daniel Coffey followed with an rbi-single and Joseph Westbrook extended Mount Oliveís lead to 11-6 with an rbi-groundout, the first out of the inning after the first seven Trojan batters reached safely. Callaway singled home two more runs and scored from first when Faisonís single to first was misplayed, capping the scoring in the inning and giving the Trojans a 14-6 lead.

Johnson, who hadnít pitched since a brief relief appearance February 16, retired the side in order in the fifth and sixth innings. Johnson allowed one run on three hits in 3 2/3 innings. Josh Frederick limited Pfeiffer to an infield single in the final 1 2/3 innings. Starter Jeremy Hall, who entered the game with a 0.94 earned run average, was charged with six runs in 3 2/3 innings pitched.

Mount Olive overcame an early 2-1 deficit with two-out rallies in the second and third innings. Simone had an rbi-double in each inning as the Trojans built a 6-2 lead.

Pfeiffer (13-18, 6-6) sent 10 batters to the plate in the top of the fourth as the Falcons came back to tie the game. Aarin Sharpe singled home the first run of the inning and David Barhamís second rbi-double of the game pulled Pfeiffer within 6-4. The Falcons had runners on second and third with two outs when a close play at first turned a potential third out into a two-run infield single.

Trojan shortstop Faison made a diving stop on Kevin Priceís sharp grounder up the middle. Faisonís throw to first beat Price, but first baseman Coffey was ruled to have been pulled off the bag. Hunter Boehme came home from third and Barham scored all the way from second to knot the score at 6-6.

Mount Olive was held to a leadoff walk in the bottom of the fourth before putting the game away in the fifth. Simone added three hits for the Trojans, while Hayduk collected two hits. Callaway had three rbiís batting in the No. 9 spot and matched Faison with three runs scored.

Mount Olive returns to action Wednesday as the Trojans play host to North Carolina Wesleyan in a non-conference match-up. Game time is 6 p.m. at Scarborough Field. Pfeiffer plays host to conference foe Belmont Abbey in a non-conference game Tuesday at 3 p.m.

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