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June 10, 2023 4:13 am

No. 12 Trojans power past Coker

HARTSVILLE, S.C. – After scoring a season-high 15 runs on 16 hits, the No. 12 University of Mount Olive baseball program powered its way to a 15-9 victory at Coker in non-conference play on Feb. 14.

With the win, the Trojans improved to 3-1 overall. Mount Olive has won the last seven matchups while boasting a 10-1 mark against Coker dating back to 2012.

UMO tallied a season-high 16 hits in the contest with five players collecting multi-hit performances. Junior Alden Cottle had a massive day at the plate going four for five with two RBI, three runs scored, one walk and one stolen base. Senior Jack Casbarro finished two for six with four RBI and one run scored, while junior Vito Patierno went two for five with two RBI and two runs scored. Senior Joshua Jones finished two for four with four RBI, one run scored and one walk. Junior Mike Kenney also registered a pair of hits with one RBI.

The Cobras raced out to an early 4-0 advantage in the opening two innings after tallying six hits, including a pair of doubles. In the top of the third, the Trojans brought two runs across the plate after Patierno delivered a two-out RBI single before Jones registered an RBI on an infield single to cut the deficit to 4-2. Coker quickly reestablished its lead in the bottom half with three runs on four hits to stretch the advantage to 7-2.

In the top of the fourth frame, senior Gordon Pihl launched a solo homer over the left field wall, his first of the year, to close the gap to 7-3. With one out, Cottle reached base on a walk before stealing second to get into scoring position. Junior Dylan Jeffries followed with a single to put runners on the corners before the bases were loaded on a catcher’s interference. The following at-bat, Jones drew a walk to score a runner before UMO left three stranded on a strikeout and trailed 7-4.

Mount Olive eventually broke the game open in the top of the fifth after Kenney produced an RBI single to center field to cut the gap to 7-5. With one out, Jeffries was walked to load the base before Casbarro laced a two-run double to center field to tie the contest at 7. Patierno answered with an RBI single to left field before Jones recorded a sacrifice fly to right field to put the Trojans ahead 9-7. After a scoreless sixth inning, the Trojans scored two more runs in the seventh, including an RBI double from Jones, but the Cobras responded with a pair of runs in the bottom half to cut the lead to 11-9.

In the eighth, Casbarro registered two more RBI off a triple to center field to extend the lead before Cottle delivered a two-run single in the ninth to make the final margin 15-9.

The Trojans featured six different pitchers in the midweek contest with junior Brian Robertson earning the win after tossing 1 1/3 scoreless innings of relief with no hits, two walks and one strikeout. Fellow junior Hayden Myrick also pitched effectively after scattering three hits with two strikeouts and zero walks over 1 2/3 innings of relief. Junior Justin Koehler finished the final two innings yielding no hits while issuing one walk with two strikeouts.

— From University of Mount Olive Athletics