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May 27, 2024 8:19 am

No. 12 Trojans cruise past Catawba

SALISBURY – Behind five home runs and 16 hits on Feb. 21, the Trojans powered past Catawba on the road with a 15-5 win in non-conference play.

With the win, the University of Mount Olive baseball team improved to 6-2 overall with a 4-1 mark in road contests this year. The Trojans avenged a season-opening loss to the Indians and stretched their winning streak to three straight. Meanwhile, Catawba fell to 6-5 this season.

All nine starters registered at least one hit. Senior Jack Casbarro recorded his third career multi-homer performance at UMO after going three for five with two homers, five RBI, four runs scored and a walk. Senior J.T. Stone also finished with three hits and a pair of RBI, while junior Vito Patierno went two for four with a home run, two RBI, three runs scored and a walk. Redshirt sophomore Case Kermonde posted a multi-hit performance with a homer, two RBI, three runs scored and two walks. Fellow sophomore Cooper George delivered a pair of hits with one run scored, while Dylan Jeffries launched a solo homer.

In the bottom of the second, the Indians established a 3-0 advantage off a three-run homer before the Trojans answered in the top of the third frame. Senior Gordon Pihl reached base on a single before Kermode drew a walk to put a pair of runners on. With one out, Casbarro belted a three-run homer down the right-field line to tie the game, 3-3. The following at-bat, Patierno blasted a solo homer to right-center to give UMO a 4-3 lead. UMO registered additional runs in the fourth off a two-out RBI double from Patierno before senior Joshua Jones laced a two-run double to left center to stretch the advantage to 7-3.

Catawba trimmed the deficit to 7-5 after scoring a pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth. The Trojans countered by bringing across four runs on three hits in the fifth, highlighted by two-run homers by Kermode and Casbarro to lead 11-5. After a scoreless sixth and seventh frame, Jeffries belted a solo homer to left field before Stone delivered a two-run double to center field later in the inning to extend the lead to 14-5. Junior Alden Cottle would score the final run of the game for UMO on a sacrifice fly.

On the mound, the Trojans featured six different pitchers with freshman Carson Gipson improving to 1-0 this season after yielding just three hits with five strikeouts and one walk over four scoreless innings of relief. Senior Cole Newgaard and junior Andrew Ledbetter each pitched one inning of scoreless relief with zero hits surrendered and a combined four strikeouts. Fellow senior Johnny Maynard also made an appearance early in the contest and tossed one inning of relief with one hit allowed and a strikeout.

— From University of Mount Olive Athletics