MOUNT OLIVE – Behind three home runs and 19 hits, the University of Mount Olive baseball team surged past No. 14 Wingate 18-4 in a non-conference game at Scarborough Field on March 7.
With the win, the Trojans improved to 13-4 overall with a 7-2 record at home this season. It was the first win for Mount Olive over Wingate since the 2019 campaign and the largest margin of victory in the history of the series.
For a third consecutive game, the Trojans surpassed double-digit hits while delivering three homers in a statement win in the region. Senior Jack Casbarro led the charge by going 4 for 6 at the plate with a three-run home run, three runs scored, and a stolen base. Sophomore Cooper George went 3 for 3 with two RBI, one run scored, and one walk while junior Dylan Jeffries tallied three hits, a solo homer, three runs scored and one stolen base. Junior Vito Patierno, senior J.T. Stone and graduate student Landon Choboy all produced multi-hit performances with at least two RBI in the win.
In the bottom of the first, Casbarro led off the game with a double to right field before scoring later in the inning on a wild pitch. The Bulldogs escaped further damage in the frame after stranding the bases loaded. After retiring the side on strikeouts, the Trojans extended their advantage to 2-0 on a sacrifice fly from Patierno. Wingate answered in the top of the third with a sacrifice fly to trim the deficit to 2-1 before UMO scored four runs on three hits in the bottom half. UMO loaded the bases on a pair of singles and a walk before later scoring on a passed ball. With two outs, Casbarro blasted a three-run homer to left field to stretch the lead to 6-1.
Wingate countered in the top of the fourth with a two-run homer to close the gap to 6-3 before Mount Olive brought five more runs across the plate in the bottom half. The highlights of the inning were a two-run double by Choboy and a solo shot by Jeffries to give UMO an 11-3 lead. The Trojans scored a pair of runs in the fifth before another four-run inning in the sixth. In the bottom of the sixth, junior Alden Cottle led off the frame with a solo homer to left field before two RBI singles and a sacrifice fly increased the advantage to 17-3. The Bulldogs got a run back in the eighth on a solo homer before Stone registered an RBI double in the bottom of the inning to make the final score 18-4.
Senior Blake Gipson secured the win (1-1) after scattering two hits over 3 scoreless innings of relief. Freshman William Pennington earned the start and yielded three runs on four hits with five strikeouts in 4 innings of work.
— From University of Mount Olive Athletics