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April 17, 2024 4:03 am

No. 18 Trojans split doubleheader at Belmont Abbey

BELMONT – Following an offensive explosion in the final game of the series, the Trojans recorded a doubleheader split at Belmont Abbey on March 18 in Conference Carolinas action, suffering a walk-off loss by a 6-5 margin in game one before posting a 19-6 win in game two.

With the split, the University of Mount Olive baseball team stands at 17-7 this season with a 7-5 record in league play. The Trojans dropped their first conference series of the season and sit fourth in the conference standings. Meanwhile, the Crusaders hold an 18-9 overall record with a 6-9 mark in league action.

In game two, UMO raced out to an early 3-0 advantage in the top of the first after the initial two batters reached base. With one out, senior J.T. Stone laced a two-run single up the middle to take a 2-0 lead before teammate Joshua Jones produced an RBI single to extend the advantage to 3-0. In the following frame, the Trojans scored on a wild pitch before the Crusaders got on the board with an RBI single through the left side and UMO led 4-1. After a scoreless third, senior Jack Casbarro led off the fourth with a double down the left-field line. Graduate student Landon Choboy delivered a one-out RBI single to right field before Stone belted a two-run homer to right-center and UMO led 7-1.

Each team tallied a run in the fifth before UMO registered a five-run inning to break open the game. Senior David Cucci and freshman Davis Halstead each produced an RBI single into the outfield before senior Dylan Jeffries ripped an RBI double to left field to put the Trojans ahead 11-2. With two outs, Choboy posted a two-run single through the left side to stretch the lead to 13-2. In the top of the eighth, the Trojans scored six more runs on four hits, highlighted by a two-run homer from Jeffries, his team-leading sixth of the year. Belmont Abbey was able to score four runs in the bottom half, but Mount Olive would go on to seal the 19-6 win.

Seven UMO batters registered a multi-hit performances, including junior Vito Patierno, who went 5 for 6 with one RBI and two runs scored. Choboy, Jeffries and Stone all tallied two hits and at least three RBI in the victory.

Senior Dawson Gause earned the win (2-0) after yielding two runs on seven hits with four strikeouts and one walk in five innings. Fellow senior Jaydon Gartner  also added two innings of scoreless relief with three strikeouts.

In game one, the Crusaders built a 4-0 lead in the initial two innings of the game after tallying six hits. After a pair of scoreless frames, sophomore Cooper George drew a leadoff walk before stealing second. The next at-bat, Choboy recorded an RBI single up the middle before senior Gordon Pihl laced an RBI double down the left-field line and UMO trailed 4-2.

With two outs in the seventh, the Trojans had runners on the corners before Casbarro posted a clutch two-run triple to right field to tie the game, 4-4. Patierno followed with an RBI double to center field to give UMO the lead, 5-4. In the bottom half, the Crusaders drew consecutive walks before a fielding error tied the game, 5-5. With one out, Belmont Abbey hit a slow ground ball down the first-base line that scored the game-winning run from third.

Senior Jonathan Peacock was saddled with the loss (1-1) after surrendering two runs on zero hits with two walks in one inning of relief. Senior Erik Johnson received a no-decision in the start after allowing four runs on nine hits with five strikeouts and two walks in five innings.

— From University of Mount Olive Athletics