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February 29, 2024 6:29 pm

Trojans complete series sweep over King

MOUNT OLIVE – The No. 16 University of Mount Olive baseball team scored 11 runs on 12 hits in a rain-shortened game as it completed the series sweep with an 11-5 win over King on March 26 at Scarborough Field in Conference Carolinas action.

With the win, the Trojans extended their winning streak to five straight and improved to 21-7 this season with a 10-5 mark in league play. Following the win, Mount Olive moved into a tie for second place in the league standings after capturing its first series sweep of the year. Meanwhile, the Tornado fell to 10-18 overall with a 2-15 record in conference action.

King leaped ahead in the top of the first inning on a two-run single to left field before UMO turned a double play to avoid additional damage, 2-0. In the bottom half, senior Dylan Jeffries led off the frame with a single through the right side before advancing to third on a stolen base and a throwing error. With two outs, graduate student Landon Choboy drew a walk and stole second to place a pair of runners into scoring position. The next at-bat, senior Joshua Jones laced a two-run single through the right side to tie the game, 2-2.

In the bottom of the second, the Trojans grabbed the lead following four runs on three hits. Freshman Davis Halstead drew a four-pitch walk and stole second base before junior Mike Kenney delivered an infield RBI single, 3-2. Jeffries followed with an RBI double to left-center field before stealing third base, 4-2. The next at-bat, junior Vito Patierno ripped an RBI double down the left-field line before Choboy later brought in a run on an RBI groundout, 6-2.

The Tornado answered in the top of the third and trimmed the deficit to 6-5. Mount Olive quickly stretched the lead to 8-5 in the bottom of the fourth after senior Jack Casbarro belted an RBI single to right field before advancing to third on a fielding error in the outfield. Following a pitching change, Choboy produced a sacrifice fly to left center to score Casbarro. In the bottom of the fifth, the Trojans loaded the bases on a single, a hit by pitch, and a walk. With two outs, Patierno blasted a three-run double to right-center field to break the game open and extend the advantage to 11-5. The contest went into a lightning delay in the bottom of the sixth before resuming, but the game was eventually called due to rainfall.

Jeffries finished 3 for 4 with one RBI, four runs scored, two stolen bases and a walk. Patierno tallied a pair of hits with four RBI and one run scored, while sophomore Cooper George went 2 for 4.

Junior Andrew Ledbetter earned the win (2-1) after tossing two innings of scoreless relief with two strikeouts while retiring the sides in order in both frames. Fellow junior Ethan Imbimbo also pitched two innings of relief with no runs on one hit with two strikeouts. Junior Justin Koehler tossed one inning of scoreless relief with three strikeouts.

— From University of Mount Olive Athletics