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April 17, 2024 5:23 am

No. 6 UMO swept in road doubleheader at Erskine

DUE WEST, S.C. – For the first time this season, the No. 6 ranked University of Mount Olive baseball team was swept in a Conference Carolinas series after a doubleheader at Erskine on April 6. The Trojans lost the first game 7-3 and the second game 11-10.

With the losses, the Trojans dropped to 24-10 overall with a 12-8 record in league action. UMO fell to fourth in the league standings and suffered back-to-back losses for just the second time this year. Meanwhile, the Flying Fleet improved to 22-15 this season with an 11-11 mark in conference play.

In game one, Mount Olive left a pair of runners in scoring position in the top of the first before Erskine brought two runs across the plate in the bottom half. The Flying Fleet loaded the bases with one out before delivering an RBI single and a sacrifice fly to center field to take a 2-0 lead. In the second frame, the Trojans once again stranded a pair of base runners before Erskine scored five runs on three hits, highlighted by a grand slam to left-center field, 7-0.

UMO ended its scoreless drought in the top of the third after sophomore Cooper George produced an infield RBI single before senior Jack Casbarro scored on an error by the first baseman to cut the deficit to 7-2. After two scoreless frames, junior Mike Kenney registered an RBI single up the middle to close the gap to 7-3 before the Trojans left the bases loaded. Mount Olive ultimately stranded 12 total runners on base, as Erskine secured a 7-3 win.

Senior Dawson Gause suffered the loss (3-2) after yielding all seven runs on five hits with four walks and one strikeout in two innings. Seniors Cole Newgaard and Blake Gipson tossed a combined six innings of scoreless relief with seven strikeouts and one walk.

In game two, the Flying Fleet quickly grabbed a 2-0 advantage following a leadoff solo homer and an RBI single in the first inning. The Trojans countered in the top of the second with a solo homer from senior J.T. Stone, his third of the season, before fellow senior Joshua Jones laced an RBI double down the left-field line to tie the contest at 2-2. With one out, senior David Cucci delivered a sacrifice fly to center field, as UMO claimed a 3-2 advantage. In the bottom half, Erskine answered with four runs on two hits to retake the lead 6-3, with the inning highlighted by a two-run double to right-center. The Flying Fleet extended the advantage in the bottom of the third with a pair of RBI singles, 8-3.

The contest shifted in the top of the fourth after Mount Olive scored seven runs on four hits with Kenney and George each delivering two-run singles to center field to take a 10-8 advantage. In the bottom half, Erskine tied the game at 10-10 after scoring on a wild pitch and an RBI groundout. The game remained tied heading into the bottom of the seventh with the Flying Fleet loading the bases on a double and two walks. Following a strikeout, Erskine scored on an error to clinch the walk-off win, 11-10.

Mount Olive featured six pitchers, as junior Andrew Ledbetter was saddled with the loss (2-2) after yielding the game-winning run off one hit with two walks and a strikeout in 1/3 inning.

— From University of Mount Olive Athletics