PEMBROKE, N.C. (April 29) – In the regular season finale, the Trojans split a doubleheader at UNC Pembroke on April 29 in Conference Carolinas action, posting a 5-4 comeback win in game one before suffering a 7-6 loss in game two.
With the split, the University of Mount Olive baseball team concludes the season with a 32-14 record with an 18-11 mark in conference play. The Trojans secure the No. 4 seed in the Conference Carolinas Championship and will play a rematch versus No. 3 seed UNC Pembroke in the opening round next week. Meanwhile, UNCP finishes the season with a 36-13 overall record behind a 19-10 mark in league action.
In game one, the Trojans leaped ahead following consecutive RBI groundouts from senior J.T. Stone and graduate student Landon Choboy to take a 2-0 advantage. Following a scoreless second frame, Mount Olive extended its lead in the top of the third with an RBI single to right field from Choboy, 3-0. The Braves answered in the bottom of the fourth with four runs on four hits, highlighted by a two-run double down the right-field line to capture a 4-3 edge.
After a scoreless fifth, UMO tied the contest at 4-4 after scoring on a fielding error in the infield in the top of the sixth. In the seventh, senior Jack Casbarro laced a leadoff double to left field before advancing to third on a groundout. Choboy followed with a walk to place runners on the corners before a failed pickoff attempt allowed Casbarro to score to give the Trojans a 5-4 lead. Mount Olive retired UNCP in order in the bottom of the seventh to earn the win.
Junior Andrew Ledbetter secured the win (4-2) after tossing two innings of scoreless relief with one strikeout and zero hits surrendered. Fellow junior Hayden Myrick pitched effectively in relief with one hit yielded over 1 1/3 innings.
In game two, UNC Pembroke established a 4-0 advantage after belting a grand slam in the bottom of the third inning. Mount Olive countered in the top of the fifth after Casbarro and sophomore Cooper George reached base to start the frame. With one out, senior Joshua Jones ripped an RBI single up the middle before a muffed throw on a stolen base allowed George to score from third, 4-2. The next at-bat, junior Mike Kenney followed with an RBI single to close the gap to 4-3.
In the bottom of the sixth, UNCP stretched the lead to 5-3 with an RBI double down the right-field line. The Trojans cut it to a one-run deficit in the top of the eighth after scoring on an RBI groundout from George. In the bottom half, the Braves launched a two-run homer to extend the advantage to 7-4. Junior Jackson Taylor delivered a pinch-hit single up the middle with one out in the top of the ninth before freshman Davis Halstead blasted a pinch-hit two-run homer to right-center to trim the deficit to 7-6. The Braves managed to retire the final two batters to seal the win and claim the series.
Senior starter Erik Johnson suffered the loss (5-2) after surrendering four earned runs on one hit with two strikeouts in three innings. Junior Justin Koehler tossed two innings of scoreless relief with three strikeouts and one walk.
— From University of Mount Olive Athletics