GASTONIA – After totaling four homers on 18 hits, the Trojans secured a 14-8 victory over Francis Marion on May 5 in the Conference Carolinas Championship at CaroMont Health Park.
With the win, the University of Mount Olive baseball program improved to 33-15 this season and has won three of four games against the Patriots. The Trojans faced elimination in the contest and advanced to play Belmont Abbey in an elimination game.
Six Trojans delivered multi-hit performances, as junior Vito Patierno finished four for six with one RBI, two runs scored and one stolen base. Graduate student Landon Choboy went three for five with four RBI and one run scored. Senior Joshua Jones finished three for three with a solo homer, three runs scored and one walk, while fellow senior J.T. Stone went two for five with two homers, four RBI and two runs scored. Juniors Dylan Jeffries and Alden Cottle also tallied a pair of hits in the victory.
Francis Marion leaped ahead in the top of the first inning after tallying three runs on three hits to build an early 3-0 advantage. Mount Olive countered in the bottom half with Patierno producing a one-out double down the right-field line before Choboy registered an infield RBI single to close the gap to 3-1. The next at-bat, Stone blasted a two-run homer to right-center, his eighth of the year, to tie the game at 3-3. Following a scoreless second frame, the Patriots recaptured the lead with a sacrifice fly to left field, 4-3. In the bottom of the third, Stone belted a solo homer to right field, his third of the conference tournament, to knot the contest at 4-4. In the fourth, the Trojans gained their first lead of the game after totaling three runs on four hits. Jones led off with a solo homer to left field to take a 5-4 edge before the next three batters reached base. With one out and the bases loaded, Choboy delivered a two-run single up the middle to extend the lead to 7-4.
Mount Olive stretched the advantage to 12-4 in the bottom of the fifth after recording five runs on five hits. Cottle registered a leadoff double to right field before Jones reached on a bunt single to third base. After a sacrifice bunt, Jeffries launched a three-run home run to left field, his 10th of the season. The next at-bat, Patierno singled to the pitcher before senior Jack Casbarro drew a walk. Choboy followed with an RBI single to left field, while Stone produced an RBI on a groundout. UMO continued to add to the lead in the sixth on an RBI single up the middle from junior Mike Kenney, 13-4.
The Patriots trimmed the deficit with three runs on three hits in the seventh before Patierno registered an RBI single to center field in the eighth, 14-7. Francis Marion tallied the final run of the game in the bottom of the ninth before the Trojans sealed the win, 14-8.
Senior Cole Newgaard earned the win (2-1) after yielding three runs on six hits with one strikeout in three innings of relief. Fellow senior Jaydon Gartner secured the save after surrendering one run on four hits with two strikeouts and two walks over the final three innings. Junior Ethan Imbimbo made his first start of the season and allowed four runs (one earned) on four hits with one strikeout in three innings on the mound.
— From University of Mount Olive Athletics