The No. 3 Mount Olive College Baseball Team (2-0) opened the 2013 season with a doubleheader sweep of Lenoir-Rhyne University (0-2), 7-3 and 18-1, Saturday afternoon at Bears Field. In game one, Mount Olive defeated Lenoir-Rhyne 7-3.
Trailing 3-1 in the top of the eighth inning, the Trojans rallied with six runs in the frame including the game-winning grand slam from Bradon Reitano (Hillsborough, N.C.) en route to the victory.
L-R senior outfielder Rai Robinson (Kings Mountain, N.C.) had run-scoring hits in the fifth and seventh innings, respectively, to put the Bears on top by a 3-1 score before Mount Olive started its rally.
The Trojans' Chris Orphanos (Murfreesboro, N.C.) (1-0) pitched the final five innings to earn the victory while sophomore Travis McQueen (Moseley, Va.) fell to 0-1 with the loss for the Bears.
L-R's starter, junior Eric Ryan (Baltimore, Md.), allowed just one run and limited Mount Olive to just three hits while striking out five batters in six innings of work.
Mount Olive completed the sweep by blasting 18-1 in the nightcap. The Trojans exploded for 14 runs in the first two innings including a 10-run second frame to complete the sweep of the doubleheader over the Bears.
Mount Olive's Daniel Oliver (Plymouth, N.C.) hit a grand slam while Mike Mercurio (Brewster, N.Y.) added a three-run home run in the second inning for the Trojans.
Oliver, who hit a home run in each game, finished with seven runs batted in while Mercurio drove in four runs and Alex Regan (Calgary, Alberta, CANADA) (1-0) pitched five scoreless innings to pick up the win for Mount Olive.
For the Bears, sophomore pinch hitter Mickey Manser (Salem, Ohio) drove in a run while freshman Austen Gunnels (Hitchcock, Texas) (0-1) suffered the loss on the mound.
NOTES: Former Watauga High Pioneer David Martin was 1-4 with a double and an RBI in game one....The two teams will wrap up the weekend series with a single game on Sunday at 1:00 p.m., at Bears Field.
Photo Courtesy: Rai Robinson, L-R Athletics