MOUNT OLIVE, N.C. – Joseph Westbrook’s three-run homer capped a six-run fourth inning as nationally top-ranked Mount Olive defeated North Carolina Wesleyan 17-4 in non-conference baseball Wednesday at Scarborough Field. The win was the Trojans’ ninth in a row and 20th in their last 21 games.
Mount Olive (24-3) led 3-1 going into the bottom of the fourth when a two-out error kept the inning alive after the first two Trojan batters were retired. Jacob Rogers, who entered the game tied for sixth in the nation in triples, hit a two-run triple and came home on Dan Hayduk’s single, his third hit of the game. After Daniel Coffey walked, Westbrook blasted a pitch high over the left field fence for his second home run of the season and a 9-1 Trojan lead.
All six runs in the fourth inning were unearned and Mount Olive added four more unearned runs in the fifth. Coffey hit a two-run single and Westbrook drove in a run with an infield single. Rogers added a two-run double in a four-run sixth inning to extend the lead to 17-3.
North Carolina Wesleyan (10-15) jumped out quickly in the top of the first as Daniel Moore and Andre Nichols both singled on the first two pitches of the game. Trojan starter Greg McDaniel induced a 6-3 double play as shortstop fielded a grounder up the middle, tagged second and threw to first. But the Battling Bishops got on the scoreboard on Tyler Clark’s rbi-single.
Mount Olive loaded the bases with nobody out in the bottom of the first, but was held to two runs after a 4-6-3 double play and Hayduk’s rbi-single. Antonio Callaway lined a frozen rope home run with two outs in the bottom of the second for his second home run of the season.
McDaniel struck out the side in the top of the second during a stretch of five consecutive strikeouts and finished with 9 k’s in 4 2/3 innings. Kris Barone (1-0) halted a bases-loaded jam in the top of the fifth and limited the Battling Bishops to one hit in 2 1/3 scoreless innings for the win. Barone struck out five and walked one.
Keith Spinner retired the side in order in the eighth for Mount Olive and Chris Hinton pitched the ninth.
North Carolina Wesleyan starter Jake Alexander (1-1), the first of four pitchers, took the loss. The Battling Bishops committed four errors as 13 of the Trojans’ 17 runs were unearned.
Mount Olive resumes Conference Carolinas action this weekend as the Trojans travel to Wilson, N.C., to take on Barton in a three-game series. The two teams play a doubleheader Saturday beginning at noon and conclude the series with a single game Sunday at 1 p.m. North Carolina Wesleyan plays host to Tufts Thursday at 3 p.m. in the Battling Bishops’ third game in as many days.