Nationally top-ranked Mount Olive swept No. 19 Le Moyne in a non-conference baseball doubleheader Saturday at Scarborough Field, giving Trojan head coach Carl Lancaster career wins 899 and 900. The Trojans took the opener 7-6 on Luke Berry's pinch-hit walk-off single with two outs in the bottom of the ninth and won the nightcap 6-0 as Alex Regan tossed a complete game seven-inning shutout.
The doubleheader began at 10 a.m., two hours ahead of the original start time, due to forecasts of late afternoon rain and snow showers. Rain turned to snow during game two.
In game one, Trojan reliever Chris Orphanos (2-0) took over for starter Matt Dillon to start the top of the eighth inning. In the top of the ninth, an error and a wild pitch gave Le Moyne a runner on third with nobody out. Orphanos struck out the next two batters swinging and got a foul out to right to end the inning.
After the first two Trojan batters were retired in the bottom of the ninth, Tyler Farmer drove a pitch to left-center and beat the throw to second for a double. Berry sent a 1-2 pitch opposite field into left-center for a base hit. Farmer stumbled on his way to third, but recovered and avoided the tag on the throw up the third base line to score the winning run.
Mount Olive was held scoreless in the opener on two hits until erupting for four runs in the bottom of the fourth. Jermaine Berry and Daniel Oliver connected on back-to-back rbi-singles and Will Bynum added a two-run double to give the Trojans a 4-1 lead.
Le Moyne answered with a run in the top of the fifth on Cody O'Connor's rbi-single. The Dolphins capitalized on an error, a hit batsman and a wild pitch to score two runs in the top of the seventh and tie the game 4-4.
The Trojans went back on top in the bottom of the seventh as Berry drew a one-out walk and Oliver drilled a pitch over the left field fence to give Mount Olive a 6-4 lead. The home run was Oliver's third of the season.
Le Moyne rallied again in the top of the eighth as Paul Speicher led off with a double and eventually scored on a ground out. Matthew Ciraco added a two-out rbi-single to tie the game 6-6. Mount Olive left a runner stranded at second in the bottom of the eighth before putting together the game-winning rally in the ninth.
In the second game, Regan (3-0) scattered seven hits in a bend but not break performance. Regan picked off a runner in the first after giving up a leadoff single, then retired the side in order in the second. Regan allowed at least one baserunner in each of the next five innings, but benefitted from an inning-ending double play in the fifth and got a game-ending strikeout in the seventh. Regan finished with six strikeouts.
Bryan Dunlavey scored the game’s first run in the bottom of the third and the Trojans added two more in the fourth on back-to-back doubles by Braden Reitano and Jermaine Berry and a sacrifice fly by Oliver. Dunlavey scored again in the fifth and Geno Escalante’s leadoff home run started a two-run sixth inning. Escalante’s home run was his second of the year.
Lancaster began his 26th season with a career record of 891-403-1 (.688 winning percentage). He ranks in the top 10 in career victories and winning percentage among active NCAA Division II coaches and ranks in the top 20 among all Division II coaches. Lancaster was named 2008 ABCA Division II Baseball National Coach of the Year after Mount Olive won the NCAA II National Championship.
Mount Olive and Le Moyne are scheduled to conclude their three-game series Sunday at 1 p.m., depending on weather and field conditions.