Baseball Falls to #2 Mount Olive


MOUNT OLIVE, N.C. -- Mount Olive topped Catawba 6-2 in a battle of regional baseball powers on Tuesday afternoon at Scarborough Field.  The Trojans, ranked second in NCAA II, improve to 34-7.  The 27th-ranked Catawba Indians fall to 27-12. 

A Catawba error led to three Mount Olive runs in the first to stake the Trojans to an early lead.  Jose Lopez singled home the first run then Tony Salvaggio singled home two more with two outs.  Salvaggio added a two-out single in the third to push the lead to 4-2.

The Indians left six runners on over the first five innings, but put together a rally in the sixth.  A hit by pitch, a walk and an error loaded the bases with no outs.  Bryce Fowler (Greenwood, S.C./Greenwood/Presbyterian) hit a sacrifice fly to get Catawba on the board. 

A single by Jacob Nester (Kernersville, N.C./E. Forsyth/Chowan) would load the bases again, but Nick Coble (Concord, N.C./Mt. Pleasant/Florence-Darlington) was forced at home on a ground ball for the second out.  The Indians got one more run on a walk to Luke Setzer (Salisbury, N.C./E. Rowan), but Jesse Schullstrom got Jeremy Simpson (Cleveland, N.C./W. Rowan) to ground out to end the inning. 

Mount Olive got those two runs back in the seventh.  Drew Ellis doubled home a run and Lopez added a RBI single.  Salvaggio, Ellis and Lopez combined for seven of the eight Trojan hits.  Salvaggio had three, while Ellis and Lopez both had two.

Catawba managed seven hits in the loss.  Fowler and Chance Bowden (Salisbury, N.C./Salisbury) had two each.  Michael Elwell (Mooresville, N.C./Lake Norman) took the loss for the Indians and fell to 0-2.  Three of the four runs he allowed were unearned as he gave up four hits, walked three and fanned three.

Trey Pate (4-0) earned the win for Mount Olive.  He went five and two-thirds innings, giving up two runs (one earned) off five hits.  Pate walked three and struck out one. 

Catawba travels to Tusculum this weekend for a series between conference co-leaders.  The series opens at 6 pm on Friday night.

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