MOUNT OLIVE, N.C. – Braden Reitano slugged his third homer of the season, driving in six, and six pitchers combined on a five-hitter as No. 1 Mount Olive remained unbeaten with a 19-2 non-conference victory against Shaw on Thursday at Scarborough Field. Reitano’s three-run blast was part of a season-best, 20-hit attack.
Mount Olive (7-0) scored in each of its eight innings at bat and nine different players recorded at least one hit. Shaw (2-2) managed just two singles through the first seven innings. Freshman starter Garrett Blackburn made his Mount Olive debut and walked the first two batters. He settled down and struck out five of the final seven batters he faced.
The Bears fared little better against relievers Josh Frederick (1-0), Talton Cherry and Taylor Carr, who combined to allow one hit and two walks in four innings, striking out six.
The Trojans’ hitters made life easy for their hurlers. In the bottom of the first, Geno Escalante slammed a two-out pitch from Avery Upshur (0-1) off the center-field wall for a triple. When the relay was bobbled, Escalante scored. An inning later, Mount Olive used two walks and a hit batsman to add a second run. RBI singles from Escalante and Tyler Farmer stretched the lead to 4-0 before blowing the game open in the middle innings.
In the fourth, Daniel Oliver hit a sacrifice fly that just missed being a grand slam, but his teammates still managed four runs. Mike Mercurio doubled home a run and scored on a wild pitch and Escalante singled home the team’s eighth run.
Escalante finished the game 3-for-4 with five runs scored. Farmer and Matt Patrone also had three hits.
Reitano’s three-run homer came in the fifth. He added an RBI double in the sixth and a two-run single in the seventh.
Shaw broke through with a pair of runs in the eighth before Licio Tamburlini tossed a scoreless ninth.