Petrone's four RBIs carry Mount Olive past St. Augustine's for 14th win in a row
CARY, N.C. -- Matt Petrone had three hits and four RBIs as second-ranked Mount Olive survived a rally by St. Augustine's in an 11-8 non-conference win. The victory extended the Trojans' season-best winning streak to 14 games.
Petrone's two-run double in the third broke a 2-2 score. Mount Olive (36-4) went on to score nine unanswered runs and cruised into the final two innings with an 11-2 cushion.
The Falcons got a three-run double from Carey Cheek in the eighth to cut the lead to 11-5. Clarence Peace slugged his fourth home run of the season, with two runners on and two out in the bottom of the ninth to pull within three.
Mount Olive's Derek Justice came in to record the final out for his second save of the season.
The Trojans took a 2-1 lead off of Falcon starter Alex Edwards (3-1) in the top of the second on RBI singles by Geno Escalante and Jermaine Berry. St. Augustine's answered in the bottom of the frame, tying the game on an RBI single by Arie Polanco.
Mount Olive pulled away from the Falcons, scoring all 11 runs in a five-inning span. After Petrone's double in the third, he added a two-run single an inning later to bring home teammates Bryan Dunlavey and Daniel Oliver. Mike Mercurio and Berry followed with run-scoring singles to extend the lead to 8-2.
The Trojans continued to apply pressure to the Falcons' defense. In the sixth, Oliver scored on a wild pitch. In the seventh, Escalante singled home Braden Reitano, followed by a successful double steal by Escalante and Luke Berry to make it 11-2.
The Trojans finished with 16 hits from 10 different batters. Mercurio's two hits marked his fourth consecutive multi-hit game. He is 9-for-15 with a double and a homer during that span.
Mount Olive pitcher Talton Cherry (2-1) picked up the win with two innings of work out of the bullpen. Cherry was the second of seven Trojan pitchers to work in the game.