Bulldogs top No. 4 Trojans again to take series win

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MOUNT OLIVE — Barton College’s four-game winning streak came to an end in the second game of Saturday’s NCAA Division II Conference Carolinas baseball doubleheader but not before the Bulldogs had taken another game from host and nationally ranked University of Mount Olive.

After knocking off the Trojans, ranked fourth in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Div. II poll, on Friday, the Bulldogs pulled out an 7-6 victory in eight innings of the first game Saturday, scheduled for seven innings. Mount Olive, which hadn’t lost consecutive games all season until then, delivered a 9-1 loss to end Barton’s winning streak in the second game.

In winning their second conference series in three tries this season, the Bulldogs, who were ranked 10th in the NCBWA Div. II Southeast Region poll, climbed to 5-4 in league games and 17-9 overall. The Trojans, No. 1 in the region and 14-4 overall, exited the weekend series 6-2 and tied with defending champion North Greenville University for first place.

The Bulldogs scored the go-ahead run in the top of the eighth inning when junior Hunter Pearre coaxed a bases-loaded walk from Trojans reliever Nick DeCarlo, who had just taken over for Austin Kapela. Barton loaded the bases on two free passes from Kapela and and his throwing error. Kapela (0-1) was charged with the loss.

Colby Warren retired the Trojans in order in the bottom of the eighth to record his first save and preserve the win for senior Dylan Ward, who pitched six innings in relief of starter Connor Patterson. Ward (3-0) entered in the top of the second after Patterson gave up a pair of first-inning runs. Ward  gave up four runs, all earned, on five hits and a walk while striking out nine.

Three of those runs off Ward came in the second inning when Mount Olive used three hits, a walk and a hit batter to take a 5-0 lead.

However, the Bulldogs came right back with a run on Warren’s single in the third and added three more on Brayden Olsen’s three-run homer to right field in the top of the fourth.

A pair of walks and a throwing error by Kapela in the sixth loaded the bases and led to back-to-back sacrifice flies by Troy Maslowski and Pearre to put Barton ahead 6-5.

A two-out single by Coy Barnett tied the score for Mount Olive in the seventh.

Warren finished with two of Barton’s seven hits.

In the second game, Mount Olive pounded out 14 hits while starting pitcher Caleb Irwin (3-0) limited Barton to one run on six hits, a walk and a hit batter over seven innings.

The Trojans chased Barton starter Jakob Ryan (2-3) after three innings.

The Bulldogs’ only run came on a seventh-inning solo homer by designated hitter Noah Almond.

Barton hosts UNC Pembroke on Tuesday and Kutztown on Wednesday in a pair of nonconference games, both starting at 2 p.m. The Bulldogs then welcome Belmont Abbey to Nixon Field for a three-game Conference Carolinas series, starting with a single game Friday at 2:30 p.m. and concluding with a Saturday doubleheader starting at noon.