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Barton’s hopes of winning Friday’s NCAA Division II Conference Carolinas baseball series opener against nationally ranked Mount Olive was gone with the wind by the time the Bulldogs took their at-bat in the bottom of the fourth inning at Nixon Field.
By then, the Trojans had taken an 11-0 lead on the way to a 16-4 victory that was called after eight innings due to darkness. Mount Olive, ranked 19th by National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association and 20th by Collegiate Baseball, tagged seven Barton pitchers for 20 hits on the day that saw winds gusting to more than 30 miles per hour.
Leading 1-0 in the top of the third, the Trojans, playing their conference opener, sent six runners across the plate against three Barton pitchers in the inning. Mount Olive’s first three batters in the inning singled off Bulldogs starting pitcher Troy Maslowski (0-1), ending his day on the mound. The Trojans added four more runs on four hits, a wild pitch and a Bulldog error in the fourth.
Barton committed three errors along with a pair of passed balls while Bulldogs hurlers threw four wild pitches, walked eight UMO batters and hit one.
Designated hitter Gunner Tolston led the Trojans’ offensive with a 4-for-5 showing that included four RBIs and three doubles. Nate Estes and Justin Carroll each had three hits.
Hunter Little doubled to start the bottom of the fifth and later scored on Noah Almond’s one-out double for Barton’s first run. Little tripled in a run in the bottom of the sixth.
Starter Brighton Hudson (2-1) went six innings to pick up the win on the mound for Mount Olive.
The Bulldogs, now 7-12 overall and 1-3 in conference play, will host the Trojans, 11-3 overall, for a doubleheader Saturday at Nixon Field, starting at noon.
Score by innings:
Mount Olive 016 402 12 — 16
Barton 000 011 20 — 4
Game called after 8 innings due to darkness.
WP-Brighton Hudson (2-1) 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 9 SO. LP-Troy Maslowski (0-1), 2 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO.
LEADING HITTERS — Mount Olive: Gunner Tolston 4-5, 3 2Bs, 4 RBIs; Justin Carroll 3-5, RBI, 5 R; Jose Lopez 2-4, 3 RBIs, 2 R; Drew Ellis 2-4, 2 RBIs; Nate Estes 3-6; J.T. Stone 2-2, 2 R; Trae Sweeting 1-5, HR, 3 RBIs. Barton: Hunter Little 2-3, 3B, RBI; Rich Trifaro 3-4, R; Noah Almond 1-3, 2B, RBI.