Vennaro vexes Patriot bats in 6-4 loss

Vennaro vexes Patriot bats in 6-4 loss

FLORENCE, SC – Senior right-handed pitcher Zach Vennaro tossed 6.2 innings of scoreless relief to lead 20th-ranked University of Mount Olive to a 6-4 come-from-behind win over Francis Marion University, Tuesday afternoon (Feb. 6) in non-conference baseball action.

Francis Marion (2-2) will open Peach Belt Conference play this weekend with the Pepsi Pop-Off Series against Augusta University.  Weather permitting, the series will consist of single games on Friday at 6 p.m., Saturday (Homecoming) at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m.

Junior first baseman Steven Cox and junior second baseman Brody Thomasson each went 2-for-4 at the plate to lead FMU, while senior catcher William Robbins drove in two runs and scored once.

Vennaro (1-0) fanned six, allowed only four singles, and did not walk a batter in his stint which enabled the Trojans to rally from a 4-3 deficit.

The Trojans took an early 1-0 advantage in their first at bat.  Lead-off batter Trae Sweeting laced the second pitch of the game up the middle for a single. He stole second base, advanced to third on a fly out, and scampered home on a sacrifice fly to center field by Nate Estes.

UMO left fielder Jon Cosme increased the lead to 3-0 with a two-out, two-run double to left centerfield in the second frame.

Francis Marion rallied to take a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the third frame as the Patriots batted around.  Robbins plated the first two tallies with a single to left center, and FMU knotted the score at 3-3 when junior third baseman Alex Griffith singled through the right side and the ball was bobbled by the right fielder allowing junior Cole Hinnant to round third and cross the plate.  Junior left fielder Gage Taylor followed with a high chopper over the third baseman's glove for an RBI single that put FMU up 4-3.

Mount Olive clean-up hitter JT Stone tripled with one out in the fifth and came home to tie the score at 4-4 on a sacrifice fly to left by designated hitter Justin Carroll.

Carroll doubled off the right centerfield wall with one out in the seventh and eventually scored on a safety squeeze bunt by senior catcher Jose Lopez that allowed the Trojans to retake the lead at 5-4.

Mount Olive added an insurance run in the top of the ninth when Estes led off with a single, stole second, and eventually scored on a passed ball.

FMU freshman lefty Antonio Reneo (0-1) absorbed the loss as he allowed the seventh-inning run.  Freshman right-handed Austin Roseberry tossed 2.2 innings in relief of Hinnant, who started, and Roseberry allowed only one run on three hits, while senior reliever Austin Griffie threw 1.1 scoreless frames.


Univ. of Mount Olive 6, Francis Marion Univ. 4 (Feb 06, 2018 at Florence, SC)
Univ. of Mount Olive 120 010 101  -  6  9  2      (3-1)
Francis Marion Univ. 004 000 000  -  4  9  0      (2-2)
Pitchers: Univ. of Mount Olive - Zack Burke; Trey Pate(3); Zach Vennaro(3) and Jose Lopez.
Francis Marion Univ. - Cole Hinnant; Austin Roseberry(3); Austin Griffie(5); Antonio Reneo(7);
Evan Flynn(7); Adam Hornstra(8) and William Robbins.
Win-Zach Vennaro(1-0)  Loss-Antonio Reneo(0-1)  T-3:08  A-494