02/18/09 — Elizabeth City errors fuel MOC's offense

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Elizabeth City errors fuel MOC's offense

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on February 18, 2009 1:46 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Opportunities like these don't come every day.

Mount Olive capitalized on six Elizabeth City State errors and got five scoreless innings from starter David Travis in a 15-2, non-conference rout on Tuesday afternoon at Scarborough Field.

The Trojans pushed across two runs in the bottom of the first inning. Dylan Holton got things started with a one-out walk and Rich Racobaldo followed with an RBI double to left. Racobaldo scored on Alex Vertcnik's single to center field.

Holton tacked on a run with an RBI triple in the bottom of the second.

Vikings starter Styron Barfield allowed three unearned runs in the home half of the third. Vertcnik and Jesse Lancaster reached on errors in back-to-back at-bats and both runners scored on Airlon Vinson's single to center.

Jonathan Smith later scored on a wild pitch increasing the Mount Olive's advantage to 6-0.

Mount Olive (8-4 overall) scored two more unearned runs in the bottom of the fourth. Vinson and Smith each crossed the plate on Troy Andrews' two-out error in center field to extend the lead to 8-0.

"We were a little concerned that we wouldn't come out and play hard today, but we did," said Trojans head coach Carl Lancaster said. "We squared up some balls early and they kicked a few around."

Racobaldo lined a solo home run to left off reliever Deshaun Fletcher in the bottom of the fifth inning that stretched the margin to 9-0. Vinson added an RBI single to center, which plated Vertcnik.

Travis (1-1) tossed five scoreless innings. The right-hander allowed two hits, one walk, struck out three and retired the final 10 batters he faced.

"David, he's out there trying to win himself a spot," said coach Lancaster. "I was thoroughly pleased with David. He might be one of the guys that's a weekend starter before it's all over.

"Right now he's certainly got his name in there as one of the main three we're looking at for the weekend."

Tyler Smith's RBI double to center scored B.J. Dail in the bottom of the sixth and increased Mount Olive's lead to 11-0. Smith scored on Jackson Massey's RBI single and Dylan Holton pitched in a run-scoring ground out.

Racobaldo drilled his second solo homer to left to complete the four-run, sixth-inning uprising. The Marlton, N.J., native finished 3-for-5 with three RBI and three runs scored. Vinson also had three hits and three RBI. Massey added a pair of hits and an RBI.

"Rock is due to come around for us and overall I thought we played pretty good," said Lancaster. "We didn't play the scoreboard, we just continued to play on. I think we're getting better, I really do."

Elizabeth City State (2-4) got on the board with RBI singles from Lee Person and Austin Zehr in the top of the seventh.

Topher Ellis added an RBI single to right in the bottom of the seventh pushing Mount Olive's lead to 15-2.

The Trojans host in-state member Shaw University at 2 p.m. Thursday before visiting Conference Carolinas foe Anderson (S.C.) University for a three-game series over the weekend.