03/10/04 — MOC baseball scores big again

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MOC baseball scores big again

By David Williams
Published in Sports on March 10, 2004 1:58 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Mount Olive College's baseball team has scored 50 runs in its last three games.

That's the good news.

The not-so-good news -- the Trojans' opponents have scored 38 runs.

But on the bright side, Mount Olive won all three of those games, closing out a two-game series sweep of visiting Shepherd (W. Va.) College with a 12-9 win Tuesday at Scarborough Field.

Mount Olive (18-6) moved to 10-1 at home this season after taking a big lead on the visitors, then holding on late as Shepherd made a late move to keep the game interesting.

The batting competition between Trojan teammates Ryan Hurba and Stevie Parrish continued as Parrish went 4-for-4 with a pair of home runs and six RBI, taking the homer lead with his ninth and 10th of the season. He briefly tied the team RBI lead with Hurba at 35, but Hurba belted a solo home run in the seventh to retake the lead at 36.

Hurba drove in eight runs in Monday's game.

That duo ignited the Trojans' 12-hit attack, using a five-run fifth inning to break open a 2-2 tie. Parrish hit a three-run shot in that frame, a monstrous mash deep into the trees over the right-field fence.

In the sixth, Parrish took a fastball over the scoreboard in right center for a two-run blast and Jonathan Pullen scored on a single to right by Bruce Brown.

"Today we did play some small ball," said Mount Olive coach Carl Lancaster. "We bunted and pushed some people over. Stevie and Hurba can't carry the load -- these guys have got to get on base in front of them and set 'em up. Right now we are playing a lot of people."

But even with a 10-2 lead, Mount Olive's pitching could not keep the Rams at bay.

Brett Williams, pitching in relief of starter Josh Clow, walked two of the first three batters he faced in the seventh inning, then gave up a single to Josh Delawder to load the bases. Shepherd catcher Charlie Drummond unloaded them fast with a booming home run to left that brought the Rams to within four at 10-6. Jon Serrano then made it back-to-back home runs with a solo shot to close to within 10-7.

Freshman Phillip Pennington relieved Williams and got the Trojans out of the inning.

"I don't understand why we are having so much trouble getting people out," said Lancaster. "Coming into the year we thought our pitching was going to be a strength. We used a lot of arms over this stretch, but we can't seem to get anyone out.

"We can't fight through a mistake. Yesterday we booted a double-play ball and nine runs came in."

Hurba's home run in the seventh, a line shot that easily cleared the fence in left-center field, gave the Trojans a little breathing room at 11-7. But Shepherd picked up single runs in the eighth and ninth against Pennington, Jason Sharp and Brian Corbett. Mount Olive also added another run on a T.J. Fly RBI groundout in the eighth.

Lancaster said that while Corbett, Steve Wesley and Ricky Duke are the weekend starters, the rest of the lineup is still being evaluated.

"(Matt) Rusch looked good yesterday," he said. "(Jason) Sharp has been good, but I think we used him a little more than we should have. Clow did a good job today, and I was glad to get Pennington a little work. He's going to get better every time out."

Mount Olive gets some badly needed rest before taking on Virginia State on Thursday. After playing a weekend conference series at Limestone, Mount Olive comes back to Scarborough Field for a Tuesday-Wednesday series with Peach Belt Conference power North Florida.

Shepherd 000 020 511 -- 9 10 5

Mount Olive 101 053 11x --12 12 3

Leading hitters -- Shepherd -- Josh Delawder 2-3; Charlie Drummond 2-4, HR, 4 RBI; Jon Serrano 1-3, HR, RBI. Mount Olive -- Zack Nichols 1-4, 2B; Ryan Hurba 2-2, HR, RBI; Stevie Parrish 4-4, 2 HR, 2B, 6 RBI; Bruce Brown 1-3, RBI.


Shepherd (W. Va.) College (2-6)

Jackson (L) 5 7 6 5 4 2

Koscielniak 2 5 5 1 3 0

Kirkpatrick 1 2 1 0 0 1

Mount Olive (18-6)

Clow (W) 5 1/3 4 2 0 4 2

Williams 1 3 5 5 3 0

Pennington 1 1/3 1 1 0 2 1

Sharp 1/3 0 0 0 0 1

Corbett 1 2 1 1 0 1

PB -- Drummond 4. Richardson 5. WP -- Jackson, Williams. HBP -- Smith (by Kirkpatrick).