02/05/06 — MOC baseball sweeps opener

View Archive

MOC baseball sweeps opener

By News-Argus Staff
Published in Sports on February 5, 2006 2:18 AM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Southern Wayne graduate Erik Lovett's three-run homer and Eastern Wayne graduate Josh Carter's three-run double highlighted a school-record 16-run second inning as Mount Olive defeated Newberry 22-2 in game one of a non-conference baseball doubleheader Saturday at Scarborough Field.

The second game was a complete departure from game one as Justin Staatz tossed a complete game three-hitter and Lovett singled home the tie-breaking run with two outs in the bottom of the sixth to lift the Trojans to a 2-1 victory and a doubleheader sweep.

Saturday's contests marked the season opener for Mount Olive (2-0). Game one marked Carl Lancaster's 900th career game as Trojan head coach.

Mount Olive's first 13 batters in the bottom of the second inning all reached base, including 10 with a base hit, before the Trojans recorded their first out. Mount Olive led 5-1 after Anthony Williams doubled home a run and David Cooper and Stephen Nordan connected on RBI-singles to load the bases. Carter then lined a double down the left field line to clear the bases and give the Trojans an 8-1 lead.

After Kyle Curtis followed with his second double of the game to bring home Carter, Lovett and Graham Wooten both singled and Williams drove in his second run of the inning to make the score 10-1. Cooper, who hit a leadoff triple in the bottom of the first in his first Mount Olive at-bat, was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to drive in a run.

The Trojans' run of 13 consecutive batters to reach base ended on a strikeout, but Nordan followed with his second RBI-single of the inning and Carter's sacrifice fly gave the Trojans a 14-1 lead. Curtis singled home a run and Lovett drove in the final three runs of the inning with an opposite-field home run to left-center to extend the Trojans' lead to 18-1.

Mount Olive batted around twice in the inning as the Trojans send 19 batters to the plate. The Trojans line for the inning: 16 runs, 13 hits, three errors, none left on base.

Newberry (1-2) added a run in the top of the third on Brandon Manasa's leadoff home run, but Lance Martin's two-run double in the bottom of the inning put the Trojans at the 20-run mark. Mount Olive finished with 22 runs and 22 hits.

Ted Pelech (1-0) and Jonathan McClellan combined on a four-hitter for the Trojans.

In the second game, Newberry took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second as Anthony Dillinger drew a walk and eventually scored from third on a two-out error. Newberry starter Nick Loden (0-1) held Mount Olive hitless until the fourth inning when Josh Carter's two-out bloop single to right-centerfield scored Cooper from second to tie the game 1-1.

Loden, who allowed two hits in five innings pitched, was aided by the defensive play of centerfielder, who recorded four putouts in the first four innings, including an over-the-shoulder catch near the warning track on Nordan's fly ball in the first inning.

Staatz (1-0) escaped a jam in the top of the fifth when Anthony Orr drew a leadoff walk and a sacrifice and a wild pitch moved pinch-runner Casey Faulkenberry to third with one out. But Staatz retired the next two batters on a pop-up and a strikeout.

Nordan led off the bottom of the sixth with a double that landed near the warning track just inside the left field line. Nordan was still at second two outs later when Lovett lined a 1-2 pitch off reliever Patrick Egleston just over the outstretched glove of the shortstop to plate Nordan. Staatz retired the side in order in the top of the seventh.

The series was originally scheduled to be played at Newberry, but was moved to Mount Olive due to construction of a new ballpark at Newberry. The Indians are playing 49 of their 53 games on the road this season.

The two teams conclude their four-game series Sunday with a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. at Scarborough Field.