02/06/06 — Trojans complete sweep

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Trojans complete sweep

By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on February 6, 2006 2:15 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Mount Olive's baseball team never faced a large deficit in their opening weekend series at home against Newberry (S.C.), but the Trojans saw the Indians score first in all four games.

The deficits, whether early or late, never seemed to rattle the home team at Scarborough Field.

On Sunday, Mount Olive posted a five-run rally in the sixth inning of game one on its way to a 7-4 win, then tallied four runs in the bottom of the fifth in game two to complete the four-game sweep with a 7-5 victory.

Stephen Nordan, an All-CVAC and All-Region performer last year, had one double during both rallies and finished the afternoon with five hits in seven plate appearances and two RBI in game two. Josh Harrison also had a solid day with four hits, including a triple and a home run, and drove in a total of five runs.

Eastern Wayne graduate Graham Wooten finished the day 4-6 with two RBI and scored the Trojans' final run of the first game when he hustled all the way from second to score on a wild pitch -- pushing the score to 7-4.

"I saw the play happen in front of me and I just reacted to it," Wooten said. "The ball hit off the catcher, and I thought I would be able to score."

Harrison's two-run, opposite-field homer, his first collegiate round-tripper, came in the second inning of game one as the Trojans erased the first-of-two, 1-0 deficits on Sunday.

"You don't put up 20 runs like we did yesterday, and not be focused. When we got down today, it looks like our guys got that focus back," Mount Olive coach Carl Lancaster said. "Nordan, Harrison and Wooten didn't make many outs today. They were really locked in.

"It was a good first weekend."

Southern Wayne grad Erik Lovett, and fellow transfer, Kyle Curtis, also had two hits each in the first game and contributed to the big, sixth inning. Lovett would have to leave game two after apparently twisting his knee when getting out of the way of a pitch in the bottom of the second. Lancaster said Lovett is scheduled to have an MRI on Tuesday.

Jesse Lancaster (1-0), another EWHS alumnus, came on in relief to pick up the win in game one. Lancaster inherited a bases-loaded situation with one out in the top of the sixth with his team down 4-2, then induced Newberry's Anthony Dillinger to pop out near Mount Olive's dugout as third baseman Lance Martin made a nice grab near the rail.

After the Trojans rallied to take a 7-4 lead, Lancaster tossed a 1-2-3, seventh inning to finish off his first collegiate win in his first appearance.

"It was nerve-racking to start with, but getting the first strike made a big difference. I settled down and I was glad my defense made that play behind me. It was exciting," Jesse Lancaster said.

Charles B. Aycock graduate, Philip Pennington, started game one and pitched three innings. Pennington yielded four hits and two runs (one earned) with four walks and two strikeouts. Blake Montgomery and Brett Williams gave up one run each as both tossed 11/3 innings of work in middle relief.

Florida State transfer, Brad Manasa (0-1), picked up the loss in game one for the Indians. Jimmy Bartelson (2-3, RBI) and Gary Hersey (1-2, 2 RBI) led Newberry at the plate.

In game two, Newberry again struck for the first run as Manasa singled home Casey Faulkenberry, who started the game with a double, with junior left-hander Paul Buhrow on the mound. After a scoreless first, the Trojans answered with one in the second and two in the third to go up 3-1. Harrison scored on a passed ball in the second, while Nick Martin and Nordan had one RBI each in the third after David Cooper tripled to left-center to start the inning.

The Indians went back up 4-3 after a three-run fourth against Buhrow and later, reliever Joey Raczkowski, another Eastern Wayne grad and Belmont Abbey transfer. Raczkowski gave up another run in the fifth on a home run by Ryan Easterby, then hit a batter, before Donald Huff entered the game in relief.

Huff, a senior, was stout in 22/3 innings of work out of the bullpen. The right-hander struck out five of the eight batters he faced and didn't allow a runner to reach. Of Huff's 32 pitches, 27 were strikes.

"Huff was good tonight. He had that swagger going, maybe a little too much at times, but we like our guys to have that confidence," Carl Lancaster said.

Between Huff's two full innings of work, the Trojans scored four runs in the bottom of the fifth. Nordan provided a run-scoring double, while Harrison's two-run triple off of the fence put the home team ahead for good at 6-5. Wooten contributed a single to right, scoring Harrison for an insurance run to make it 7-5.

Mount Olive returns to action on Saturday and Sunday when they host Shippensburg (Pa.). Saturday's double-header begins at noon, while Sunday's single-game starts at 1 p.m.

Game one

Newberry 011 020 0 -- 4 7 0

Mount Olive 020 005 x -- 7 10 1

Leading hitters -- Newberry -- Jimmy Bartelson 2-3, RBI; Gary Hersey 1-2, 2 RBI. Mount Olive -- Stephen Nordan 2-3, 2B; Erik Lovett 2-3; Kyle Curtis 2-3, 2 runs; Josh Harrison 2-3, HR, 3 RBI, 2 runs; Graham Wooten 2-3, RBI.



B. Manasa (L, 0-1) 51/3 9 6 5 0 1

Bertelson 2/3 1 1 0 0 2

Mount Olive

Pennington 3 4 2 1 2 4

Montgomery 11/3 1 1 1 0 1

Williams 11/3 2 1 1 2 0

Lancaster (W, 1-0) 11/3 0 0 0 0 0

Game two

Newberry 100 310 0 -- 5 5 1

Mount Olive 012 040 x -- 7 10 0

Leading hitters -- Newberry -- Ryan Easterby 2-4, HR, 2B, RBI, 2 runs; Brandon Manasa 1-3, 2 RBI. Mount Olive -- Stephen Nordan 3-4, 2B, 2 RBI; Josh Harrison 2-3, 3B, 2 RBI, 2 runs; Graham Wooten 2-3, RBI.



Cote (L, 1-1) 42/3 9 7 6 1 2

Folk 1/3 1 0 0 1 1

Egleston 1 0 0 0 0 1

Mount Olive

Buhrow 31/3 4 4 4 2 1

Raczkowski 1 1 1 1 1

Huff (W, 1-0) 22/3 0 0 0 0 5