03/13/06 — MOC Baseball - Trojans come through in clutch

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MOC Baseball - Trojans come through in clutch

By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on March 13, 2006 2:39 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Getting it done with two.

The old baseball adage refers to a team's ability to produce with two outs. On Sunday against Anderson (S.C.), Mount Olive took that one step further -- the Trojans also did plenty of damage with two strikes.

Mount Olive scored eight runs with two outs and had seven two-strike hits in a 9-3 win at Scarborough Field.

Trailing 2-0 after Anderson's John Mac White slugged a two-run home run against right-hander, Justin Staatz, the Trojans (16-8, 7-5 Carolinas-Virginia Athletic Conference) answered with five runs in the bottom of the first.

Facing righty Kevin Young, Kyle Curtis keyed the rally with a two-run, two-out blast down the right field line -- his first home run as a Trojan. Josh Carter, Graham Wooten and Mike Kicia also had an RBI in the first.

"I think the first five runs were with two strikes on us," Mount Olive coach Carl Lancaster said. "It's good to see Curtis give us a better effort, because we've really been counting on him. With (Erik) Lovett out of the order, we really need him and everyone else behind (Josh) Carter to step up."

The Trojans, now 11-2 at home, never trailed again.

Staatz settled into a rhythm and got solid defensive play behind him. After White's home run, the visitors didn't get another hit or run until the top of the seventh. Staatz (4-2), an all-CVAC and all-region performer last year, tossed seven innings -- yielding three runs on four hits with four walks and five strikeouts.

Mount Olive made just one error, which proved harmless, and turned in a handful of stellar defensive gems.

In the sixth, second baseman Anthony Williams made a diving grab to his left on a line drive off the bat of Cody Nye for the second out of the inning. Wooten, an Eastern Wayne graduate, had a couple of nice picks on low throws at first base, including one on a 4-6-3 double-play in the seventh.

"Overall, that was probably the best game we've played all year. We had some big hits early and played well defensively," Lancaster said.

Stephan Nordan and Josh Carter, who also homered on Saturday, also slugged round-trippers in the middle of the Trojans' order. Nordan's solo homer in the second to straight-away center made it 6-2, while Carter's blast -- well into the pine trees beyond the left-field fence -- put the Trojans up 8-2 in the fourth.

Carter, riding a 13-game hitting streak, finished off a 3-for-4 effort with a two-out, two-strike single to right in the eighth -- scoring David Cooper and pushing the score to the final margin.

Five different players had two hits each for Mount Olive, including Canadian transfers; Cooper, Kicia and Tim Morgan.

Donald Huff came on in relief of Staatz and tossed two no-hit, scoreless innings to finish off the win.

Anderson used five pitchers with Young taking the loss after 32/3 innings of work. Anderson's four relievers held the home team to one run in the final 41/3 innings.

"I hate to say the first inning broke our back, but we were never in the ball game from then on," Anderson coach Joe Miller said.

The Trojans return to action on Tuesday and Wednesday with a pair of contests against Bryant (R.I.).

Notes: Carter finished the three-game series with nine hits in 11 at-bats and is currently hitting well over .400 with four home runs on the season ... Nordan, hitting over .370, hit his second homer ... Staatz earned run average remains under 2.00 as he now has 35 strikeouts and 16 walks in 36 innings on the season.


split Saturday

Josh Carter went 3-for-4 with four runs batted in to lead Mount Olive to a 10-4 victory over Anderson in game two of a Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference baseball doubleheader Saturday at Scarborough Field.

Anderson won the first game 12-8, using a six-run sixth inning to help over come an early four-run deficit.

In the first game, Mount Olive (15-8 overall, 6-5 CVAC) led 4-1 after one inning as Carter's two-run double capped a four-run inning. Anderson (10-18, 3-3) pulled within a run and took the lead for good in the sixth.

Carter was 3-for-3 for the Trojans.

Mount Olive jumped out to an 8-0 lead in game two as Carter hit a two-run homer in the first inning and Josh Harrison and Jesse Lancaster connected on RBI doubles in a three-run second inning.

Starter Philip Pennington (1-2) took a shutout into the sixth inning before Anderson struck for three runs. Patrick Ball closed the game for Mount Olive.

Sunday's game

Anderson 200 000 100 -- 3 4 2

Mount Olive 510 200 01x -- 9 14 1

Leading hitters -- Anderson -- John Mac White 1-4, HR, 2 RBI; Jessie Whiteside 1-2, 2B, RBI. Mount Olive -- David Cooper 2-5, 2B; 2 runs; Stephen Nordan 2-4, HR, 2B, RBI; Josh Carter 3-4, HR, 4 RBI; Graham Wooten 1-4, RBI; Kyle Curtis 1-4, HR, 2 RBI; Tim Morgan 2-4; Mike Kicia 2-3, RBI.


Anderson (10-19, 3-4)

K. Young (L, 2-3) 32/3 10 8 8 0 0

W. Cheatham 21/3 2 0 0 1 2

J. Lovvorn 11/3 1 1 1 1 0

C. Welch 1/3 0 0 0 0 1

B. Johnson 1/3 1 0 0 0 1

Mount Olive (16-8, 7-5)

J. Staatz (W, 4-2) 7 4 3 3 4 5

D. Huff 2 0 0 0 1 2