04/03/06 — Mount Olive extends win streak to six - sweeps Braves

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Mount Olive extends win streak to six - sweeps Braves

By News-Argus Staff
Published in Sports on April 3, 2006 1:55 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- If it were not for Josh Carter's game-winning, seventh-inning double on Sunday night, Mount Olive College and Chowan College might still be playing.

In fact, when Chowan College right fielder Matt Dize launched a solo home run over the leftfield fence to tie the game at 13-13 in the top of the seventh, it looked as if the day's second game might be headed for extra innings.

Each time Mount Olive scored to take the lead, Chowan came right back. When the Trojans scored three times in the first to go ahead 3-2, the Braves tied it in the second. When Mount Olive went up 8-3 in the third, Chowan cut it to one on the fourth. When the Trojans scored five in the fifth to make it 13-7, the Braves made it 13-12 in the sixth. But the punches had to end sometime.

The two teams had already played 27 innings and combined for 68 runs over the weekend when Mount Olive's Donald Huff threw the first pitch of the seventh. And with the sun setting and shadows getting long, those who had watched all 27 innings, such as Mount Olive coach Carl Lancaster, were ready to go home.

After Huff got out of the seventh without allowing any more damage, Carter did the honors. And he got his chance in an unexpected manner.

With one out and Lance Martin on first, Chowan pitcher Brandon Hamlett intentionally walked Stephen Nordan to get to Carter.

Despite being Mount Olive's most productive hitter this season (50 RBI before the weekend), Carter has been struggling at the plate for the last two weeks. Even more importantly, Carter looked out of sync in his previous at-bat against Hamlett when he popped out softly to first to end the fifth.

Early in the at-bat, Lancaster called for a double steal, and Martin was thrown out at third for the inning's second out. Nordan advanced to second on the play.

"I can't believe they pitched to Carter right then," Lancaster said. "All weekend long, they've walked everybody in that situation."

After fouling off a couple of pitches, Carter drilled a line-drive over Dize's head in right field to bring Nordan home with the winning run.

"I saw that they were going to pitch to him, and I felt we couldn't have anybody better up there," Lancaster said. "And he came through and got a big hit for us."

It was probably the best ball Carter hit all weekend.

"I struggled all weekend, and I feel that I was more detrimental to my team than helpful," he said. "So it felt really good to come through."

Not all batters are as comfortable hitting with two strikes as Carter is.

"With two strikes, if we could pick anybody to get up there, it's him," Lancaster said. "He might punch out a bit, but most of the time, he's gonna put it in play. And sometimes, he'll put it in play hard."

And that's just what Carter did.

"With two strikes, I'm looking for a fastball away or something out that I can hit, and he left it out there for me," Carter said.

Huff, who secured a 12-8 win in game one by holding Chowan scoreless in the seventh, was confident his team would come back to win game two.

"We scored a lot of runs this weekend," Huff said. "So I figured we would get one more in the last inning."

Before Dize -- who hit a low change-up over Kyle Curtis' head with one out in the seventh -- could reach home plate, Carter and Huff were having a chat on the mound.

"Right after the home run, Carter came up and told me 'we're going to get y'all this win,' and he was the one that got the game-winning hit," said Huff, who saw his record move to 5-1 with the relief win.

While the Trojans, whose record now stands at 27-11 (10-8 CVAC) with the four-game non-conference sweep, were happy to get the wins, they're aware that Chowan (16-14) exploited their lack of pitching, which does not bode well for nine-inning conference tournament games. The CVAC tournament begins in fewer than three weeks at Barton College in Wilson.

"I feel like we're in a bunch of trouble, to tell you the truth," Lancaster said.

Mount Olive hosts St. Andrews on Thursday in a tune-up for this season's final home CVAC games -- against Belmont Abbey on April 8 and 9.

Game 1

Chowan 200 006 0 -- 8 14 1

Mount Olive 503 103 x -- 12 18 1

Leading hitters -- Chowan -- P.J. Sadler 3-5, 2B, RBI; McConnell 1-4, 2B, 2RBI; Hollingsworth 3-4, run; Hill 2-3, 2B, run. Mount Olive -- Lance Martin 2-5, 2B, 3B, RBI; Stephen Nordan 2-5, HR, 2RBI, 2 runs; Graham Wooten 3-4, 2B, 2 runs, Dustin Richardson 3-4, 2 RBI, 2 runs; David Cooper 3-4, 2 RBI, run.



Billy Coburn (L, 3-2) 42/3 12 9 7 2 0

Ryan Leary 11/3 3 3 3 1 1

Mount Olive

Jesse Lancaster (W, 4-1) 5 8 2 2 0 3

Kyle Curtis 0 4 6 4 1 0

Paul Buhrow 1 1 0 0 1 3

Donald Huff 1 1 0 0 0 1

(Curtis faced 7 batters in fifth)

Game 2

Chowan 210 405 1 -- 13 15 2

Mount Olive 305 050 1 -- 14 12 2

Leading hitters -- Chowan -- Joel Ortiz 3-5, 2B, 2 runs; P.J. Sadler 2-5, 3 runs; Matt Dize 2-2, HR, 2 RBI, 4 runs, 3 BB; Mike McConnell 3-5, 5 RBI, 2B; Bryan Hill 2-4, 3 RBI, 2B. Mount Olive -- Lance Martin 3-5, 3 RBI, 2B, 2 runs; Josh Carter 2-4, 2B, RBI, run; Graham Wooten 2-4, 3B, 2 runs; Dustin Richardson 1-3, 2B, RBI, run; Kyle Curtis 1-2, HR, 2 RBI, 2 runs, 2 BB; Anthony Williams 2-4, 2B, RBI.



Bryan Hill 21/3 5 8 7 3 1

P.J. Sadler 2 4 5 5 0 2

Brandon Hamlett (L, 4-2) 21/3 3 1 1 2 0

Mount Olive

Daniel Wood 4 10 7 3 3 2

Ryan Barham 12/3 3 5 5 2 1

Paul Buhrow 0 1 0 0 1 1

Donald Huff (W, 5-1) 11/3 2 1 1 0 0

(Burhrow faced three batters in sixth)