04/23/06 — MOC -- Rain dampens CVAC tourney

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MOC -- Rain dampens CVAC tourney

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on April 23, 2006 2:20 AM

WILSON -- Rain associated with thunderstorms which saturated eastern North Carolina suspended play in the Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference baseball tournament Saturday.

Third-seeded Mount Olive College led Erskine (S.C.) College 9-5 when officials halted play due to lightning. A steady rainfall ensued and led to unplayable conditions on the Fleming Stadium diamond.

The teams will resume play today at 11 a.m. with the Trojans batting in the top half of the eighth inning. Mount Olive has two outs with two runners on base and Dustin Richardson at the plate. Richardson is ahead 3-0 in the count against Erskine reliever Russell Reid.

Regular-season champion Barton faces Belmont Abbey in an elimination-round game at Barton at 1 p.m. Fourth-seeded Limestone (S.C.) College awaits the winner at 4 p.m.

Sixth-seeded Pfeiffer, the defending CVAC tournament title holder, gets an extra day of rest. The Falcons oppose the Mount Olive-Erskine loser at 4 p.m. at Fleming Stadium.

Stephen Nordan, who produced four hits in Friday's opening-round victory over Pfeiffer, put Mount Olive on the board with a two-RBI home run in the first inning. The Flying Fleet pulled within 2-1, but the No. 29-ranked Trojans boosted their advantage to 9-2 through 61/2 innings.

John Skelley, Anthony Williams, David Cooper, Dustin Richardson and Kyle Curtis each manufactured RBI at-bats during that stretch. Skelley doubled, while Cooper drilled his CVAC-leading 12th triple of the season.

Erskine climbed within 9-5 against Mount Olive right-hander Philip Pennington. Paul Buhrow relieved Pennington and induced an inning-ending ground ball with the bases loaded.

Pennington is seeking his sixth win of the season.

Friday's Game:

MOC 15, Pfeiffer 7

Mount Olive mashed five home runs and banged out 18 hits overall against the Falcons on Friday afternoon at Barton College.

Six of nine Trojan starters collected two or more hits apiece off five Falcon pitchers. Nordan nearly hit for the cycle with two singles, a double and a home run.

"I just felt comfortable and wasn't doing anything different," said Nordan,who has four home runs this season. "I was seeing the ball good. It was just one of those days. We took BP this morning and everybody was relaxed. We had a good atmosphere around the team the whole day.

"We felt we owed them something from earlier in the year when they took two of three from us."

Mount Olive, the No. 3 seed in the eight-team field, triumphed for the 15th time in its last 16 outings.

Goldsboro native Josh Carter produced a two-RBI single in the opening inning and Nordan belted the game's first home run in the second inning.

Pfeiffer, the No. 6 seed and 19-29 overall, tied the game at 3-3 on back-to-back home runs from Jodie Groce and Mike McClain in the fifth. The Falcons eventually grabbed a 5-3 lead and forced Trojan right-hander Justin Staatz to the bench.

The Trojans (36-12) responded with a three-run uprising which included Carter's two-run blast off the scoreboard in left field. It was Carter's sixth round-tripper of the season and gave Mount Olive a lead it wouldn't relinquish.

David Cooper ripped his first-ever collegiate home run to highlight a seven-run, sixth inning. Josh Harrison and Dustin Richardson also added solo homers, giving the Trojans 34 for the season.

"Dag-gone, they got right back in it all of a sudden and got ahead of us, but we answered," said Mount Olive head coach Carl Lancaster. "That was huge ... had to be tough on the other team. Any time someone scores, we try to match what they did.

"It worked out for us today. We swung the bat pretty good and Nordan had a huge day for us."

Daniel Wood appeared in relief of Staatz and yielded three hits in a two-inning stint. Wilson native Brett Williams tossed the final two innings and allowed one run on two hits.

Staatz, who threw five complete innings, picked up his eighth win and avenged an earlier one-run loss to the Falcons.

The contest pitted two teams that have combined to win seven CVAC championships since the league's inception in 1995-96.

2006 NCAA Division II


Athletics Conference Tournament

Friday's game

Pfeiffer 000 140 101 -- 7 13 0

Mount Olive 201 037 20x -- 15 18 1

Leading hitters -- Pfeiffer -- Jodie Groce 1-4, HR, RBI; Mike McClain 3-3, HR, RBI; Bryan Braxton 2-3, HR, RBI; Kyle Pugh 2-4, HR, 2 RBI; Justin Little 2-5, RBI; Ryan Brown 2-4, RBI. Mount Olive -- David Cooper 2-6, HR, 2 RBI; Lance Martin 3-5, 2 2Bs, RBI; Stephen Nordan 4-5, 2B, HR, 3 RBI; Josh Carter 4-5, HR, 6 RBI; Josh Harrison 2-5, HR, 2 RBI; Dustin Richardson 2-4, HR, RBI; Anthony Williams 1-1.

DP -- Pfeiffer 1. LOB -- Pfeiffer 12, MOC 6. HR -- Groce (3), McClain (7), Braxton (12), Pugh (4), Cooper (1), Nordan (4), Carter (6), Harrison (6), Richardson (2). SH -- Groce, R. Brown. SB -- R. Brown (3), Williams (6). CS -- McClain.



Beard (L, 4-4) 51/3 8 5 5 4 8

Allred 0 4 4 4 0 0

Russell 2/3 0 0 0 1 1

Strickland 1 2 2 2 1 2

Smith 1 1 0 0 0 1

Mount Olive

Staatz (W, 8-4) 5 8 5 5 4 8

Wood 2 3 1 1 0 1

Williams 2 2 1 1 0

WP -- Beard 2. HBP -- Lancaster (by Beard), Braxton (by Staatz).

T -- 2:41