04/25/06 — MOC's Nordan named tourney MVP

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MOC's Nordan named tourney MVP

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on April 25, 2006 2:11 PM

WILSON -- Mount Olive College third baseman Stephen Nordan didn't think twice about not earning all-Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference honors this season in baseball.

He agreed that Erskine's Robbie Knapp and Barton's Eric McInerny -- both seniors -- deserved first- and second-team recognition, respectively.

"I knew the two guys in front of me were very good and I don't take any credit away from them," said Nordan. "I was all-conference last year, but still felt like I was playing for a purpose this season, which is getting our seniors to the next level.

"This is kind of a last call for our seniors. I'm just playing for them and we're playing for each other. It's all about the team."

Nordan certainly did his part.

The 5-foot-10 junior batted 13-for-18 with three home runs and a team-leading eight RBIs in four tournament games. He failed to reach base just twice, and collected six putouts and 13 assists in 20 fielding attempts.

Tournament officials acknowledged Nordan, a 5-foot-10 junior, as the CVAC tournament Most Valuable Player.

"It's a great honor," said Nordan, who set a tournament goal of 15 hits. "I just came in to play for our team. Sometimes when you're hot, the ball falls your way like that infield hit in the championship game.

"Everybody around the league knows I'm a pretty good player and I feel respected when I got into everybody's ballpark."

Nordan banged out four hits each against Limestone and Pfeiffer (on Friday). He notched three hits against second-seeded Erskine and added a single in a second meeting against Pfeiffer. A starter in all 51 games for the Trojans, Nordan averaged at least one RBI in each game.

"Nordan was unbelievable," said Lancaster. "I think him not getting on the all-conference team probably got his juices flowing a little bit."

Nordan contends the "slight" by the all-conference selection committee didn't fuel his desire to play well this weekend. Getting the CVAC's first-ever automatic bid to the South Atlantic Regional remained the main task.

Mount Olive (39-12) seized its second CVAC crown in the last three years and sixth overall in school history.

"I just came in to play for our team," said Nordan, as he clutched the MVP plaque close to his chest and wiped sweat from his brow.

No one did it better.