02/11/07 — Trojan diamond nine pull off two early-season upsets

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Trojan diamond nine pull off two early-season upsets

By MOC Sports Information
Published in Sports on February 11, 2007 2:06 AM

FLORENCE, S.C. -- Dustin Richardson belted a three-run homer in the fourth inning and broke a scoreless tie as Mount Olive College upset nationally-ranked Francis Marion University 4-2 Saturday afternoon in the Gerald Griffin Baseball Classic.

Judson Smith yielded no earned runs during a sixth-inning stint as the Trojans (3-3) recorded their second consecutive upset of a nationally-ranked team in as many days. Richardson and red-shirt junior Erik Lovett each homered in Friday's 6-4 conquest of Georgia College and State University on Friday.

Against FMU, the Trojans' Stephen Nordan drilled a lead-off double to start the fourth. Josh Carter drew a two-out walk. Richardson ripped his second home run of the three-day event to give Mount Olive a 3-0 advantage. Francis Marion, the reigning NCAA Division II South Atlantic Regional champion, pulled within 3-2 on two unearned runs in the fifth.

Carter walked to start the Trojan sixth and after an error, advanced to third on Casey Hodges' single. Carter trotted home on a fielder's choice for the final 4-2 margin.

Smith (1-1) recorded three strikeouts and two walks. Todd Jeffreys and Patrick Ball combined for three innings of three-hit relief. Jeffreys posted one strikeout in a two-inning stint, while Ball allowed one base runner in the ninth. He struck out the final Patriot batter he faced for his first save of the season.

Mount Olive snapped its three-game skid behind newcomer Tom Layne, who struck out eight and surrendered one run in six innings against GCSU. The contest was a rematch of last year's first-round regional game won by GCSU.

Trailing 1-0, Mount Olive plated four runs in the second inning.

Two sacrifice flies, two walks and three wild pitches parlayed into a 4-1 lead for the Trojans. Anthony Williams, David Cooper and Nordan each supplied an RBI during the surge.

Lovett smacked a lead-off homer in the fifth, while Richardson added a solo shot in the sixth to make it 6-1. GCSU used a lead-off triple and groundout to pull within 6-2 in its half of the sixth inning.

Ball escaped the seventh with a double-play ground ball. GCSU, however, tallied an unearned run off reliever Ted Pelech in the eighth. Pelech surrendered a run in the ninth. Darrell Ellis notched the save with a game-ending groundout.

MOC faces Lenoir-Rhyne today.