02/18/07 — No. 27-ranked Trojans split CVAC baseball opener

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No. 27-ranked Trojans split CVAC baseball opener

By MOC Sports Information
Published in Sports on February 18, 2007 2:11 AM

BELMONT -- Tom Layne threw a complete-game four-hitter as nationally-ranked Mount Olive College blanked Belmont Abbey 6-0 in the Carolinas-Virginia Athletic Conference opener for both teams Saturday afternoon.

Layne threw 87 strikes in his 137-pitch count and fanned seven Crusader batters. The Trojans, ranked No. 27 in the latest Collegiate Baseball top 30 poll, improved to 5-4 overall.

Derek Swilley provided the game-winning, two-out RBI single in the seventh inning as the Crusaders escaped 6-5 in the nightcap. Belmont Abbey climbed to 7-3 overall and 1-1 against CVAC opposition, while Mount Olive exited 5-5 and 1-1 in conference play.

The three-game series concludes at 1 p.m. today.

The Trojans got the only runs they needed in the second inning of game one. A failed pick-off attempt broke the scoreless tie. Jason Sherrer drove home Dustin Richardson one out later.

Scott Hulin slapped a three-run home run in the third inning. Mount Olive tacked on its final run in the seventh.

Belmont Abbey hurler Andy Helms (2-1) surrendered six runs (four earned) on 12 hits in seven-plus innings. He walked one and struck out one.

Mount Olive seized a 3-0 lead in the nightcap, but the Crusaders answered with Josh Haire's two-RBI hit. The Trojans pushed across two unearned runs in the second inning, and the score remained in Mount Olive's favor until the fifth inning.

The Crusaders' Alex Castellanos ripped a game-tying, towering home run to left field. It was Castellanos' fifth round-tripper of the season. Neither team scored from that point, until Belmont Abbey rallied in the seventh.

In near darkness, first baseman Will Breslin drew a one-out walk. After a pitching change and a strikeout, Breslin stole second and moved to third on an infield single by third baseman Jordan Pegram.

Swilley laced an 0-1 pitch to right field and Breslin easily scored the game-winning run.

Belmont Abbey reliever Evan Jonas, the fifth pitcher of the afternoon, struck out the Trojans' final batter to preserve the come-from-behind win.

Mount Olive closer Weston Curles (0-2) took the loss after yielding the game-winning run. He struck out two and walked two in one inning.