02/22/07 — Mount Olive sweeps Virginia State

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Mount Olive sweeps Virginia State

By Rob Craig
Published in Sports on February 22, 2007 2:25 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- After spending the first two weeks of the season on the road, Mount Olive College was thrilled to finally play a game at the friendly confines of Scarborough Field.

The Trojans quickly showed their fans and the visiting Virginia State Trojans the power their lineup features. Mount Olive pounded on Virginia State in both games of the doubleheader -- winning 11-1 and 8-3.

"It feels really good to get on our field for one time," said Mount Olive coach Carl Lancaster. "We swung our bats really well in the first game and then in the second game the soft-throwing lefty (David Gibbson) kept us back on our heels a little bit."

In both games Mount Olive struck for runs in the opening inning.

In game one, Stephen Nordan and Scott Houin both drew two-out, first-inning walks. Former Southern Wayne standout Erik Lovett then hammered an Edrian Pinder pitch deep over the right-field wall for a three-run homer, giving Mount Olive the early 3-0 lead.

Lovett finished the day 2 for 3 with his third and fourth homers of the season along with four RBI.

"Lovett's got plenty of power," said Lancaster.

Mount Olive blew the game open in the bottom of the fourth inning when it loaded the bases with one out. David Cooper then singled down the left-field line to score Josh Harrison and Josh Carter.

Dustin Richardson had the final big blow in the frame, a two-run double that gave Mount Olive an 8-0 lead.

On the mound, Mount Olive pitcher Phillip Pennington kept out of trouble by limiting base runners. Pennington gave up three hits and walked only one in four shutout innings to pick up his first victory of the season.

"Pennington and all the guys we threw today, we're counting on helping us throughout the season," said Lancaster. "I thought Pennington did really well."

Game two was like déjà vu for both teams as Mount Olive again struck for a big first inning.

Cooper led off with a walk and stole his ninth base of the year. Casey Hodges and Nordan followed with singles to score Cooper. Houin then hit another Mount Olive bomb -- a three-run homer over the left-center field wall -- his third long ball of the year -- to put Mount Olive ahead 4-0.

Mount Olive led 5-0 in the fourth inning when Virginia State finally got its bats going. The visiting Trojans scored two runs thanks to a wild pitch from Darrell Ellis and a groundout by Jeff Shelton to pull to within 5-2.

In the sixth inning, Mount Olive's lead appeared to be in danger as Daniel Wood worked into trouble by loading the bases with two outs. Wood was able to get through relatively unscathed as he gave up only one run and forced pinch-hitter Jason Jennings into an inning-ending groundout.

Mount Olive then pushed home three insurance runs in the bottom of the inning, with the key hit coming on Houin's RBI triple.

Houin finished game 2 for 4 with a run scored and four RBI while Nordan finished 3 for 3 with three runs scored and a RBI to lead Mount Olive.

Ellis (1-1) picked up the victory in game two, going four innings while giving up two runs on four hits, walked two and struck out three.

Mount Olive improves to 8-5 on the season and plays in-state rival Shaw University today at 2:30 p.m. at Scarborough Field.

Game one

Virginia State 000 001 0 -- 1 7 0

Mount Olive 301 412 x -- 11 10 0

Leading Hitters -- Virginia State -- Michael Knight 2-3, 1 run; Jason Jennnings 2-3; Jeff Shelton 1-3, 1 RBI. Mount Olive -- Erk Lovett 2-3, 2 HR, 4 RBI; Dustin Richardson 1-3, 2B, 2 RBI; David Cooper 1-4, 2 RBI; Scott Houin 1-2, 3B, 2 Runs.


Virginia State

Pinder (L, 0-2) 4 6 8 8 4 4

Olsen 2 4 3 3 2 0

Mount Olive

Pennington (W, 1-0) 4 3 0 0 1 3

Buhrow 2 4 1 1 2 1

Newsome 1 0 0 0 0 1

Game two

Virginia State 000 201 0 -- 3 7 2

Mount Olive 401 003 x -- 8 9 1

Leading Hitters -- Virginia State -- DeWayne White 2-3, 2B, 2 Runs; Brandon Crump 2-3, 1 Run; Michael Knight 2-3. Mount Olive -- Scott Houin 2-4, HR, 3B, 1 run, 4 RBI; Stephen Nordan 3-3, 2 SB, 3 Runs, 1 RBI, Anthony Williams 2-3, 1 Run; David Cooper 1-2, SF, 1 Run, 1 RBI, 2 SB.


Virginia State

Gibson (L, 0-2) 6 9 8 8 4 3

Mount Olive

Ellis (W, 1-1) 4 4 2 2 2 3

Wood 2 2 1 1 1 3

Ball 1 0 0 0 0 2