Trojans stay hot in the cold
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on March 19, 2007 2:36 PM
MOUNT OLIVE -- A depleted St. Andrews College bullpen, down to its lone fresh pitcher, was no match for offensive juggernaut Mount Olive College on Sunday afternoon.
The Trojans hammered right-handed starter Ryan Kirkman in the opening inning and pounded out 15 hits overall in a 12-1 dismantling of the Knights. Mount Olive (25-8 overall) swept a Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference opponent for the second time this season, and climbed to 10-2 in league play.
Five Trojan pitchers combined for a five-hitter and eight shutout innings in cold, windy conditions. Eight of nine Mount Olive starters produced one or more hits offensively, while seven scored at least one or more runs.
The Trojans outscored St. Andrews 37-10 in the three-game set and have collected 83 runs in their last six outings overall.
"Obviously, we don't have the answers," said St. Andrews head coach Chris Chaffinch. "I don't know what to tell you. There's nothing I can really say at this point. The game speaks for itself."
Kirkman, a sophomore, entered the game with the second-lowest ERA on the Knights' pitching staff. The 6-foot-2, 185-pounder threw 39 pitches in the first inning and yielded three earned runs on five consecutive hits.
Scott Houin, Dustin Richardson and Josh Carter combined for three RBI during that stretch. All three Trojans concluded the day with two hits apiece.
Kirkman (2-4) escaped trouble in the second when the Knights turned an inning-ending double play. Richardson belted a solo home run in the third and Kirkman headed to the dugout after walking Erik Lovett.
"I said 'guys, they've held back their number one pitcher for the third game and that tells you they're going to take their best shot to get one (in the series),'" said MOC head coach Carl Lancaster. "Let's go out there and treat it as if it is game one, and I thought we did. We've harped on it from day one that you never underestimate your opponent; don't care who is because you've got to play your game.
"So far, for the most part, we've come out early and done the things we've needed to do (to get ahead)."
Mount Olive, ranked No. 26 in the latest Collegiate Baseball Division II top 30 poll, tacked on four runs in the fourth. Lovett (3-for-3) popped up behind the plate and St. Andrews catcher Zach Dunn couldn't record the out the end in the inning.
Lovett tattooed the next pitch down the right-field line and cleared the bases with three-RBI double. The Trojans failed to scratch in the fifth and sixth, but put the game away with a four-run seventh. Stephen Nordan highlighted the final uprising with a two-out, two-RBI single and finished the day 3-for-5.
"After we got up eight, our attitude at the plate changed and that's understandable," said Lancaster. "I'm not going to harp on that as long as when the game is tight, and they go in there to play team ball; move people around."
Trojan right-hander Daniel Ellis surrendered two hits and struck out one in five innings. The 6-foot-4, 210-pound junior benefited from three double plays and allowed one earned run during his fifth start of the season.
Lancaster called on his bullpen to pitch the final four innings. Ted Pelech threw a perfect sixth. Anthony Hernandez, Paul Buhrow and Patrick Ball combined for three innings of three-hit, three-strikeout relief.
"Our pitching was solid, I thought, all day long," said Lancaster. "Ellis was a bit erratic. Paul was a little out of synch, but we're not giving him any (mound) time. We've got a game Wednesday at Chowan and will try to get him a few innings.
"He and Teddy are pretty good pitchers. They need to get out there and throw some for us."
Mount Olive leads the series against St. Andrews 15-8 since 2002, and have won 9 of 12 outings that have counted toward the CVAC standings. After the Chowan doubleheader, the Trojans travel to archrival Barton for a three-game series March 24-25.
St. Andrews 010 000 000 -- 1 5 2
Mount Olive 301 000 00x -- 12 15 0
Leading hitters -- St. Andrews -- Sam Williams 2-2; Eric Stone 1-2, RBI. Mount Olive -- Stephen Nordan 3-5, 2B, 2 RBI; Scott Houin 2-4, RBI; Dustin Richardson 2-3, HR, 2 RBI; Erik Lovett 3-3, 2B, 3 RBI; Josh Carter 2-3, 2B, RBI.
DP -- Mount Olive 3, St. Andrews 1. LOB -- St. Andrews 8, Mount Olive 8. SB -- Houin, Lovett, Carter, Wooten. CS -- Lovett. SF -- Cooper, Sherrer.
IP H R ER BB SO
Kirkman (L, 2-4) 21/3 7 4 4 2 0
Chrusch 11/3 3 4 1 1 0
Rabon 21/3 0 0 0 1 1
Child 1/3 2 3 3 2 0
Cudney 12/3 2 0 0 1 1
Ellis (W, 3-1) 5 2 1 1 3 1
Pelech 1 0 0 0 0 2
Hernandez 1 1 0 0 0 0
Buhrow 1 1 0 0 2 0
Ball 1 1 0 0 0 3
HBP -- Weber (by Ellis), Williams (by Ellis).
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