03/28/07 — No. 15-ranked Trojans sweep Wingate

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No. 15-ranked Trojans sweep Wingate

By MOC Sports Information
Published in Sports on March 28, 2007 1:48 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Casey Hodges and Tom Layne combined on a three-hit shutout as nationally 15th-ranked Mount Olive completed a doubleheader sweep and extended its winning streak to 14 with a 2-0 victory over Wingate in game two of a non-conference baseball doubleheader Tuesday at Scarborough Field.

The Trojans survived a last-inning rally in the opener as Stephen Nordan drove in three runs and Josh Harrison hit what proved to be the game-winning home run in the bottom of the sixth for a 9-8 victory over the Bulldogs. Harrison has homered in each of his last three games.

Mount Olive (32-8) jumped out to a 2-0 lead in game one as the Trojans took advantage of three consecutive walks with two outs in the bottom of the first and Josh Carter singled through the left side to drive in the first two runs of the game. Wingate (16-19) answered with a three-run second inning, highlighted by Bryan Bialecki's two-run single. The Bulldogs threatened for more with runners on the corners and one out, but Trojan right fielder Graham Wooten and doubled up the runner on first to end the inning.

Anthony Williams scored on a wild pitch in the bottom of the second to tie the game, but Wingate regained the lead in the third on Jay Barnes' RBI-single. Ted Pelech (1-0) relieved Trojan starter Phillip Pennington and got out of the inning on a ground ball to the mound.

Mount Olive loaded the bases in the bottom of the third as Nordan drove in two runs with a two-out single to center to put the Trojans ahead to stay 5-4. The Trojans scored a run in the fourth on Jason Sherrer's RBI-single and added a run in the fifth on Nordan's sacrifice fly.

Pelech held Wingate scoreless on three hits through 21/3 innings and Judson Smith retired the side in order in the sixth inning.

The Trojans scored in every inning and built their lead to five runs in the bottom of the sixth. Sherrer singled with one out and Harrison sent a 3-1 pitch over the right field fence for his fifth home run of the season to make it a 9-4 ballgame.

Wingate put together a four-run rally in the top of the seventh in the scheduled seven-inning game.

Shaughn Neal drew a leadoff walk and Josh Benton hit a two-run homer over the left field fence to pull the Bulldogs within 9-6. Trojan pitcher Daniel Wood twice was one strike away from ending the threat, but Barnes singled on a 1-2 pitch and Spencer Robinson followed with an RBI-double on an 0-2 pitch to cut the Trojans' lead to 9-7.

Patrick Ball took over on the mound and after Logan Beasley's RBI-single brought Wingate within a run, Ball ended the game on a strikeout for his fourth save of the season.

Dustin Richardson, Williams and Sherrer paced the Trojans' 12-hit attack with two hits apiece. Robinson had three of Wingate's 14 hits.

In the nightcap, Nordan reached on an error with one out in the bottom of the first, advanced to third on Scott Houin's single and scored when Houin was caught stealing. The score remained 1-0 until the sixth when Houin reached on an error with two outs, stole second and scored on Richardson's single up the middle.

Hodges (3-1) allowed two hits in the first inning, then held Wingate hitless over the next four innings. Hodges struck out three and walked none as he overcame three hit batsmen. Layne pitched the final two innings to earn his first save of the season, allowing one hit and retiring the side in order in the seventh. Layne struck out four of the seven batters he faced.

Wingate starter Bryan Bialecki (0-2) went the distance, allowing only five hits and holding Mount Olive to its lowest run total since the Trojans' fourth game of the season. Both Trojan runs were unearned.

Mount Olive is off until this weekend when the Trojans travel to Anderson, S.C., to resume Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference play with a three-game series against Anderson. The two teams play a doubleheader Saturday beginning at noon and conclude the series with a single game Sunday at 1 p.m.