04/29/07 — MOC sweeps Chowan; Lovett sets HR record

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MOC sweeps Chowan; Lovett sets HR record

By News-Argus Staff
Published in Sports on April 29, 2007 2:01 AM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Erik Lovett hit his 19th and 20th home runs of the season to set a new single-season school record as nationally 12th-ranked Mount Olive defeated Chowan 17-0 in game one of a non-conference baseball doubleheader Saturday at Scarborough Field.

Lovett added to his record with a home run in the nightcap, while Anthony Williams and Josh Harrison also homered as the Trojans completed the sweep and extended their winning streak to nine with an 18-5 victory. Stephen Nordan went 8-for-9 in the doubleheader, including a 5-for-6 performance in game one.

Lovett broke the record previously shared by Josh Stewart (2001) and Steve Parrish (2004). He also becomes the third player NCAA Division II player in the nation to reach the 20-home run mark this season.

Prior to the start of the first game, Mount celebrated senior day by honoring its 14 seniors, including four-year players Ryan Barham, Josh Carter, Phillip Pennington, Stephen Nordan and Dustin Richardson.

Mount Olive (46-11) broke a scoreless tie in the bottom of the fourth inning of the opener without benefit of a hit. Carter was hit by a pitch, advanced to third on a stolen base and a throwing error, and scored the game's first run on a wild pitch.

The Trojans struck for three runs in the fourth as Lovett hit his record-tying home run with Richardson on base to extend Mount Olive's lead to 3-0. Jason Sherrer, who was robbed of a home run in the second inning on a leaping catch at the fence by Chowan left fielder Mike Kellett, cleared the fence later in the inning for his seventh homer of the season.

Nordan's ground-rule RBI double -- his second double of the game -- ignited a two-run fifth inning for the Trojans. Nordan, who also doubled in the nightcap, entered the game ranked in the top 25 in the nation in doubles and increased his season total to 27.

The Trojans extended their lead to 10-0 with four runs in the sixth, highlighted by David Cooper's two-run double. Run-scoring singles by Graham Wooten, Williams and Nordan keyed a three-run seventh inning to make the score 13-0.

Lovett led off the bottom of the eighth inning and drilled a 1-0 pitch over the centerfield fence for the record breaker. The game was Lovett's fifth multi-home run performance this season. Jon Skelley added a towering two-run homer to left and Nordan capped the four-run inning with an RBI single.

Trojan starter Tom Layne (8-1) pitched six innings, scattering six hits, striking out six and walking one. Darrell Ellis recorded two strikeouts in two innings and Daniel Wood struck out two in the ninth.

Chowan starter Spencer Fagan (5-5) held Mount Olive to one hit and one unearned run through three innings before running into trouble in the fourth.

In the nightcap, Cooper led off the bottom of the first with a triple and scored on Nordan's double as Mount Olive jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead. Chowan (25-27) got on the scoreboard in the top of the second as Nate Mitchell led off with an infield single and eventually scored on a wild pitch. Robert Weaver added an RBI groundout to pull the Hawks within 3-2.

Mount Olive built its lead back to three in the bottom of the second as Williams hit a two-run homer, his first home run of the season and first career home run at Scarborough Field. After Chowan added a run in the top of the third, the Trojans extended the lead to 10-3 with five runs in the bottom of the third. Wooten drove in two runs with a bases loaded single and Cooper added a two-run double.

Joey Rider hit a two-run double with two outs in the top of the fourth as Chowan cut the Trojans' lead to 10-5. But that was as close as the Hawks would get.

Lovett led off the bottom of the fourth with his 21st home run of the season and Harrison added a solo shot as the Trojans exploded for seven runs in the inning. Lovett added an RBI single in the inning as Mount Olive sent 12 batters to the plate.

The Trojans capped the scoring in the sixth as Pennington, normally a pitcher, hit a two-out pinch-hit double in his first collegiate at-bat and pinch-runner Bradley Bradshaw scored on pitcher Ted Pelech's pinch-hit single.

Lovett, Nordan, Williams and Wooten drove in three runs apiece in game two.

Judson Smith (8-2) pitched the first four innings for the Trojans and tied Layne for the team lead in wins. Weston Curles, Barham and Rick Lawyer each pitched a scoreless inning of relief.

Chowan starter Ryan Leary (2-1) took the loss.

Mount Olive posted a 4-0 record against Chowan this season, but Saturday's scores were in sharp contrast to the scores from the first meeting. The Trojans won a doubleheader at Chowan in March by scores of 3-0 and 9-7.

The Trojans have won 28 of their last 31 games.

Saturday's doubleheader concluded Chowan's 2007 regular season.

Game 1

Mount Olive 17, Chowan 0

Chowan 000 000 000 -- 0 8 3

Mount Olive 010 324 34x -- 17 17 1

Pitchers: Chowan -- Spencer Fagan; Steven Brown(6); Steve Humphrey(7). Mount Olive -- Tom Layne; Darrell Ellis(7); Daniel Wood(9).

Win-Layne(8-1) Loss-Fagan, S.(5-5)

Hitters: Chowan -- Nate Mitchell (2-4); Brandon Hamlett (2-5). Mount Olive -- Stephen Nordan (5-6, 2 doubles, 4 RBI); Erik Lovett (3-4, 2 home runs, 4 RBI); David Cooper (2-5, double, triple, 2 RBI).

HR Mount Olive - Erik Lovett 2 (19); Jason Sherrer (7); Jon Skelley (2).

Brown, S. faced 3 batters in the 7th.


Game 2

Mount Olive 18, Chowan University 5

Chowan 021 200 0 -- 5 7 1

Mount Olive 325 701 x -- 18 19 1

Pitchers: Chowan -- Ryan Leary; Billy Coburn(3); Brookes Walker(4). Mount Olive -- Judson Smith; Weston Curles(5); Ryan Barham(6); Rick Lawyer(7).

Win-Smith(8-2) Loss-Leary, R.(2-1)

Hitters: Chowan -- Joey Rider (2-3, double, 2 RBI); P.J. Sadler (1-1, bb, sac). Mount Olive -- Stephen Nordan (3-3, double, triple, 3 RBI); Anthony Williams (2-3, home run, triple, 3 RBI); Erik Lovett (2-3, home run, 3 RBI); Graham Wooten (2-3, 3 RBI); Jason Sherrer (2-3, 2 doubles, 3 runs).

HR Mount Olive -- Erik Lovett (21); Josh Harrison (8); Anthony Williams (1).

T-2:02 A-364

-- MOC sports information