Hodges one-hitter lift Mount Olive to title game
By News-Argus Staff
Published in Sports on May 20, 2007 2:12 AM
MOC Sports Information
KINSTON -- Casey Hodges retired the last 19 batters he faced and finished with a one-hitter as top-seeded Mount Olive College defeated Georgia College & State University 5-0 in the South Atlantic Regional on Saturday afternoon.
Hodges' complete game came on the heels of Tom Layne's 10-inning effort one day earlier against Armstrong Atlantic State (Ga.) University.
The No. 6-ranked Trojans broke the single-season school record for wins (49) and advanced to today's championship game at 1 p.m. The regional winner advances to the Division II College World Series in Montgomery, Ala., next weekend.
Mount Olive threatened in the bottom of the first on consecutive one-out singles by Stephen Nordan and Dustin Richardson, but GCSU starter Michael Antonini (7-6) notched an inning-ending strikeout.
Antonini held the Trojans to four hits through the first six innings.
Hodges (7-1) retired the first five batters he faced before giving up a two-out walk in the top of the second. Jeff Kolve drew a lead-off walk in the top of the third and Brett DiFelice spoiled Hodges' no-hit bid when beat out a bunt single to the first base side of the mound.
Justin Mills' sacrifice moved Bobcats runners into scoring position. Hodges sandwiched two strikeouts between a walk to escape any damage.
The Trojans broke up the pitcher's duel in the bottom of the seventh when Josh Carter lined a single to center field and Scott Houin followed with a single through the right side. Graham Wooten singled one out later to load the bases and Michael Newman took over on the mound for Antonini.
Anthony Williams hit a high chopper over the mound, resulting in a run-scoring ground out to give the Trojans a 1-0 lead. David Cooper lined a single to center to score Wooten and Houin as Mount Olive extended its lead to 3-0.
The Trojans added a pair of insurance runs in the eighth as Erik Lovett drew a two-out walk and scored on Carter's double off the wall in left-center field. Carter came home when Houin's ground ball to the right side was misplayed.
Hodges overcame 3-0 counts to retire the first two batters in the top of the ninth on flyouts to left field. Daniel Heflin lined a ball off Hodges, but Hodges recovered in time to throw Heflin out at first for the game's final out.
Hodges struck out four and walked three in his longest outing of the season. He went six innings twice this year.
MOC 4, AASU 2
Jason Sherrer's two-out, two-RBI single forced extra innings against second-seeded AASU.
Layne (9-1) allowed seven hits through the first five innings in Friday's game, but limited the Pirates to a pair of singles the rest of the way. AASU put a runner in scoring position in the nith, but Layne recorded an inning-ending strikeout.
Wooten's bases-loaded, two-out RBI single broke a 2-2 tie in the 10th inning. Houin singled home an insurance run as Mount Olive remained alive in the championship portion of the double-elimination tournament.
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