02/12/08 — Trojan baseball jumps No. 2 in two national polls

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Trojan baseball jumps No. 2 in two national polls

By MOC Sports Information
Published in Sports on February 12, 2008 2:54 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Mount Olive earned its highest-ever national ranking in any sport, tying at No. 2 in this week's Collegiate Baseball Division II top 30 and taking sole possession of the No. 2 spot in the Ping Baseball Division II top 30.

Mount Olive (6-1 overall) posted a 4-0 record last week, including a three-game sweep over Lenoir-Rhyne over the weekend. The Trojans have scored 10-plus runs in each of their last four outings and have outscored their opponents 45-17.

Trojan head coach Carl Lancaster is appreciative of the ranking, but is also quick to put it in perspective.

"It's an honor to receive such a high ranking, but it's early," said Lancaster, last year's Conference Carolinas coach of the year. "I think the ranking is as much a tribute to what we did last year and to the tradition we've built here."

Mount Olive earned a No. 6 ranking in last year's final regular-season poll, and was the top seed and host for the 2007 NCAA Division II South Atlantic Regional. The Trojans were regional runners-up, coming within a game of advancing to the Division II College World Series.

Baseball is one of three Trojan sports teams to earn top-10 national rankings. The Mount Olive men's basketball was ranked as high as No. 5 during the 2005-06 season. The Trojan men's soccer team peaked at No. 7 during the 2005 season.

Lancaster notes there will be little, if any, celebration over his team's ranking.

"As a team, we don't even discuss the rankings," said Lancaster. "It's just a matter of coming out here every day, working hard and playing our game. It's not about where you start, but rather a matter of how we improve throughout the season.

"Of course, this probably makes us a bigger target."

After its seven-game homestand, Mount Olive visits in-state member Wingate for a doubleheader on Wednesday. The Trojans return home for back-to-back doubleheaders Saturday and Sunday against Shippensburg (Pa.) University.