02/25/08 — MOC baseball downs St. Andrews

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MOC baseball downs St. Andrews

By MOC Sports Information
Published in Sports on February 25, 2008 2:21 PM

LAURINBURG -- Rich Racobaldo hit two home runs and Jason Sherrer added a three-run shot as No. 2-ranked Mount Olive defeated St. Andrews 11-2 in the final game of their three-game, Conference Carolinas baseball series on Sunday afternoon.

The Trojans (16-1 overall) claimed their 14th consecutive win and completed a sweep of the Knights, who remained winless in six league outings this season. Since 2006, Mount Olive has won 11 straight conference series and boasts a 37-4 record during that span, which includes regular-season and tournament competition.

Also, the Trojans could ascend to the No. 1 spot in today's Collegiate Baseball top 30 poll. Defending national champion Tampa (Fla.) suffered a pair of losses this weekend.

Against St. Andrews, Mount Olive quickly broke the scoreless tie in the first inning. Dylan Holton hit a one-out single, stole second, advanced to third on a groundout and scored on a wild pitch.

The Knights answered with back-to-back home runs from Tyler Wolfe and J.T. Maguire, but would fail to score the remainder of the nine-inning affair.

Trojan starter Michael Williams (3-0), who surrendered a second-inning single, combined with relievers Todd Jeffreys and Patrick Ball to hold St. Andrews hitless the rest of the way. Jeffreys took over with one out in the sixth and retired all seven batters he faced in 2 1/3 innings.

Ball retired the side in order on five pitches in the ninth.

Mount Olive tied the game in the fifth as Holton's double to left center drove in David Cooper, who was hit by a pitch and stole second. Holton eventually scored from third on Alex Vertcnik's RBI ground out to put the Trojans ahead to stay.

Racobaldo gave Mount Olive some breathing room with a two-run homer in the sixth and Jesse Lancaster scored on Anthony Williams' sacrifice fly to extend the lead to 6-2. Cooper's sacrifice fly in the eighth made it a five-run lead before the Trojans used the long ball to break the game open in the ninth.

Vertcnik led off the ninth with a single and advanced to third on Erik Lovett's double. One out later, Sherrer drove a pitch over the left field fence for his team-leading fifth home run of the season, which extended the lead to 10-2.

Racobaldo then capitalized on a "green light" and sent a 3-0 pitch out of the park to cap the scoring and give the Trojans back-to-back home runs. Racobaldo's home runs give him three on the season. Overall, Mount Olive finished with seven extra-base hits in its 11-hit attack at Coy Field on the Scotland County High School campus.

Racobaldo, Cooper, Holton and Lancaster had two hits apiece for the Trojans.

Mount Olive visits Chowan University for a doubleheader on Tuesday. Game one begins at 1 p.m.