04/18/08 — Curles records stroung outing

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Curles records stroung outing

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on April 18, 2008 3:28 PM

WILSON -- Consider the message sent loud and clear.

Derailing top-seeded Mount Olive's journey toward a third consecutive Conference Carolinas tournament title is going to take an opponent's best effort and then some.

Weston Curles took a no-hitter into the seventh and the Trojans erupted for 14 hits in an 11-0 shellacking of ninth-seeded Coker in the tournament's opening round on Thursday at Fleming Stadium.

Mount Olive (41-4 overall) advanced to face Anderson today at 1 p.m. Anderson defeated Barton 3-2 in 10 innings on Thursday evening.

Rather than use one of his three aces in Thursday's opener, 22-year head coach Carl Lancaster opted to give the ball to Curles. With hurlers Casey Hodges, Ryan Schlecht and Mike Williams still at his disposal for the weekend, Lancaster's decision to use Curles turned out just fine.

"You've got to go out on a limb sometimes," Lancaster said. "Weston pitched a heck of a game. That's where if he doesn't do good, then everybody questions what I'm doing. I guess that's why I've won 700 games.

"I told some people if it doesn't work out it was my decision and I would be the one to have to live with it."

Curles (4-0), a senior in his sixth year with the program, had a perfect game until Anthony Williams' error in the sixth.

With the Cobras trailing 10-0 in the seventh Trey Lynch broke up Curles' no-hitter with a bunt single. The Hertford native, in his first conference tournament start since 2004, allowed three hits, struck out four and walked none on 90 pitches in eight innings of work.

"I had pretty good command today for the most part," Curles said. "I mean giving up a hit sucks, but at the same time you've got to realize you're up 10 runs. Nobody's perfect. This is probably the best I've thrown all year."

Dylan Holton's RBI single in the bottom of the second put Mount Olive on top 1-0. Alex Vertcnik's two-run homer to right stretched the lead to 3-0. RBI singles from Jason Sherrer and Rich Racobaldo along with Josh Harrison's sacrifice fly helped the Trojans open up a 6-0 advantage.

Vertcnik, Sherrer, Harrison and Eric Lovett all drove in runs as a part of a four-run, sixth inning for Mount Olive. Sherrer and Lovett ripped back-to-back RBI triples.

Vetcnik finished 2-for-4 with three RBI and three runs scored. Sherrer, who was named the Conference Carolinas player of the year, also went 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored. Harrison added a pair of hits, two RBI and a run scored. David Cooper was 3-for-5 with two runs scored and a pair of stolen bases.

Nine of the 10 Trojan players recorded hits.

"We were very patient at the plate and made the guys throw strikes and we've been that way all year," Lancaster said. "We usually get much better after we've seen a pitcher once. I'm not so sure if people wouldn't be better off using one pitcher every inning.

"If we can see them once we usually make some adjustments to them."

Freshman Tyler Smith tacked on an RBI single in the eighth to cap Mount Olive's scoring. Craig Beasley tossed a scoreless ninth in relief.