05/19/08 — MOC wins South Atlantic Regional, will go to College World Series

View Archive

MOC wins South Atlantic Regional, will go to College World Series

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on May 19, 2008 2:02 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- The Mount Olive College Trojan baseball team won eight to three against the Pacers today, earning their first-ever trip to the Division II College World Series.

Gusty winds and heavy rains this weekend had suspended the NCAA Division II South Atlantic Regional championship game with the Trojans leading 4-2 and batting in the top of the eighth inning.

Play resumed at 11 this morning with Mount Olive's Erik Lovett on first base with no outs. Josh Harrison faced a 1-0 count at the plate.

The No. 1-ranked Trojans (53-6 overall) forced a winner-take-all contest with a 13-2 victory over the third-seeded Pacers in the first game of the day. It was USC-Aiken's first loss in the, six-team double-elimination tournament.

Mount Olive right-hander Kyle Jones, in his first start of the season, threw a phenomenal four-plus innings. The East Carolina transfer retired the first 13 batters he faced and carried a perfect game into the fifth inning.

The Pacers broke up Jones' perfect-game and shutout bid in the inning. Gary Asbill's sacrifice fly pulled USC-Aiken within 8-1.

Jones (3-0) permitted two unearned runs on four hits, logged four strikeouts and didn't issue a walk. He retired the Pacers in order in seven of nine innings and became the second Trojan pitcher to throw a complete game in the regional.

Run support for Jones wasn't a problem.

Jason Sherrer grounded into a double play to drive in a first-inning run. Anthony Williams' second-inning, RBI sacrifice fly and David Cooper's RBI single increased the lead to 3-0.

Sherrer (2-for-5, 3 RBI) stroked a third-inning, RBI single down the third-base line. The senior catcher trotted home when Erik Lovett smashed a two-run homer deep to left center field to make it 6-0. It was Lovett's third dinger of the regional and 17th of the season.

The bases-clearing blast chased Aiken starter Beau Hill from the mound.

Dylan Holton and Rich Racobaldo (3-for-6, RBI) capped the Trojans' five-run uprising. Hill (2-2) emerged the losing pitcher as USC-Aiken (47-16) relied on four hurlers to close out the first game.

Mount Olive added five fifth-inning runs and cruised to its 36th home win of the season. Every batter contributed at least one hit in the Trojans' 16-hit attack.

For more on Monday's action, please see Tuesday's print edition of the Goldsboro News-Argus.