02/11/09 — Dogs caged: Trojans' Dail throws four-plus scoreless innings

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Dogs caged: Trojans' Dail throws four-plus scoreless innings

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on February 11, 2009 1:50 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Welcome back to college baseball B.J. Dail.

After a two-year absence, the North Carolina transfer shined in his Mount Olive College debut on Tuesday evening. Averaging speeds in the high 80s, Dail threw four-plus innings of scoreless relief as the Trojans dumped in-state rival Wingate University 7-1 in game two of a doubleheader at Scarborough Field.

In the opener, Dylan Holton and Airlon Vinson each delivered a fifth-inning RBI double in a 3-0 victory over the Bulldogs. JUCO transfer Ryan Williams earned his first save in relief of right-hander Pat Ball, who yielded nine hits and benefited from two double plays.

"Overall, I thought we had a good day today," said Mount Olive head coach Carl Lancaster. "We played ... today ... the best defense we've played all year and that's kind of been our Achilles' heel. We just haven't made routine basic plays and today we did."

The Trojans (5-3 overall) turned four double plays in the two-game series and committed just one error in 14 innings. The Bulldogs (2-5) batted 0 for 11 with runners in scoring position in the opening game and manufactured just one run on seven hits in the nightcap.

Dail replaced starter Brandon Sutton, who surrendered an earned run on five hits in 12/3 innings in the second game. The right-hander threw 10 first-pitch strikes to 13 batters he faced and notched four strikeouts.

"B.J. looked real good tonight and I was glad to see him on our team," said Lancaster. "I think he's going to help us. He looked as good as anybody we've had on the mound in long time and that's great for him. For his first outing, I was really shocked that he was as good as he was on the mound."

Trailing 1-0, Mount Olive flexed its muscle against Wingate left-hander Blake Troutman in the second inning. The 5-foot-11, 240-pound freshman gave the Trojans fits with his soft-throwing style and challenged them with a change-up -- until Jesse Lancaster stepped into the box.

With two runners aboard and two outs, Lancaster crushed Troutman's first-pitch offering high into the trees over the left field fence. It was Lancaster's first dinger of the season and the team's fifth.

"Jesse got all of that one ... he really did," chuckled coach Lancaster. "I was really glad to see that left-hander go. He was throwing the change-up first-pitch down and I told Jesse sooner or later, he's going to leave one up.

"If you can get ahold of it, get all of it."

Three batters later, former Charleston Southern standout Will Rodriguez smashed his first homer of the season -- a three-run blast in nearly the same spot as Lancaster off Bulldogs reliever Ed Cook.

Dail did the rest before giving way to bullpen mate Craig Beasley in the seventh.

"B.J. was real excited to get back and play again," said coach Lancaster.

In the opener, Ball escaped two bases-loaded jams via the double-play ball. Shortstop Rich Racobaldo single-handedly turned a twin-killing in the third inning, and combined with Holton and Vinson to complete a fourth-inning DP.

Mount Olive spoiled Tyler Almond's no-hit and shutout bid in the fifth inning. Lancaster stroked a lead-off single to shallow left field, stole second and scored on Holton's one-out double. Vinson followed with a two-strike, RBI double to make it 2-0.

Tyler Smith accounted for the Trojans' third run, which occurred on a sixth-inning infield error.

"We got some timely hits and had some guys come up big for us," said coach Lancaster. "I'd rather have four hits and win than nine hits like they did and lose."