03/31/09 — MOC splits double header with Belmont Abbey

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MOC splits double header with Belmont Abbey

By MOC Sports Information
Published in Sports on March 31, 2009 1:46 PM


Sports Information

BELMONT -- Dylan Holton ignited a six-run, sixth-inning uprising and Kyle Jones stymied a seventh-inning rally as Mount Olive upended Belmont Abbey 7-6 in game one of their Conference Carolinas doubleheader on Monday afternoon.

The Crusaders took the nightcap 6-4 and won the best-of-three series 2-1 at Abbey Yard.

Down 2-1 in the sixth inning, the Trojans' Kevin Kearney singled and Jonathan Smith walked. Joseph Westbrook scored Kearney for the 2-2 tie and Kyle Hinrichs legged out an infield single to load the bases.

Holton stroked a two-RBI double down the right-field line and Hinrichs crossed the plate when Jesse Lancaster reached on a fielder's choice. Lancaster stole second base, drew a throwing error from the Crusaders and Holton scampered home.

Airlon Vinson's RBI groundout capped the six-run outburst and gave Mount Olive a 7-6 lead.

Belmont Abbey rallied in the seventh.

Trojan left-hander Paul Novicki, who relieved starter Ryan Kussmaul in the fourth inning, gave up a single, double and walk to fuel the Crusaders' final comeback attempt.

Tyler McKenzie logged an RBI on a bases-loaded walk to make it 7-3. Jones replaced Novicki and permitted a two-RBI single to Daniel Kassouf to pull Belmont Abbey within 7-5.

Justin Vasquez closed the gap to 7-6 on a sacrifice fly, but Jones held firm. The East Carolina transfer recorded back-to-back strikeouts to earn his second save of the season.

Kearney and Racobaldo paced Mount Olive's 10-hit attack with two hits apiece as eight of the nine Trojan starters collected at least each one hit. The win snapped Mount Olive's three-game losing skid.

Racobaldo cranked his team-leading ninth home run of the season and Holton collected an RBI single during the early innings of game two. But the Crusaders plated single runs in the third, fourth, fifth and sixth innings to prevent the Trojans from taking the league series.

Mount Olive (20-16 overall, 6-6 CC) entertains Division III member N.C. Wesleyan on Wednesday. First pitch is 6 p.m. at Scarborough Field.