04/17/09 — Anderson's Carson handcuffs MOC hitters

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Anderson's Carson handcuffs MOC hitters

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on April 17, 2009 1:47 PM

WILSON -- Anderson continues to puzzle Mount Olive College.

Blair Carson threw a complete game and seventh-seeded Anderson (S.C.) University defeated Mount Olive 4-2 in opening-round play of the 2009 Conference Carolinas baseball tournament on Thursday morning.

Anderson claimed its third win in four tries against MOC this season. Carson allowed two earned runs on five hits with four strikeouts and two walks on 128 pitches.

"Carson was tough," said MOC head coach Carl Lancaster said. "We didn't swing the bat, but give him credit he pitched well."

Anderson grabbed a 1-0 lead on Carson's two-out RBI double in the top of the first inning. Derek Hipp's two-out three-run triple in the top of the second extended the lower-seeded Trojans' advantage to 4-0.

"They had the bases loaded and it looked like we might get out of it," said Lancaster. "That (double) was a two-strike hit and he got all of it. That turned out to be the ballgame."

Mount Olive threatened with runners on first and second and one out in the bottom of the second inning. Carson got Joseph Westbrook to pop out and struck out Tyler Smith to get out of trouble.

Smith's one-out bases loaded walk in the home half of the fourth scored Jonathan Smith and trimmed the margin to 4-1. Dylan Holton's sacrifice fly scored Kevin Kearney and pulled Mount Olive to within 4-2.

Mount Olive relief pitcher Paul Novicki tossed six scoreless innings to keep the Trojans in the ballgame. The left-hander allowed five hits while striking out eight and walking one.

"Novicki, I thought, pitched his rear end off," said Lancaster.

Ryan Kussmaul took the loss on the mound for Mount Olive.

Carson wiggled out of trouble with Rich Racobaldo on third and two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning. The Anderson hurler got Jonathan Smith to fly out to end the threat.

"That's just the way baseball is," said Lancaster. "You have to score runs and we didn't. We didn't deserve to win."

Jackson Massey lined a two-out single to right field in the bottom of the ninth bringing Holton to the plate with an opportunity to slice into the Anderson lead. Carson struck Holton out on a called third strike to end the ballgame.