04/27/09 — Mount Olive sweeps Chowan

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Mount Olive sweeps Chowan

By MOC Sports Information
Published in Sports on April 27, 2009 1:50 PM

MOC Sports Information

MURFREESBORO -- Joseph Westbrook slugged a first-inning, grand-slam home run and delivered a career-best five RBI as Mount Olive College crushed Chowan University 25-1 in game one of a non-conference baseball doubleheader Sunday afternoon.

Andy Hilliard homered, Rich Racobaldo supplied four RBI and Alex Vertcnik pitched the final inning as the Trojans claimed the nightcap, 14-3. Hilliard finished the day 7 for 10.

Mount Olive (33-18 overall) concluded regular-season play with a five-game win streak. The Trojans secured their fourth consecutive 30-win season and 12th overall in the program's Division II era.

Left-hander Paul Novicki retired 15 of 17 batters he faced and held Chowan hitless until Michael Taylor swatted a fifth-inning, solo home run. Novicki (4-0) allowed just two base runners during his final collegiate appearance on the hill.

T.J. Hinson and Jordan Corbett each provided one inning of scoreless relief in the seven-inning contest.

Westbrook and Hilliard paced Mount Olive's, season-high 26-hit attack with four hits apiece. Topher Ellis emerged one of three Trojans with three hits. Dylan Holton and Airlon Vinson each plated four runs.

The 25-run output was also a season high.

Mount Olive tallied single runs in each of the first two innings, but broke game two open with a six-run, third-inning uprising. Westbrook and Hilliard each cranked out an RBI single and Racobaldo capped the surge with a two-RBI base knock.

Jesse Lancaster swiped his team-leading 24th stolen base in the fourth inning as the Trojans extended their advantage to 10-0.

The Hawks averted the shutout with a fifth-inning homer, but Racobaldo and Vertcnik each stroked a two-RBI hit in the seventh inning. The duo played their final collegiate game along with Hilliard. Senior pitchers Pat Ball and Ryan Kussmaul made their final appearances earlier in the week.

David Travis claimed the mound win. David Combs and Chris Nardini each tossed one inning of relief.