01/07/10 — MOC baseball ranked 30th

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MOC baseball ranked 30th

By MOC Sports Information
Published in Sports on January 7, 2010 1:46 PM

MOC Sports Information

MOUNT OLIVE -- Mount Olive College is ranked No. 30 in the College Baseball Division II preseason poll released Wednesday.

The Trojans logged a 33-18 record last season and finished second in Conference Carolinas regular-season play. MOC did not receive a regional bid after capturing the Division II College World Series championship in 2008.

Senior left fielder Jesse Lancaster, a preseason All-America candidate, returns after batting .354 last spring. The Eastern Wayne graduate slugged five home runs, collected 56 RBI and swiped 24 bases in 27 attempts. He is a two-time All-Conference Carolinas pick and a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-District honoree.

Other key returnees include first baseman Airlon Vinson, outfielder Jackson Massey (.351), second baseman Dylan Holton, outfielder/designated hitter Joseph Westbrook, catcher Tyler Smith and outfielder Kyle Hinrichs.

On the mound, Ryan Williams was 2-2 with a 2.13 earned run average in 12 appearances, including 11 in a relief role. Craig Beasley posted a 2-1 record in 13 appearances, including one start. Brent Haynes earned Conference Carolinas Pitcher of the Week honors last year and his seven starts are the most among returning pitchers.

Emporia State (Kan.), the Division II runner-up last season, is ranked No. 1 in the preseason. Mount Olive is among Southeast Region teams ranked in the top 40. Fellow Conference Carolinas members Barton, Belmont Abbey and Erskine also received votes in the poll.

The Trojans open their 2010 campaign at home Feb. 6-7 with a three-game, non-conference series against in-state rival Lenoir-Rhyne of the South Atlantic Conference.

Mount Olive will play 16 of its first 18 games at home, including weekend series against Conference Carolinas Coker (S.C.) College and Anderson (S.C.) University.