03/07/10 — Mount Olive splits doubleheader with Pfeiffer

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Mount Olive splits doubleheader with Pfeiffer

By MOC Sports Information
Published in Sports on March 7, 2010 1:50 AM

MOC Sports Information

MISENHEIMER -- Mike Knox belted a school record-tying three home runs for the second time this season and Jeremy Nowak struck out four of the five batters he faced in relief as nationally second-ranked Mount Olive held on for a 10-7 victory over Pfeiffer in game one of a Conference Carolinas baseball on Saturday.

In the nightcap, Eric Shoemaker's walk-off two-run homer to straightaway centerfield with two outs in the bottom of the seventh gave the Trojans their first loss of the season as Pfeiffer pulled out a 7-6 victory.

Mount Olive is now 16-1 overall and 6-1 in Conference Carolinas play. The 16 consecutive wins to start the season are the second most in school history. The Trojans began the 1999 season 25-0. Pfeiffer is now 10-12 overall and 6-5 in the conference.

Knox, who finished with seven runs batted in, hit three home runs six days ago against Shippensburg. Knox is the fourth Trojan overall to hit three home runs in a game and the first to do it twice in a career, let alone in a season. Nowak leads the Trojans with 11 home runs this year.

In the opener, all the Trojans needed to do was get Knox to the plate. In the first, after a pair of walks to Jesse Lancaster and Jeremy Nowak, Knox cleared the bases with his first of the day out to left.

Myles Pearl put the Falcons on the board with his lead-off, solo shot to right in the bottom of the frame.

Mount Olive took a 5-1 lead in the second scoring two runs on the same wild pitch with an error mixed in.

Ryan Faison led off with a double down the right-field line while Bobby Leeper was hit by a pitch, both scoring on the errant pitch and miscue. In the Falcon third, a two-out rally began with a dropped pop up in shallow left-center field. Preston Lyon made the Trojans pay just two hitters later with a three-run bomb to left making it a 5-4 contest.

After Lancaster singled in the Trojan fifth with Knox going yard again, Pfeiffer again came back with runs in the fifth and sixth to keep within striking distance at 7-6. Zack Pou had a round-tripper in the fifth while Shoemaker hit his first of the day in the sixth.

Nowak, before coming into to pitch, put the Trojans back up a pair in the seventh with a blast to left-center, only to see the Falcons get back to within one at 8-7 as Josh Strickland plated on a wild pitch in the eighth. Knox would seal the deal with his third home run of the opener with a two-run shot to left in the ninth. Nowak kept the inning alive with a two-out base hit.

Knox paced Mount Olive driving in seven of the 10 runs while Strickland was one of five Falcons to have a multi-hit game one leading the way with three. Pfeiffer outhit the Trojans 12-7 in game one, but Nowak was able to earn the save for starter Sean Lydon (Loveland, CO) finishing off the final 1.1 innings. Lydon improves to 5-0 on the season, while Nowak earns his second save.

Trailing by one entering the home half of the seventh in game two, Pou began the frame with a lead-off single to left bringing the winning run to the plate. After Lyon struck out swinging, Will Davis sent not one, but two potential game-winning homers down the left field line that just hooked foul, before reaching on a fielder's choice. With a 1-1 count and two out, Shoemaker delivered the Trojans their first loss in 17 games on his two-run shot to center.

Mount Olive took a 4-0 lead early as Nowak blasted off again scoring two in the first while picking up another RBI in the third in front of Dan Hayduk's (Browns Mill, NJ) run-scoring double. In the bottom of the third, Pfeiffer would take advantage of two Mount Olive errors to score five runs snagging a one-run lead.

Aarin Sharpe reached on a hit-by-pitch to start the frame. Pearl then came up with a two-base hit to left-center plating Sharpe. Pou followed with a single up the middle, sneaking into second on a center field miscue by the Trojans. Pearl scored on Pou's base hit. Lyon would come up big again with a two-run dinger to right before Shoemaker scored as Strickland reached on a fielding error at short.

As they had done all afternoon, Mount Olive roared back with two in the fourth taking a 6-5 lead. Leeper would single in Daniel Coffey (Granite Falls, NC) before later touching home on an outfield throwing error by the Shoemaker. That miscue set the table for Shoemaker's heroics in the seventh.

Pou and Lyon were the only Falcons to have a multi-hit nightcap each picking up a pair of hits while Leeper led the way for Mount Olive going 3-for-3 with an RBI and three runs scored.

Pfeiffer and Mount Olive will square off again today in the rubber-game of the three-game set. First pitch is set for 1:00 p.m.