03/29/10 — MOC-Abbey

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By MOC Sports Information
Published in Sports on March 29, 2010 1:46 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Jeremy Nowak extended his hitting streak to 34 games, but Conference Carolinas baseball rival Belmont Abbey pushed across four unearned runs in the sixth inning and upset No. 4-ranked Mount Olive College 7-3 on Sunday afternoon.

The Trojans (29-5 overall, 14-4 CC) lost for the third time in their last six league games, and hold a one-game lead over nationally-ranked Erskine (S.C.) in regular-season play.

Nowak beat out an infield single in the bottom of the first to keep the streak alive. Nowak is now tied for the 11th-longest hitting streak in NCAA Division II baseball history and tied for the second-longest hitting streak to start a season.

Mount Olive had a chance to break the game open in the bottom of the first as the Trojans loaded the bases with nobody out on a lead-off walk to Bobby Leeper and back-to-back infield singles by Jesse Lancaster and Nowak.

Mike Knox, who leads the nation with 20 home runs and 73 RBI, drew a walk to put Mount Olive on the scoreboard. Dan Hayduk's RBI groundout out gave the Trojans a 2-0 lead.

Belmont Abbey escaped with a double play.

Mount Olive tied the game in the bottom of the fourth on Tyler Smith's RBI double after Joseph Westbrook drew a lead-off walk. Smith's double was the only hit allowed by Steven Thiele in 4 1/3 innings of relief.

Trojan starter Jackson Massey (3-1) retired the side in order in the third and fifth innings, and retired the first two batters of the sixth inning before Sobol's single ignited a string of six consecutive baserunners. After Tim Dye reached on an error, Belmont Abbey went ahead to stay when Sobol scored on a single by Torrente, his third RBI of the game. Chris Vasquez doubled home two runs and Matt Mazzola capped the scoring with an RBI single.

Six of the seven runs allowed by Massey were unearned.