04/03/10 — Trojans' Knox matches program's single-season home run record

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Trojans' Knox matches program's single-season home run record

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on April 3, 2010 11:05 PM

MOC Sports Information

GAFFNEY, S.C. -- Mike Knox's grand slam home run -- his school record-tying 21st of the season -- capped an eight-run third inning, and No. 4-ranked Mount Olive College throttled Limestone 24-3 in Conference Carolinas baseball action Saturday afternoon.

Daniel Coffey tied another school record with a 6-for-6 performance for the Trojans, who assured themselves of a top-two seed in the season-ending league tournament.

Knox emerged just the second MOC player in school history to hit 20 homers in a season. He tied the single-season mark set by former Daktronics Division II player-of-the-year Erik Lovett in 2007.

A North Carolina transfer, Knox collected five RBI, giving him 82 for his career and one shy of matching the school record (83) set by current assistant coach Jason Sherrer.

Meanwhile, Coffey swatted a seventh-inning home run -- a three-run shot -- and added five base knocks. He became the third Trojan to record six hits in a game along with teammate Bobby Leeper and Jonathan Pullen, who established the mark in 2004 against St. Andrews.

Mount Olive (32-7 overall, 16-5 CC) broke the scoreless tie on Tyler Smith's two-RBI double and Ryan Faison's RBI double. MOC scored in eight of nine innings and seized the three-game series, 2-1.

Trojan starter Jackson Massey (4-1) worked on a one-hitter in six scoreless innings. T.J. Hinson, Thomas Newsome and Jared Mortensen combined to throw three innings of three-hit relief.

Airlon Vinson (2 RBI) homered for MOC and finished with three hits. Preseason All-American candidate Jesse Lancaster doubled twice and plated five runs in five at-bats. Joseph Westbrook batted 4-for-7 with a double, and scored five runs.

Limestone won the opener, 5-4, on Friday.

Mount Olive responded with a 10-8, 10-inning victory in the nightcap. Jeremy Nowak's two-out, two-RBI double sealed the comeback.

Senior right-hander David Combs pitched two scoreless innings of relief to claim the mound win.

The Trojans conclude regular-season play next weekend at No. 23-ranked Erskine. The three-game set begins with one contest on Friday and a doubleheader on Saturday.

The series winner secures the regular-season championship and No. 1 seed for the conference tournament.