04/16/10 — Anderson stuns top-seeded MOC

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Anderson stuns top-seeded MOC

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on April 16, 2010 1:46 PM

WILSON -- This nightmare has to be getting old for Mount Olive.

The top-seeded Trojans' late-inning rally fell short and sixth-seeded Anderson pulled off a stunning, 10-7 upset during opening-round play of the 2010 Conference Carolinas baseball tournament Thursday evening.

It was a rematch of last year's first-round contest won by Anderson.

MOC opposed Barton at 11 this morning in an elimination game.

The Trojans (34-9 overall) scored three runs with two outs in the bottom of the first inning. Mike Knox delivered an RBI double to left center and Airlon Vinson belted a two-run homer to right field.

Anderson (18-32) answered with Ryan Kirkland's RBI double down the left field line that scored Ryan Saxon. Brett Scarberry's sac-fly scored Kirkland and Thomas Padro's RBI single tied the game at 3-3.

Mount Olive aided Anderson's three-run second inning by committing three errors and it finished with five in the game.

"We gave the ballgame away," said Mount Olive head coach Carl Lancaster. "They just outplayed us and they do it every year. We didn't pitch the ball very well tonight. We let them get ahead and we didn't have a lot of fight in us at that point."

Saxon hit a towering two-run homer to left field off Mount Olive starting pitcher Sean Lydon in the top of the third inning to give Anderson a 5-3 lead.

Lydon was chased from the mound in the top of the fourth with runners on first and second and one out. The senior right-hander surrendered five runs (three earned) on five hits, walked three and struck out six in the pitching loss.

Padro's two-out two-run single off Mount Olive reliever Curtis Hudson extended Anderson's advantage to 7-3 in the top of the fifth inning.

Along with Lydon and Hudson, Mount Olive also used David Combs and Ryan Williams out of the bullpen. Without an abundance of reliable arms, Mount Olive's pitching situation remains up in the air for the remainder of the weekend.

"It's awful," said Lancaster. "We used two starters and lost. We used two starters and our best guy out of the pen. They kicked us right in the rear end."

Erick Sanderson's solo homer to left field increased the lead to 8-3 in the top of the seventh. Derek Hipp added an RBI groundout.

Jesse Lancaster's RBI single in the home half of the seventh cut the margin to 9-4. Jeremy Nowak followed with a two-run home run to right field to pull Mount Olive to within 9-6.

Mount Olive put runners on first and second with two outs and had the tying run at the plate, but Anderson reliever T.J. Estes got Topher Ellis to fly out to end the seventh.

Anderson picked up a run on a hit batter with the bases loaded in the top of the ninth.

Knox's RBI double in the bottom of the ninth inning scored Lancaster. Estes retired Vinson and Joseph Westbrook to end the ballgame. Knox (two RBI) and Westbrook both had three hits.