04/17/10 — Trojans advance to tournament finals

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Trojans advance to tournament finals

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on April 17, 2010 11:16 PM

WILSON -- This was just what the doctor ordered.

Short on pitching, Mount Olive got a masterful pitching performance from Jackson Massey and plenty of offense in a 15-1 victory over Belmont Abbey in the Conference Carolinas tournament at Fleming Stadium in Wilson on Saturday afternoon.

The top-seeded Trojans (36-9 overall) advanced to face Pfeiffer in today's finals at noon. Mount Olive needs to win twice today to capture the tournament title and automatic bid to the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional.

Massey worked out of trouble with runners on first and second and one out, in the bottom of the third inning. He got Roland Rodriguez to fly out and he struck out Daniel Torrente to end the inning.

The senior left-hander struck out the side in the home half of the fourth after allowing a lead-off single. He struck out Torrente with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the seventh.

Massey finished with 12 strikeouts, allowed one earned run on nine hits and one walk in 7 1/3 innings of work. Already short on pitching, Massey's performance couldn't have come at a better time for Mount Olive.

"Jackson threw the ball well for us," said Trojans head coach Carl Lancaster. "We'll go with (Curtis) Hudson tomorrow in the first game and see how it goes. Our bullpen I feel like is rested up and our closer has only thrown an inning. We're OK as far as our pitching goes."

Thomas Newsome pitched the final 1 2/3 innings of relief.

Jesse Lancaster's two-run double gave Mount Olive a 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning. Jeremy Nowak followed with an RBI single that scored Lancaster.

Kyle Hinrichs' solo home run to right in the top of the third inning increased the Trojans' lead to 4-0. Ryan Faison's RBI double pushed the advantage to 5-0. Bobby Leeper added a sacrifice fly that scored Tyler Smith. Faison scored on an error as Mount Olive took a 7-0 lead.

Faison lined an RBI single to right scoring Topher Ellis in the top of fifth inning, which extended the lead to 8-0. Leeper tacked on an RBI groundout. Lancaster's RBI single scored Faison to make it 10-0.

Mount Olive boosted the advantage on a Crusaders' error in the top of the sixth. Leeper's bases-loaded walked put the Trojans in front 12-0.

Belmont Abbey pushed across a run in the bottom of the sixth as Tim Dye scored from third base on a wild pitch. Hinrichs lined an RBI single to center in the top of the seventh that scored Mike Knox and gave the Trojans a 13-1 lead.

Tyler Smith belted a solo homer to left to lead off the top of the eighth inning. Lancaster's RBI single increased the advantage to 15-1.

Mount Olive finished with 20 hits. Lancaster (four RBI) and Faison (two RBI) had four hits apiece.

"We really sat on some balls and let them get deep, and we sat backside," said Lancaster. "Overall, we played well. I think this win today puts us in position to get in the regional."