05/10/10 — MOC -- Southeast Regional

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MOC -- Southeast Regional

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on May 10, 2010 1:59 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- No respect, again.

Ranked No. 2 throughout the season in the Division II Southeast Region baseball poll, Mount Olive College took a surprising plunge when the 48-team field was unveiled for the 2010 NCAA Championships late Sunday evening.

The Trojans (40-9 overall) drew the No. 4 seed for the Southeast Regional, which begins Thursday at Francis Marion, S.C.

"I don't understand it," said Mount Olive head coach Carl Lancaster. "How do you go from number two in the region to number four, and the team ahead of you lost their only game this week? It's beyond me."

MOC will oppose Georgia College & State University in the opening round. In the other games, FMU faces sixth-seeded Erskine (S.C.) and second-seeded Columbus State meets South Atlantic champion Catawba.

Game times have not been determined.

The regional winner earns the automatic bid to the College World Series, scheduled for May 22-29 at the USA National Baseball Training Complex in Cary. Mount Olive will serve as co-host for the week-long event.

Lancaster enters the regional seeking career win No. 800.

But the Bobcats (35-15) present a formidable challenge, especially with senior right-hander Martin Dewald on the mound. The 5-foot-10, 195-pounder was named the Peach Belt Conference pitcher of the year.

Dewald recorded 95 strikeouts in 82 2/3 innings pitched this season.

"They've got the best Peach Belt record this year in the league," said Lancaster. "You've got four teams ranked in the top 10 in the country there. You've got to beat them sometime."

Mount Olive clinched the regional bid by winning the Conference Carolinas tournament nearly a month ago. Since then, the Trojans have played three exhibition games.

The Trojans are making their fourth regional appearance in the past five seasons, and ninth overall since 1996. MOC won the 2008 CWS championship -- the first-ever in school history in any sport and the first-ever baseball crown in Conference Carolinas history.