Mount Olive claims regular season honors
By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on April 11, 2011 1:47 PM
MOUNT OLIVE -- It might not have been exactly the way Mount Olive drew it up, but the Trojans clinched another Conference Carolinas regular-season championship on Saturday.
Mount Olive split a doubleheader with Erskine at Scarborough Field and won the regular season title by virtue of Limestone's sweep of a doubleheader at Belmont Abbey.
It's the Trojans' fourth conference championship in the last five years. Mount Olive defeated Erskine 3-0 on Friday night. The Trojans dropped Saturday's opener 5-4 and rallied to win game two 3-2.
Mount Olive (30-6, 16-4 CC) also clinched its sixth consecutive 30-win season.
Dan Hayduk's RBI double in the bottom of the first inning in game one gave the Trojans a 1-0 lead. Casey Wincowski's RBI double in the top of the second inning tied the game at 1-1.
Zach McCarthy's two-out, two-run home run to right field in the top of the seventh inning gave the Flying Fleet a 3-1 lead.
Joseph Westbrook's two-out RBI double in the home half of the seventh inning pulled Mount Olive to within 3-2. McCarthy drew a bases-loaded walk from Trojans' reliever Jeremy Hall in the top of the ninth to increase Erksine's lead to 4-2. Phillip Herring added a sac-fly to push the margin out to 5-2.
Nick Gaeta's infield single and a Flying Fleet error allowed to runs to score in the bottom the ninth to cut the deficit to 5-4. Ryan Faison's pop-fly was caught in foul territory with two runners on base to end the ballgame.
"I thought our pitchers were good today, but to be quite honest right now is not a good time for our bats to go cold," Mount Olive head coach Carl Lancaster said. "We had an opportunity yesterday to score a lot of runs and we didn't do it. Maybe we can get out of this little funk we're in. Right now, it doesn't seem like things are clicking for it."
Jacob Rogers led the Trojans with three hits in the opener. Starting pitcher Curtis Hudson suffered the loss on the mound. Hudson surrendered three earned runs on six hits with seven strikeouts and one walk.
Andrew Guest picked up the win for Erskine. Atlee Pearson recorded his 33rd save of the season and set a NCAA record for saves in a season.
Rogers' RBI single in the bottom of the first inning of game two gave Mount Olive a 1-0 lead.
Brian Laznik's RBI single tied the game at 1-1 in the top of the third inning. Zack Smith's RBI double in the top of the fifth inning pushed the Flying Fleet in front 2-1.
Faison's sacrifice-fly in the bottom of the fifth tied the ballgame at 2-2.
Hayduk's two-out, RBI infield single in the home half of the seventh scored Faison to give the Trojans a walk-off win.
David Combs got the win in relief.
Mount Olive, the top-seed for next week's Conference Carolinas tournament, faces rival Barton in the first round at 7 p.m. on Thursday at Historic Fleming Stadium in Wilson.
"I just hope when we get over there we'll play a little more emotion," Lancaster said. "We've just got to get this team going offensively and hope this funk doesn't last until Thursday. There's no question we're a better ball club than what we've seen the last two weekends."