05/31/11 — Mount Olive falls to Winona State

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Mount Olive falls to Winona State

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on May 31, 2011 1:47 PM

CARY -- Good hitting and solid pitching -- both by Winona State -- led to a stunning upset of No. 2-ranked Mount Olive College on Monday afternoon.

The No. 16-ranked Warriors posted six runs in the first three innings against All-American hurler Carter Capps, and cruised to a 9-3 victory in the NCAA Division II College World Series.

Winona State (41-17 overall) earned a two-day rest and plays again Thursday. Mount Olive (46-9) faces Millersville (Pa.) University in an elimination game Wednesday at the USA National Baseball Training Complex. First pitch is 3 p.m.

"You've got to give those guys credit, they came extremely prepared to hit a fastball," said Trojans head coach Carl Lancaster. "We didn't play a very good baseball game. That's not typical for us, but that's baseball. You don't come out every day and have your best ballgame.

"This is just a bad time to do this."

Mount Olive suffered its first-ever loss in six College World Series outings, and faces elimination from the postseason for the second time in a 10-day stretch.

Capps, who was selected the 2011 Daktronics Division II national pitcher-of-the-year, worked his second-shortest stint on the mound this season. The right-hander yielded two earned runs, fanned three Winona State batters and walked two in 4 1/3 innings.

Winona State capitalized on two-out rallies in each of its first three at-bats. Cody Strang belted a two-RBI double into right-center field in the first inning. Tony Mueller supplied an RBI double in the second, while Kyle Sill and John Magee delivered RBI hits in the third.

Capps exited after giving up a two-RBI, fifth-inning home run to Magee. It was Magee's fourth round-tripper of the season and just the fourth allowed by Capps this season.

A partisan Mount Olive crowd, stunned by Capps' early departure, rewarded the North Lenoir alum with a warm-hearted standing ovation.

"I didn't make very good execution of my pitches," said Capps. "The guys who came in behind me did excellent, and I'm very proud of those guys. I take full responsibility for the loss.

"I missed some pitches and they're a good-hitting team."

The Warriors snapped Capps' NCAA-record 24-game win streak.

"We just kept telling our guys we're in a great place, we're playing baseball, the weather's beautiful ... hotter than we'd like it, but let's go out and have fun," said Winona State head coach Kyle Poock. "Everybody in the park ... well, our fans thought we could do it, but with the young man we're facing and all the press he's gotten, I don't know if anyone else really gave us a chance."

Winona State collected 12 hits, but just two against three Mount Olive relievers -- Curtis Hudson, Kris Barone and Josh Frederick. The trio combined for two strikeouts and one unearned run in 4 2/3 innings of action.

Mount Olive avoided the shutout on Nick Gaeta's RBI single in the fourth.

Ryan Faison stroked a two-RBI double in the fifth, and hammered an RBI base knock in the seventh. Jason Simone added three hits in five at-bats. The remaining seven Trojan starters combined for just five hits.