By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on June 2, 2011 1:47 PM
CARY -- Jeremy Hall constantly escaped trouble.
Tyler Smith and Daniel Coffey provided the big hits.
And Mount Olive lived to play another day.
The No. 2-ranked Trojans avoided elimination from the 2011 NCAA Division II College World Series with a 5-2 triumph over No. 6-ranked Millersville (Pa.) University on a sweltering Wednesday afternoon.
Mount Olive (47-9 overall) opposes fourth-ranked West Florida today at 3 p.m. at the USA National Baseball Training Complex. The Trojans must beat the Argonauts twice to reach Saturday's championship game.
In today's other semifinal, Southern Connecticut State faces Winona State (Minn.) at 7 p.m.
"I'm proud of those guys for battling like they did today in that heat, it was really tough out there," said Trojans head coach Carl Lancaster. "We just got a great effort from both these guys (Hall and Matt Hinkle) on the mound today, we really did."
Hall matched a season high for strikeouts (eight) and constantly wiggled out of jams throughout his 51/3-innings stint. The right-hander allowed base runners in every inning, but managed to keep the Marauders off the board.
Millersville, which produced just four runs in three CWS games, left eight of its 13 runners on base against Hall. The Marauders scored three runs against MOC and one against Central Missouri.
"We just couldn't get the big hit when we needed it," said the Marauders' Chris Edgar.
Mount Olive did ... twice.
Trailing 2-0 in the sixth, Ryan Faison stroked a single to right and Jason Simone belted a one-out double to left center. Millersville left-hander Tim Mayza caught Jacob Rogers looking at a low, called third strike for the second out.
Mayza intentionally walked designated hitter Mike Knox, who had struck out in his previous two at-bats, to load the bases for the force out. Smith stepped into the batter's box and slapped Mayza's first offering into right field, which plated Faison and Simone for the 2-2 tie.
"I was going to be mad at myself if I didn't get a hit right there," said Smith. "He didn't have anywhere to put me so I knew he was going to fill it up early and I got that first fastball middle way, just tried to do my best to stay on top of it and drive it through the right side.
"Luckily, it happened."
After a walk to Dan Hayduk and a pitching change, Coffey greeted Marauders reliever Adam Zipko with a bases-clearing, three-RBI double. Before Smith and Coffey's game-changing at-bats, the Trojans were hitless with runners in scoring position on the day.
"I think early in the game everybody was pretty antsy in their at-bats, trying to make a little too much happen with one swing or whatever," said Coffey. "Coach (Rob) Watt and Coach Lancaster talked to us and told us to just relax, things are going to happen ... going to come, just be patient.
"It was hot, so he (Mayza) was getting a little more tired, which is understandable with the heat. We started to become patient and he left a few more balls out over the plate."
Hinkle replaced Hall in the sixth and threw 32/3 innings of superb relief for first his first win of the season. The right-hander permitted three hits, walked one and logged two strikeouts.
Hinkle had thrown just 192/3 innings all season.
"I came in and did my part the way (Coach Lancaster) asked me to," said Hinkle. "That's all he asked from today, to come in and do the best I can. That's what I tried to give him."
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