05/20/12 — Catawba eliminates Mount Olive

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Catawba eliminates Mount Olive

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on May 20, 2012 1:52 AM

MOUNT OLIVE -- The lucky yellow jerseys did not do the trick for Mount Olive College this season.

After a loss to Lander University on a late home run, the Trojans donned their nostalgic "glory gold" tops against Catawba College. The Mount Olive offense never awoke and the Indians earned an 3-2, elimination-round victory in the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional.

The Trojans, the defending regional champions, saw their season come to a close within a seven-hour span.

"That first game absolutely left us shell-shocked," Mount Olive head coach Carl Lancaster said. "To lose a heart breaker (to Lander) and then have to turn right around and play a second game is tough, and it showed on our guys for sure."

Catawba grabbed a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning when Ryan Bostian belted a single and Ethan Satterfield drew a walk. Julio Zubillaga plated Bostian with a productive groundout.

Mount Olive (44-10 overall) jumped on top 2-1 in the fifth. Braden Reitano and Cameron Sherrer blasted back-to-back doubles ahead of an RBI groundout by Will Bynum. Sherrer scored one batter later on a passed ball.

The lead did not last long, however, as the Indians tied the score on a sacrifice fly by Satterfield in the next half inning.

"We don't have the same firepower that a team like Mount Olive has, so we have to make the most of our opportunities," Catawba head coach Jim Gantt said. "We moved guys around and sacrificed and stole a base. It all led to a run."

The Indians grabbed the lead for good in the seventh inning.

Chris Dula reached on a Mount Olive error and promptly stole second base. Satterfield drove in his second run of the game with an RBI single that never left the infield. Trojan third baseman Jermaine Berry dove and knocked the ball down, but could not recover in time to make a throw.

"You look at the two games that we lost and we out-hit both teams," Lancaster said. "It was just one of those days where a lot of things went against us and it all led to two losses."

Catawba starter Nate King went the distance to earn the win. King threw 144 pitches and struck out eight batters. King, an N.C. State transfer, scattered seven hits.

"Everyone knows that Mount Olive has a great lineup so I had to take the ball and give it my best game," King said. "I went right at their guys as much as I could and I tried my best to stay ahead in the count which helped me stay down in the zone and not pitch to their power."

Mount Olive starter Jake Moser suffered the loss despite a complete-game, 138-pitch effort. Moser allowed just three hits and walked six batters.

Geno Escalante extended his hitting streak to 46 games with a single in the fourth inning. Escalante will have to wait until next season to continue his pursuit of the longest hitting streak in college baseball history.

None of that mattered to Escalante.

"This year has been great, but I would rather win with this team," Escalante said. "All of the other stuff doesn't matter because without my teammates none of it is possible."