05/15/13 — Trojan aces: Dillon, Regan lead MOC pitching staff

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Trojan aces: Dillon, Regan lead MOC pitching staff

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on May 15, 2013 1:47 PM

The lineage of outstanding pitchers at Mount Olive runs almost as deep as the program's storied history itself.

Since 2007, seven different Trojan hurlers have been selected in Major League Baseball's amateur draft. Four of those pitchers were tabbed as All-Americans and two of them -- Carter Capps and Tom Layne -- are currently in the Major Leagues.

MOC aces Matt Dillon and Alex Regan are well on their way towards carving their own names into the Trojans' pitching legacy.

Dillon, a right-handed senior from High Point, and Regan, a left-handed sophomore from Calgary, Alberta, have been dominant all season. The two-time Conference Carolinas pitcher-of-the-year, Dillon is 10-1 this year with a 1.76 earned run average.

Regan has posted a 13-1 record and a 1.96 ERA.

"Our guys know some of the guys who came before them had success doing things a certain way and we've tried to do those same things," Mount Olive pitching coach Jason Sherrer said. "Our guys know who those guys are and they've seen videos and they want to be better than they were. If they're better than they were we're going to be sitting pretty good."

Dillon was an out away from a complete-game victory in a loss to Lander in last year's Southeast Regional at Scarborough Field. Reliever Chris Hinton served up the go-ahead home run and the Trojans' season eventually ended the same day against Catawba.

That painful memory has motivated Dillon and his teammates.

"I've still got a bad taste in my mouth from last year," Dillon said. "Once we got out of the conference tournament this year was when I really started thinking about it. I've worked my butt off this year to make sure I'm ready for this regional."

Both Dillon and Regan have gained confidence in their off-speed pitches this season and the result has been the ability to keep hitters guessing in the box. The duo combined to lead Conference Carolinas with 161 strikeouts and surrendered just 40 earned runs in 193 2/3 innings pitched.

The pair combined for 12 complete games this season.

Regan is just one win away from matching Capps' school record of 14 wins in a single season. Possessing the trust in each of their pitches to throw any of them to any hitter in any count has been a key to Dillon and Regan's success.

"This year more than I ever I've been comfortable with throwing every single one of my pitches," Regan said. "Coach Sherrer has really helped me out a lot with just fidgeting with my change-up, my curveball and my slider and making sure it all looks the same."

Dillon and Regan are trying to approach the regional as just another weekend series.

"I love throwing in high-pressure situations. I feel extremely comfortable," Regan said. "We do what we do best when we're relaxed and having fun on the field and I feel like we need to stay in that mindset."