Mount Olive eliminated from regional
By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on May 19, 2013 12:01 AM
MOUNT OLIVE -- Not even the glory gold jerseys could dig Mount Olive out of a hole this time.
Rob Hogenkamp's walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning lifted Georgia College to a 2-1 victory over the Trojans on Saturday night in the Southeast Regional at Scarborough Field. The loss eliminated Mount Olive which finished the season 48-8.
The Bobcats (36-18) advanced to face Coker in today's finals. Georiga College must beat the Cobras twice to advance to the Division II World Series.
Trojans' starting pitcher Derek Justice redeemed himself after failing to get out of the first inning in Mount Olive's loss to Coker earlier in the day. Justice allowed two runs (both earned) on eight hits with five strikeouts and three walks on 131 pitches in 8 1/3 innings of work.
"I think earlier today Justice knew it was a big game and he was a little tight," Trojans' head coach Carl Lancaster said. "He came back tonight and that was as good a game as he's pitched here. He came out and mixed it up and we just didn't give him any runs."
Steve Hazel's RBI infield single gave the Bobcats a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning.
Mount Olive threatened with runners on first and second base with two outs in the top of the fourth inning. Georgia College starting pitcher Christian Bragg got Will Bynum to fly out the end the inning.
The Trojans had the tying run on third base with two outs in the top of the fifth inning but Bragg struck out Bradon Reitano to end work out of trouble.
Mount Olive squandered another scoring opportunity in the top of the sixth inning. The Trojans had runners on first and second base with one out. Bragg struck out Daniel Oliver and got Bynum to fly out to end the threat. In 18 innings of baseball on Saturday Mount Olive collected just 11 hits.
"We got two really good pitched games today and we didn't hit the entire day long," Lancaster said. "That's just all there was to it. For some reason the baseball gods just didn't shine on us today. We just couldn't get that one hit."
The Trojans' finally cashed in on a scoring chance in the top of the seventh inning. Bryan Dunlavey led off the inning with a single and later stole second base. Dunlavey advanced to third base on Zak Orrison's sacrifice bunt. Matt Patrone's infield single scored Dunlavey to tie the game at 1-1.
Georgia College loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning before Hogenkamp delivered the game-winning single.
Mount Olive lost in the Southeast Regional for the second consecutive season and must replace five starting position players off this season's Conference Carolinas regular season championship squad.
"What a year we had," Lancaster said. "These guys are hurting right now. These guys in a couple of days we'll reflect on the year we had and they'll be very proud on what we accomplished this year."
The Trojans' first game of the day resulted in the team's first regional loss.
Mount Olive's rally fell short in a 5-3 loss to Coker on Saturday afternoon. The Cobras advanced to today's finals.
Trojans' starting pitcher Derek Justice walked the bases loaded in the top of the first inning. Justice failed to record an out and was lifted in favor of reliever Chris Orphanos. Orphanos entered the game and set down the next three Cobras to leave the bases loaded. The junior right-hander surrendered five runs (three earned) on 10 hits with six strikeouts and two walks in nine innings and suffered the loss.
Fico Condla's bunt single in the top of the fourth inning drove home a run to put Coker on top 1-0. Frank Suarez followed with a run-scoring fielder's choice.
Cobras' starting pitcher Alex Hernandez set down nine of the the first 10 Mount Olive hitters he faced until Bradon Reitano's double down the left field line in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Hernandez allowed two earned runs on two hits with one strikeout and four walks in six innings and earned the win. Cobras' reliever Zach Loraine pitched two scoreless innings of relief to record the save.
"We chased (Hernandez) pretty quick the first time we faced him and today he was pretty darn good," Lancaster said. "He commanded the strike zone in and out. We just looked like our bats were slow and our timing was off."
Coker picked up two more runs on a Mount Olive error in the top of the sixth inning to extend its lead to 4-0. T.J. Giczkowski's RBI single in the top of the seventh inning pushed the margin to 5-0.
Jermaine Berry trotted home on a wild pitch in the home half of the seventh inning to pull Mount Olive to within 5-1. Tyler Farmer grounded into a double-play trimmed the deficit to 5-2.
Mike Mercurio's RBI single in the bottom of the eighth cut the lead to 5-3. The Trojans had runners on first and second with one out but Berry struck out and Matt Petrone was caught stealing at third base to end the inning.
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