Baseball Season Ends with 7-2 Loss to Trojans in Second Championship Game; Sharpe, Wilhelm, McDaniel on All-Tournament Team
April 18, 2010
WILSON, N.C. - Mount Olive College claimed its fourth baseball title in the past five years on Sunday at historic Fleming Stadium, winning the 2010 Conference Carolinas Baseball Tournament with a 7-2 victory over Pfeiffer University. The Trojans (38-9) came into the tournament as regular season champions and No. 1 seed, only to lose in the first round to No. 6 seed Anderson. However, Mount Olive fought its way back through the loserís bracket with four straight wins, capped by a sweep of Pfeiffer on Sunday.
In the final game, Mount Olive starter Sean Lydon (8-3) went eight innings, scattering seven hits and giving up two earned runs. Lydon had thrown 75 pitches over three innings in the loss to Anderson on Thursday, but gutted out another 98 pitches in Sundayís strong showing.
Joseph Westbrook, one of four all-tournament selections for Mount Olive, went 4-for-4 in the game, and Bobby Leeper, the hero in the first game on Sunday, went 3-for-5 in the finale. Topher Ellis went 2-for-4, including a home run, with two RBI.
Pfeiffer (27-27) had seven different players with one hit each.
Pfeiffer took a 1-0 lead in the second inning when Eric Shoemaker doubled with one out, and Aarin Sharpe followed with a single up the middle that glanced off the glove of diving MOC shortstop Ryan Faison and into centerfield.
Mount Olive quickly tied the game again, scoring in the top of the third. Faison drew a walk to lead off the inning, and moved to second when Leeper beat out a bunt single. Both runners advanced a base on a sacrifice fly by Jesse Lancaster, and Faison scored on a groundout to second by Jeremy Nowak.
The Trojans took the lead for good in the fourth on a pair of extra-base hits. Joseph Westbrook rapped a double to right-center with one out in the inning, and Ellis followed with a controversial triple into the right field corner. Pfeiffer argued that the ball was foul, but the play stood, and Mount Olive took a 2-1 lead. Ellis then scored on a sacrifice fly, increasing the advantage to 3-1.
Pfeiffer got a run back in the fourth on a solo home run by Will Davis, his sixth of the year, but Mount Olive responded in kind in the sixth, with Michael Knox blasting a towering solo home run to center, his 23rd of the season, to make the score 4-2.
Mount Olive added single runs in each of the final three innings, the run in the eighth scoring on a solo home run by Ellis, and the run in the ninth coming courtesy of a Leeper triple and Nowak RBI double.†
In addition to Westbrook, Faison, Knox and Jackson Massey were named to the all-tournament team. Jesse Lancaster was named MVP. Three players for Pfeiffer earned all-tournament acknowledgement: Sharpe; Luke Wilhelm and John McDaniel.