MISENHEIMER, N.C. – Trailing 6-5 heading into the seventh and final inning of game two, Eric Shoemaker (Huntersville, NC) came up with a walk-off two-run homer to straight away center field as Pfeiffer University earned a 7-6 win and a Conference Carolinas doubleheader split with fifth-ranked Mount Olive on Saturday afternoon at Joe Ferebee Field. The Falcons improve 10-12, 6-5 in league play while the Trojans, led by Michael Knox’s (Cary, NC) three blasts in game one, move to 16-1, 7-1.
GAME ONE: #5 Mount Olive 10, Pfeiffer 7
In the opener, all the Trojans needed to do was get Knox to the plate. In the first, after a pair of walks to Jesse Lancaster (Goldsboro, NC) and Jeremy Nowak (Cheektowaga, NY), Knox cleared the bases with his first of the day out to left. Myles Pearl (High Point, NC) put the Falcons on the board with his lead-off, solo shot to right in the bottom of the frame.
Mount Olive took a 5-1 lead in the second scoring two runs on the same wild pitch with an error mixed in. Ryan Faison (Oldsmar, FL) led off with a double down the right-field line while Bobby Leeper (Raleigh, NC) was hit by a pitch, both scoring on the errant pitch and miscue. In the Falcon third, a two-out rally began with a dropped pop up in shallow left-center field. Preston Lyon (Gastonia, NC) made the Trojans pay just two hitters later with a three-run bomb to left making it a 5-4 contest.
After Lancaster singled in the Trojan fifth with Knox going yard again, Pfeiffer again came back with runs in the fifth and sixth to keep within striking distance at 7-6. Zack Pou (Stanley, NC) had a round-tripper in the fifth while Shoemaker hit his first of the day in the sixth.
Nowak, before coming into to pitch, put the Trojans back up a pair in the seventh with a blast to left-center, only to see the Falcons get back to within one at 8-7 as Josh Strickland (Liberty, NC) plated on a wild pitch in the eighth. Knox would seal the deal with his third home run of the opener with a two-run shot to left in the ninth. Nowak kept the inning alive with a two-out base hit.
Knox paced Mount Olive driving in seven of the 10 runs while Strickland was one of five Falcons to have a multi-hit game one leading the way with three. Pfeiffer outhit the Trojans 12-7 in game one, but Nowak was able to earn the save for starter Sean Lydon (Loveland, CO) finishing off the final 1.1 innings.
GAME TWO: Pfeiffer 7, #5 Mount Olive 6
Trailing by one entering the home half of the seventh, Pou began the frame with a lead-off single to left bringing the winning run to the plate. After Lyon struck out swinging, Will Davis (New London, NC) sent not one, but two potential game-winning homers down the left field line that just hooked foul, before reaching on a fielder’s choice. With a 1-1 count and two out, Shoemaker delivered the Trojans their first loss in 17 games on his two-run shot to center.
Mount Olive took a 4-0 lead early as Nowak blasted off again scoring two in the first while picking up another RBI in the third in front of Dan Hayduk’s (Browns Mill, NJ) run-scoring double. In the bottom of the third, Pfeiffer would take advantage of two Mount Olive errors to score five runs snagging a one-run lead.
Aarin Sharpe (Winterville, NC) reached on a hit-by-pitch to start the frame. Pearl then came up with a two-base hit to left-center plating Sharpe. Pou followed with a single up the middle, sneaking into second on a center field miscue by the Trojans. Pearl scored on Pou’s base hit. Lyon would come up big again with a two-run dinger to right before Shoemaker scored as Strickland reached on a fielding error at short.
As they had done all afternoon, Mount Olive roared back with two in the fourth taking a 6-5 lead. Leeper would single in Daniel Coffey (Granite Falls, NC) before later touching home on an outfield throwing error by the Shoemaker. That miscue set the table for Shoemaker’s heroics in the seventh.
Pou and Lyon were the only Falcons to have a multi-hit nightcap each picking up a pair of hits while Leeper led the way for Mount Olive going 3-for-3 with an RBI and three runs scored.
Pfeiffer and Mount Olive will square off again on Sunday afternoon in the rubber-game of the three-game set. First pitch is set for 1:00 p.m.