Mount Olive Baseball Rolls Past Shaw

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Josh Harrison drove in five runs with a pair of home runs and Jesse Lancaster added his first collegiate home run as nationally second-ranked Mount Olive defeated Shaw 15-3 in non-conference baseball Thursday at Scarborough Field. Four pitchers combined for a three-hitter as the Trojans extended their winning streak to 11.

Mount Olive (13-1) jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the first as Lancaster singled in leadoff batter David Cooper from second and eventually scored on a wild pitch. With Rich Racobaldo on base, Harrison drilled a pitch over the right field fence for his second home run of the season.

Shaw (3-4) struck for three runs in the top of the third to pull within 4-3. The Bears scored their first run on a fielder’s choice and Averill Bryant lined a single up the middle to drive in two runs. But Mount Olive would not allow another baserunner until the ninth inning.

The Trojans extended the lead to 6-3 in the bottom of the third after Jason Sherrer drove in a run with a sacrifice fly and Racobaldo stole home on a double steal.

Cooper led off the fourth with a double and Lancaster followed with a drive over the left field foul pole. In his previous at-bat, Lancaster had to settle for a double on a ball that landed on the warning track just in front of the left field fence. Erik Lovett added an rbi-single and Jason Sherrer capped the four-run inning with an rbi-double to make the score 10-3.

In the sixth, Lovett drew a one-out walk, Racobaldo singled and Harrison sent another line drive over the right field fence to extend the Trojans’ lead to 13-3. Mount Olive wrapped up the scoring in the eighth on Tyler Smith’s rbi-double and Dylan Holton’s run-scoring single. Lovett scored his fourth run of the game in the eighth.

Trojan starter Craig Beasley pitched four innings and Todd Jeffreys (2-0) pitched two perfect innings for the win. Kyle Jones and Thomas Newsome retired the side in order in the seventh and eighth innings, while Lancaster allowed a one-out single in the ninth before ending the game on a 5-4-3 double play. The Trojan staff retired 17 consecutive batters during one stretch from the third inning to the ninth.

Mount Olive opens Conference Carolinas play this weekend as the Trojans travel to Laurinburg, N.C., to face St. Andrews in a three-game series. The two teams play a doubleheader beginning at noon and conclude the series with a single game Sunday at 1 p.m.