Mount Olive Baseball Slips To #2 Nationally

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After five consecutive weeks at No. 1, Mount Olive slipped one spot to No. 2 in this week’s Ping Baseball Division II Top 30 Poll. The Trojans also fell to No. 3 in this week’s Collegiate Baseball Top 30 after suffering consecutive losses for the first time this season.

Mount Olive (36-4 overall, 17-1 Conference Carolinas) split a non-conference doubleheader against No. 26 Catawba, then had its 26-game winning streak against conference opponents snapped with a 10-9 loss in the opening game of the Trojans’ three-game series against Coker. Mount Olive won the next two games to clinch its 16th consecutive conference series. The Trojans scored 28 runs in the two wins, including a season-high 17 in the finale.

Mount Olive took over the No. 1 spot in both polls on February 25, compiling a 17-1 record as the nation’s top-ranked team prior to last week. The Trojans also spent the past three weeks at No. 1 in the NCBWA Top 30, which is expected to be announced Tuesday.

Southern Arkansas moves to No. 1 in both polls, climbing one spot in the Ping Top 30 and jumping three places in the Collegiate Baseball Poll. Southern Arkansas received 472 points in the Collegiate Baseball Poll to finish 16 points ahead of Sonoma State (Calif.), which held at No. 2. Mount Olive received 446 points to place 10 points ahead of No. 4 Tampa. The Ping Top 30 has Tampa at No. 3 and Franklin Pierce (N.H.) at No. 4.

Mount Olive takes a break from regular season play as the Trojans head to Kinston, N.C., Tuesday for their annual exhibition game against the Kinston Indians, advanced Single-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians. Game time is 7 p.m. at Grainger Stadium.

Mount Olive resumes Conference Carolinas play this weekend as the Trojans head to Due West, S.C., for a three-game series against No. 14 Erskine in a battle of top 15 teams. The Trojans hold a three-game lead over the second-place Flying Fleet in the conference standings. The two teams play a single game Friday at 3 p.m., then conclude the series with a doubleheader Saturday beginning at noon.