Mount Olive remained at No. 1 in this week’s Collegiate Baseball Division II Top 30 Poll and Ping Baseball Division II Top 30, it was announced Monday. The Trojans spend their third straight week atop the Collegiate Baseball poll and top the Ping Baseball poll for the second week in a row. The Trojans have been ranked No. 1 in at least one of the polls in eight of the last nine weeks.
Mount Olive (44-5 overall) captured its third consecutive Conference Carolinas Tournament title, rallying from five runs down to defeat Belmont Abbey 13-9 in Sunday’s championship game. The Trojans won their first two games by a combined score of 30-4 before splitting a pair of extra-inning games against Belmont Abbey to set up Sunday’s finale.
Mount Olive received 476 of 480 points in the Collegiate Baseball Top 30 to finish eight points ahead of streaking Emporia State (Kan.), which jumped to spots to No. 2 in both polls after extending the nation’s longest current winning streak to 35. Southern Arkansas and Tampa (Fla.) are another 36 points back, tied at No. 3. Delta State (Miss.) rounds out the top five. The Ping Baseball Top 30 has the same teams in the top five but in a different order, with Delta State at No. 3, followed by Southern Arkansas and Tampa. The NCBWA Top 30 is expected to be announced Tuesday.
Mount Olive was denied its third consecutive conference tournament sweep, ending a string of 11 consecutive wins in the conference tournament, as well as snapping the Trojans’ nine-game winning streak. Including conference tournament games and regular season non-conference games, Mount Olive is 59-6 in its last 65 games against Conference Carolinas opponents.
With the tournament title, Mount Olive earns a trip to the South Atlantic Regional of the 2008 NCAA Division II Baseball Championship for the third year in a row. The regional takes place May 15-18. The Trojans were the host and No. 1 seed at last year’s regional. Seedings and site for the regional are expected to be announced by May 12.
To stay in game shape, the Trojans have four home games scheduled this week, including two contests against opponents from last year’s regional. Mount Olive plays host to Chowan in a doubleheader Wednesday at 4 p.m., then entertains Virginia State Thursday at 2 p.m. The Trojans cap the week with a two-game series Saturday and Sunday at Scarborough Field against Armstrong Atlantic State. Mount Olive posted wins over Virginia State and Armstrong Atlantic State in the 2007 South Atlantic Regional.