Mount Olive Places 4 on All-America Team

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MOUNT OLIVE, N.C. – The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association becomes the third organization to give the Mount Olive College baseball team All-America recognition as four Trojans were selected to the 2007 NCBWA Division II Baseball All-America Team, it was announced Wednesday. First baseman Erik Lovett was named to the first team – his third first team selection in the past 10 days – while outfielder Scott Houin, starting pitcher Tom Layne and catcher/outfielder Dustin Richardson all earned honorable mention.

All-America Teams were announced last week by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) and the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA). The NCBWA selections bring Mount Olive’s total of All-Americans this year to six, including ABCA third team selection Stephen Nordan and Academic All-American third team honoree Josh Carter.

Lovett, a junior from Goldsboro, N.C., was named 2007 Daktronics/CoSIDA National Player of the Year and was also named South Atlantic Region Player of the Year by both the ABCA and CoSIDA. Lovett, who was this year’s Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference Player of the Year, ranks nationally in the top 10 in home runs, runs batted in and slugging percentage. Lovett, who set a school record with 21 home runs, was tied for first in the nation in homers in late April. Lovett finished the season with a .402 batting average, 80 rbi and an .810 slugging percentage.

Houin, a senior from Colorado Springs, Colo., was named to both the CoSIDA and ABCA All-South Atlantic Region first team. Houin was named to the All-Tournament Team at the South Atlantic Regional and the CVAC Tournament. An All-CVAC first team selection, Houin batted .315 with 11 home runs and 70 rbi. Houin is tied for 15th in the nation with nine triples.

Layne, a senior from St. Charles, Mo., was this year’s CVAC Pitcher of the Year. Layne posted a 9-1 record with one save and a 2.87 earned run average. Layne tossed four complete games, including one shutout and two combined shutouts. Layne went the distance in Mount Olive’s 10-inning 4-2 victory over Armstrong Atlantic State in the second round of the South Atlantic Regional.

Richardson, a senior from Henderson, N.C., was named to the CoSIDA All-America second team and earned CoSIDA and ABCA All-South Atlantic Region first team honors. He batted .410 with 14 home runs and 62 rbi. Richardson is nationally ranked in home runs, batting average and slugging percentage. An All-CVAC first team selection and an All-CVAC Tournament honoree, Richardson hit safely in 54 of 60 games in 2007, including hitting streaks of 18 and 15 games. Richardson platooned between left field and catcher throughout the season.

Nationally sixth-ranked Mount Olive set a school record for wins and came within one game of making its first-ever trip to the NCAA Division II National Finals. The Trojans posted a 49-13 record and hosted the South Atlantic Regional in Kinston, N.C., finishing second to eventual national runner-up Columbus State.