Mount Olive Falls To Lander 6-4 In Opening Round Of The NCAA Division II Southeast Regional

Mount Olive Falls To Lander 6-4 In Opening Round Of The NCAA Division II Southeast Regional

The No. 7 seeded University of Mount Olive fell 6-4 to No. 2 seed Lander University in the opening round of the NCAA Division II Baseball Southeast Regional from Columbus, Ga. Thursday night. Mount Olive rallied down, 6-1 to bring the game with two after a nearly four-hour rain/lightning delay.

Mount Olive (31-20) held Lander (39-14) at bay for the first two and a half innings, until the Bearcats broke through in the bottom of the third. Matt White came up to the plate with two away and a runner on first. White made the Trojan pitcher pay for walking the previous batter as he lifted a pitch over the left field wall to give Lander a 2-0 lead.

Joe Koehler responded for Mount Olive in the top of the fifth as he led off the inning with a solo home run to right center and the deficit shrunk to one.

The bottom of the sixth inning slowed down dramatically after two quick outs. Mother nature opened up the skies after one pitch was thrown and a long delay ensued. After a lengthy lightning and rain delay, a total delay time of 3:48 went by before play resumed.

Play resumed without incident until the bottom of the seventh. Lander started the inning with a lead-off home run by John Mangum and the Bearcats moved out to a 3-1 cushion. The bases became loaded following a single and back-to-back walks. White came through again for Lander with a bases-clearing double to right and pushed the lead out to five.

The Trojans bounced back in the top of the eighth down 6-1. Zak Orrison reached on a one-out hit by pitch. Jack Sherrill drew a seven-pitch walk and runners moved to first and second. Orrison stole third following a fly out and runners were at the corners. Stephen Wallace then joined Koehler with a base's clearing home run to straight-away left field, and Mount Olive drew closer down by two.

Three runs were all the Trojans  would manage as the inning ended with a strikeout.

Mount Olive held Lander off the boards in the bottom of the ninth and attempted to complete a comeback at the top of the ninth.

Derek Deler came up to pinch hit and reached on a bloop single into right with two away. The one hit was the only of the inning as the Trojans fell 6-4.

Mount Olive falls into the losers bracket and will face the loser of the Belmont Abbey/Catawba game at 10:30 a.m. Friday morning from Columbus, S.C.

The full post-game press conference can be found here.