Mount Olive Falls To Tusculum 3-2 In NCAA Division II Southeast Regional

Mount Olive Falls To Tusculum 3-2 In NCAA Division II Southeast Regional

No. 7 Seed University of Mount Olive fell in the final game of the 2016 season 3-2 to No. 5 seed Tusculum College in the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional in Columbus, Ga. Mount Olive fought back to score two runs in the eighth but was unable to complete the comeback.

Mount Olive (33-21) fell behind in the bottom of the third inning when Tusculum (38-17) struck for a two-run home run by Kevin Victoriano. The Pioneers added one more run to the cushion with an RBI bases loaded walk to Jeovanny Tolentino and Tusculum led 3-0.

The Trojans were not able to make a run until the eighth inning. David Mayo singled up the middle to lead off the inning. Mayo then stole second following a flyout. Ricky Surum plated the first Mount Olive run with an RBI-single back up the middle and Mayo scored.

"We competed this year and people were doubting us and we just kept competing. This year I got a real taste of what Mount Olive Baseball is," said Trojan shortstop Ricky Surum.

After a punchout, Zak Orrison pushed another run across to cut the lead down to one with his RBI-single to right center. Orrison put himself into scoring position after a Tusculum pitching change. The tying run, however, was stranded out at second as a flyout ended the Trojan threat in the eighth.

Mount Olive was not able to complete the comeback in the ninth as the Trojans were retired in order and with it, the 2016 season came to a conclusion.

Mount Olive finishes the year fourth in the Southeast Region and despite starting the season without Trojan senior starting pitcher Kodi Whitley, who had to have elbow surgery just before the start of the season, as well as several other injuries, Mount Olive still made a post-season run. 

The Trojans captured their 13th Conference Carolinas Championship and 7th straight NCAA Tournament appearance this season.

"We have been through a lot of turmoil this year. At the end of the year, this group started to play like a family out there. We did something pretty special despite what we went through. I couldn't be more proud of this group. No one gave us a chance coming into the regional and we proved them wrong. We just couldn't get any breaks today, but that's baseball. I could not be more proud of this team," said Head Coach Carl Lancaster.