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Second-seeded Lander downs Trojans, 6-4 in regional

Lander starter Will Jones picked up his ninth win of the season as the Bearcats defeated Mount Olive, 6-4, in a first-round NCAA Southeast Region game at Columbus State. (Photo by Bob Stoner)
Lander starter Will Jones picked up his ninth win of the season as the Bearcats defeated Mount Olive, 6-4, in a first-round NCAA Southeast Region game at Columbus State. (Photo by Bob Stoner)

COLUMBUS, Ga. - Matt White and John Mangum had home runs, while Will Jones earned the win on the mound Thursday night as the No. 6-ranked and second-seeded Lander baseball team defeated seventh-seeded Mount Olive, 6-4, in the first-round of the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional Tournament hosted by Columbus State University at Burger King Stadium.

Lander, which improves to 39-14, will face the winner of third-seeded Belmont Abbey/sixth-seeded Catawba at 5:30 p.m., Friday.

The game, which started at 3 p.m., didn't finish until 10:08 due to delays caused by lightning and thunderstorms.

The tournament winner advances to the College World Series, May 28 - June 4, at the USA National Training Complex in Cary, N.C.

Jones (9-2) struck out five and allowed one earned run on four hits in six innings pitched. Brandon White earned his 11th save of the season after striking out three and walking one in 1.1 innings of relief.

Bearcat shortstop Matt White gave the Bearcats a 2-0 lead in the third inning with a two-run homer that plated Ryan Troutman. It was White's 12th homer of the year.

Mount Olive first baseman Joe Koehler cut the margin to 2-1 in the fifth with a solo homer, his 11th of the season.

Mangum led off the four-run, seventh inning with a solo homer -- the 10th of the season for the catcher -- then centerfielder Zach Daly blasted a three-run double that plated White, Jones and Taylor Kellner to put the Bearcats up 6-1.

The Trojans made it interesting in the eighth when Stephen Wallace's three-run shot cut the Lander lead to 6-4.

However, Brandon White, the PBC's leading closer, finished the task for Lander.