No. 28 Bearcats drop doubleheader at Mount Olive

Lander opened the 2017 seasons with a pair of losses at Mount Olive on Saturday afternoon (File photo by Bob Stoner)
Lander opened the 2017 seasons with a pair of losses at Mount Olive on Saturday afternoon (File photo by Bob Stoner)

MOUNT OLIVE, N.C. – The No. 33 Mount Olive Trojans combined to toss 29 strikeouts to sweep the No. 28 Lander Bearcat in a season-opening doubleheader at Scarborough Field on Saturday afternoon. Mount Olive won 3-0 and 4-0.

The Trojans improved to 2-0, while the Bearcats fell to 0-2. 

The teams will complete their three-game series Sunday afternoon at 1:00 p.m.

Mount Olive took a 1-0 lead in the second inning of Game 1. Justin Carroll reached on a leadoff single and Nate Harris advanced Carroll to third with another single. Bearcat starter Sam Linn induced a 6-4-3 double play from Jose Lopez, but Carroll scored to give Mount Olive the early lead.

UMO increased the lead to 2-0 in the third inning when Ricky Surum scored on a groundout from Jack Sherrill. The Trojans capped the scoring in the sixth inning when Sherrill scored on a sac fly off the bat of Carroll. 

Mount Olive starter Bruce Zimmerman (1-0) limited the Bearcats to just two hits in 6.0 innings, while striking out 12 batters and issuing four walks. Zach Mozingo struck out seven in relief to earn a nine-out save.

The shutout snapped Lander's NCAA Division II record of 281 consecutive games with a run scored. The Bearcats had not been shut out since May 2, 2011.

Linn (0-1) took the loss for the Bearcats, allowing two earned runs on three hits in 6.0 innings. The redshirt-sophomore walked four and struck out five on 92 pitches. Relievers Matt Thorpe and Ryan Flores each threw one shutout inning. 

Leading hitters for the Bearcats in Game 1 were Alec Dowell and Ryan Troutman. Dowell went 1-for-2 with a pair of walks and two steals, while Troutman finished 1-for-4 with a steal.

Carroll, Estes and Surum each had one hit for Mount Olive in the opener.

The Trojan pitching staff picked up where it left off in the first game with a seven-inning complete-game shutout from Austin Hutchison (1-0) in Game 2, as the UMO starter struck out 10 while issuing just two walks and allowing two hits. 

Mount Olive plated all four runs in the second inning. Bradley Ragan laced a double down the left field line to give the Trojans a 2-0 advantage and the lead grew on an RBI groundout from Sherrill and a throwing error that scored Surum. 

Drew Ellis led the Trojan offense in Game 2, going 2-for-2 with a walk and a run scored, while Ragan, Estes, Surum and David Mayo each added a hit for Mount Olive.

JD Cook (0-1) was charged with the loss, allowing four runs, two earned, on six hits in 4.2 innings. Joseph Whitt threw a scoreless 1.1 innings in relief.

Dowell and Carson Jones each went 1-for-3 for the Bearcats in Game 2.