The nationally 30th-ranked University of Mount Olive was unable to complete the ninth inning comeback as the Trojans fell in game one to Erskine College 2-1 at Scarborough Field in Conference Carolinas Baseball in Mount Olive, N.C. Bretton Gouthro went 1-for-1 and started the rally for the Trojans in the ninth.
The Flying Fleet (19-5 Overall, 7-0 Conference Carolinas) brought in the go ahead run in the third. Tanner Lollis singled up the middle to put on a base runner for Erskine. After Lollis stole second, Andrew Kozak singled past a diving Cody Britt to bring home the game's first run.
Mount Olive (17-11, 5-2) was held hitless through five and a third until Jay Gonzales broke up the no-hitter and legged out a triple down the left field line that ended up rolling to the fence. However, Gonzales was left stranded at third as the Trojans were unable to bring him in.
Erskine added an unusual run in the seventh. Lollis got on with a two out single up the middle to give the Flying Fleet a base runner and then stole second on the next play. Kozak hit a tough ball in between first and second and DeAndre Allen fielded the ball and tried to beat the speedy Kozak, however he was safe on the throw to pick up the single, but a hard collision at first with Rob Shipman took both players out on the play. Lollis came in from second base to score on the play and both Kozak and Shipman after receiving attention from the training staff stayed in the game.
The Trojans tried to comeback in the ninth. Gouthro pinched hit for Chase Edwards and singled to start off the final frame. Justin Manning drew out a walk and Mount Olive had runners at first and second. Luke Barry reached on a fielder's choice that eliminated Gouthro at third.
Tyler Farmer pinched hit for Will Bynum and Deshorn Lake came in to run for Barry at first. Farmer reached on a throwing error by the third baseman that went to the fence and Manning came in to score the first run for Mount Olive.
The comeback was extinguished as a strikeout and groundout ended the ball game and the chance for a win.
Kodi Whitley (3-1) picked up his first loss of the year as he went seven innings allowing two runs off eight hits and added four strikeouts. Brody McDonald came in relief of Whitley and pitched the remainder of the game giving up just one walk and punching out two.
Justin Gambrell (5-1) gained his fifth win as he also went seven allowing just one hit to go along with five strikeouts and two walks. Wes Schuler (3) got the save as he pitched the final two innings allowing just the one run off one hit and added two strikeouts and a pair of walks.
Mount Olive returns to the diamond tomorrow to finish up the weekend series against Erskine College with a doubleheader set for 12 p.m.