Justin Manning hit a three run home run for the No. 2 University of Mount Olive, but the Trojans could not recover from a late inning outburst from No. 13 Armstrong Atlantic State University as they fell 14-9 in Sumter, S.C . Tuesday night.
Armstrong State made Mount Olive (17-4) feel the pressure early in the game as a lead-off single by Tyler Avera and a walk and hit by pitch loaded the bases. Jerad Curry then drove home the first two runs of the game with a double to center field. Back-to-back errors allowed two more to come home. The final run of the inning came off a sacrifice fly from Zach Lance and the Pirates jumped out to an early 5-0 lead.
Armstrong State (17-3) added another run in the bottom of the second off an RBI-single from Curry.
Mount Olive responded in the top of the third Kilgore Gailmard drew a one out walk and Jason Morozowski was hit on the next play to put runners on first and second. Rob Shipman hit a pitch to the opposite field in left for the Trojans first run. Justin Manning drove in two more with a deep fly ball that found the right centerfield wall and scored Morozowski and Shipman and the Trojans cut the lead in half.
The Pirates struck for another run in the bottom half as Lance came in to score on a base hit up the middle by Cody Sherlin.
The Trojans fought back in the top of the fifth. Gailmard drew a one out walk and moved to second on a base hit from Shipman. Manning came up and hit a two out long fly ball the carried over the right center field wall for a bases clearing home run to bring the deficit to 7-6.
Armstrong State extended the lead in the fifth. Avera led off with a double and after a single and a hit batter the bases were loaded. The Pirates scored a run on a throwing error by the first baseman and the lead became 8-6.
Mount Olive crawled back again in the sixth as Stephen Wallace was hit by a pitch to lead off. Orrison with two outs singled through the left side to move Wallace to second. Gailmard drove Wallace in with an RBI-single back up the middle and put runners on the corners with still two away. Morozowski hit a smoking line drive up the middle which hit off the shortstop and Orrison scored to tie the game at eight.
Armstrong State struck for two quick runs in the bottom of the seventh. A lead-off single by Dennard was followed by a one out two-run home run by Jt Phillips and the Pirates took the lead 10-8.
The Pirates added four runs in the eighth. The runs came across after the bases were loaded with two away and Thompson scored one with a single. The final three runs came across as the throw from the pitcher sailed over the first baseman's head and down the line and Armstrong State took a 14-9 lead.
Heading into Mount Olive's last at bats Shipman with one away took a pitch opposite field for a solo home run. Manning continued behind Shipman with a single through the left side, however he would be stranded as the Trojan rally ended in the ninth.
Mount Olive returns home this weekend to host arch rival Barton College in a three game series at Scarborough Field. Game times are tentative as the series may get pushed back to a Saturday Sunday series.