Mount Olive poised for another post-season run
Posted May 13, 2013
Call it a baseball factory, cranking out wins, pro prospects and All-Americans year after year.
"Small town, small city. It's pretty much baseball and school," said Mount Olive infielder Bradon Reitano.
And that's become a selling point for Mount Olive College. Carl Lancaster has been the coach of the Trojans for the past 26 years and looks for a certain type of player in the recruiting process.
"Some people want the bigger city with more going on," said Lancaster. "I tell them they should go somewhere else. We are really bearing down on what we want to get accomplished."
And that philosophy is working well for the program. The Trojans won the Division-II National Championship in 2008. Lancaster has coached 24 All-Americans. Thirty players who've signed pro contracts and this year the team has the conference pitcher of the year, the player of the year and freshman of the year Zack Orrison from Fuquay Varina High School.
"It's the tradition," said Orrison. "I had offers from others schools but nothing compared to the competition. The level of play here at Mt. Olive. I wanted to win ballgames."
Mt. Olive has 47 wins this season, plenty to earn an at large bid into this year's Division-II NCAA tournament. The team earned the No. 1 seed and will host the Southeast Regional in the 2013 tournament. The six-team double-elimination regional takes place Thursday through Sunday at Scarborough Field.
"We haven't made many errors. We've played good defense," said Orrison.
That coupled with some powerful bats could mean a long post-season run for the team.
Mount Olive (46-6) will face No. 6 seed Lincoln Memorial (26-24) in the first round Thursday evening at 7 p.m. in the third game of the day. The tournament opener is at 11 a.m. and features No. 3 seed Armstrong (31-15) against No. 4 seed Coker (34-14). At 3 p.m., second-seeded USC Aiken (41-11) faces No. 5 seed Georgia College (33-17).