Josh Harrison’s two-run single and Dylan Holton’s three-run double gave Mount Olive a five-run lead in the first inning and Casey Hodges took a shutout into the eighth inning as the Trojans captured their first-ever national championship in any sport with a 6-2 victory over Ouachita Baptist in the Championship Game of the 2008 NCAA Division II Baseball National Finals Saturday at Sauget, Ill. Ryan Schlecht retired the side in order in the ninth to seal the win.
Mount Olive finishes the season with a 58-6 record, including a perfect 4-0 mark in its first appearance in the National Finals. The Trojans won 24 of their final 26 games.
“I don’t know what to say,” said Mount Olive head coach Carl Lancaster at the post-game press conference. “This is what you dream of.”
Hodges was among five Trojans named to the All-Tournament Team, joining shortstop David Cooper, third baseman Rich Racobaldo and outfielders Jesse Lancaster and Alex Vertcnik. Ouachita Baptist pitcher Steve Smith, who went 1-0 with a save in three appearances, was named Most Outstanding Player.
Saturday’s contest was a rematch of the first round, won by Mount Olive 6-5 as Harrison’s two-out walk-off bases-loaded rbi-single capped a four-run ninth inning.