Dan Hayduk drove in four runs for the second straight game and Pete Levitt produced nearly eight innings of strong work on the mound as No. 1 seed Mount Olive College downed No. 3 seed UNC Pembroke, 7-3, in the winner’s bracket final of the NCAA II Baseball Southeast Regional Saturday at Scarborough Field.
The victory propels the Trojans (44-7) into Sunday’s championship round, where they will face the survivor of Saturday’s elimination contests. The Braves (44-11), who saw their 11-game win streak come to an end, face a 7 p.m. elimination game against either No. 2 seed Francis Marion or No. 5 seed Catawba.
Hayduk, whose 10th inning grand slam gave Mount Olive a 6-2 victory over Columbus State on Friday, broke a 1-1 tie against UNC Pembroke in the top of the sixth inning with a one-out, two-run single to left off Braves’ starter Brad Isom (10-4). Joseph Westbrook had opened the inning with a single and moved to second on Jason Simone’s single. Both runners advanced into scoring position on Jacob Rogers’ groundout.
With Mount Olive leading 4-1 in the top of the eighth, a pair of walks by reliever Brantley Hattrich and an error loaded the bases, giving Hayduk a chance for his second grand slam in as many days. This time, the senior from Browns Mills, N.J., hit a line drive to left, clearing the bases. Two of the runs scored on the hit, and a third came home when the ball was bobbled in left.
That was more than enough run support for Levitt (9-2), who scattered seven hits and walked three while striking out nine over 7 2/3 innings.