LAURINBURG, NC—In Sunday’s rubber game that featured two hot ball clubs, both teams went on an offensive attack as visiting Coker College escaped with a 15-14 CVAC victory over St. Andrews at Clark Field.
The Cobras (21-16 overall/11-7 CVAC), who have won nine of its last 10, held off a late surge by the Knights (24-16/10-7), who have won 12 in its last 15.
Coker produced three runs in each of its first four innings to take a 12-5 lead.
St. Andrews cut into the deficit with two runs in the fourth and three in the fifth. Catcher Cliff Allred blasted a two-run homer to right-center in the fourth and first baseman Greg Wrape drilled his own two-run shot in the fifth to trim the score to 13-10.
Eric Losten (Chesapeake City, MD) led off the top of the seventh with the Cobras fifth double of the game. Conrad Deese (Pageland, SC) plated Losten with a single. Deese ended up stealing second, advancing to third on a passed ball and scoring during a double play to give Coker a 15-10 lead.
St. Andrews pulled to within one with a four spot in the eighth. With the bases loaded Andrew Hoffner ripped a two-run double to center scoring Will Clark and Allred; Stewart Redding hit a RBI groundout that brought home Josh Craig; and Marc Hammonds singled through the left side to score Hoffner.
The Knights had one last big chance in the bottom of the ninth. With two outs and Everett Kelly on first after walking, Allred connected into what looked to be a walk-off two run homer down the left field line but was called foul. Cobra pitcher Brian Nally (Highland Heights, OH) would hang in and strike out Allred looking to end the game.
Larry Morris (Earleville, MD) was credited with the win after going 4 1/3 and striking out four. Morris improved to 2-3 while Nally earned his first save of the season. Knights’ starter Anthony Mehling fell to 2-5.
Losten and Deese led the Coker attack with four hits apiece. Deese had four RBI and Losten scored three times. Ben Kershner (Wellington, CO) and T.J. Dawson (Conway, SC) both chipped in with three hits.
Hammonds and Clark each had a team-high three hits for the Knights. Allred, Wrape and Redding all had multiple hit games.