LAURINBURG, NC—The St. Andrews baseball team connected for 31 hits during Saturday’s Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference twinbill against visiting Coker College (20-16 overall/10-7 CVAC), but had to settle for a split after dropping the first game 12-9. The Knights (24-15/10-6), who are ranked ninth in the NCBWA South Atlantic Regional Poll, bounced back with an 11-3 victory in the nightcap.
SAPC took an early 4-0 lead in the first game with four unearned runs in the first inning. Brad Smith (Riegelwood, NC) and Cliff Allred (Franklinville, NC) provided RBI doubles and Will Clark (Laurinburg, NC) drilled a two-run triple past the diving left fielder.
A T.J. Dawson (Conway, SC) sacrifice fly and a Dustin Dockter (Columbia, SC) RBI single cut the Coker deficit in half in the second. Brian Nally (Highland Heights, OH) tied everything at four apiece with a two-run homer to left in the third and three batters later Justin Sims (Westville, NJ) drilled his own two-run homer to right-center give the Cobras the lead. Coker added a run in the fifth and two in the sixth to take a commanding 9-4 lead.
The Knights did not give in and Allred smacked his fourth home run of the season in the seventh, a towering two-run shot down the left field line. St. Andrews completed the comeback in the eighth with three more runs on a double by Clark that scored Everett Kelly (Wilmington, NC) and a bases-loaded double by Stewart Redding (Laurinburg, NC) that plated Clark and Allred.
Sims once again put Coker on top in the ninth with a two-out double in the left-center gap that drove in Nally and Dawson. Sims would then score on a single by Brantley Bell (Lithonia, GA).
Blake Miller (Greenwood, SC) improved to 4-0 in relief of starter Brad Boob (Charlotte, NC). Knight T.J. Chrusch (Fleetwood, PA) fell to 5-4 after taking the loss.
Once again St. Andrews took a 4-0 lead in second game, but this time they would never relinquish the lead. B.J. Horne supplied the first four runs with a two-run single in the third and a two-run double in the fourth.
The Knights held a 7-0 advantage before Coker scored its three unearned runs in the sixth. St. Andrews retaliated with three runs of its own in the bottom of the sixth and coasted to the 11-3 victory.
Brad Smith improved to 3-0 after scattering seven hits and three runs over 5 1/3 while striking out two. Scott Adams (Vernon Hills, VA) earned his second save of the season after coming in and ending the Cobra threat in the sixth.
The two teams meet tomorrow afternoon at 1:00 p.m. in the rubber game of the series.