LAURINBURG, N.C.—Junior Julio Gomez (Sante Fe, N.M.) smashed a three-run home run in the Cobras last at bat to propel visiting Coker College to a 7-4 Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference come-from-behind victory over host St. Andrews Presbyterian College in Sunday afternoon’s finale at Clark Field.
The Cobras, who are riding a season-high six game win streak, improved to 16-24 on the season while evening their CVAC record at 9-9 after completing the three-game series sweep. The Knights fell to 13-28 overall and 3-15 in the league.
Knights’ freshman Zach Dunn (Harrisburg, N.C.) broke a scoreless tie in the bottom of the second with a single to left field. Senior Ritchie Priest (Elizabethtown, N.C.), who started the two-out rally with his fourth double of the series, scored on the Dunn base hit.
Freshman left handed starter Mark Dlugokienski (Naples, Fla.), who only allowed one hit in five-plus innings, hit senior Eric Losten (Chesapeake City, Md.) with a pitch to start the top of the sixth. Losten later scored from third base to tie the contest at 1-1 while another Cobra was in a run down attempting to steal second. Dlugokienki finished with a team-high three strikeouts for the Knights in the no-decision outing.
St. Andrews regained a one-run lead in the home half of the sixth. Sophomore Jordan Scott (Tarboro, N.C.) drew a lead-off walk and later scored on a junior Michael Eastwood (Grantsboro, N.C.) seeing-eyed single through the left side of the infield.
Coker battled back and leapfrogged into the lead with a pair of runs in the eighth. Losten led off with a double and scored on a single by senior Brian Nally (Highland Heights, Ohio) to tie the game at 2-2. Senior Steven Evans (Granite City, Ill.) put the visitors on top with a bases loaded single that plated Nally.
Freshman Alex Ridout (Wake Forest, N.C.) catapulted SAPC back on top by drilled a bases-loaded, two-run single in the bottom of the eighth.
Junior reliever Jordan Cudney (Charlotte, N.C.) looked to be in line for the victory as the Knights clung to slim 4-3 lead with two Cobras on base and two outs in the top of the ninth. However, Gomez blasted a 3-1 Cudney (1-4) delivery over the center field fence. Gomez’ clutch swing was his third home run of the season. Evans added an insurance run with an RBI-single as Coker went onto the three-run victory.
Senior Kyle Strickland (Walterboro, S.C.) retired all three SAPC batters in the bottom of the ninth to earn his first victory of the season. Strickland (1-3) had two strikeouts in 1 2/3 innings of work in relief of senior Jayson Clarke (Lyons, N.Y.), who fanned four in his 7 1/3 innings of action.
Evans led the Cobras with three hits while Knights freshman Jonathan Ramkissoon (Dallas, N.C.) had a pair of singles.
St. Andrews visits non-conference Wingate University on Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m.