BELMONT, NC (March 9, 2008)- Belmont Abbey catcher Jay McConnell finished 3-4 with a home run and Tyler Powell shut down Coker's offense, allowing one run on two hits in seven innings as the Crusaders gained a three-game sweep of the Cobras with a 6-1 win this afternoon. The Abbey, winners of seven-straight, improve to 18-8 overall and 9-3 in Conference play, while Coker falls to 8-15 overall and 2-10 in Conference Carolinas.

Powell earned the win after a strong seven inning performance, allowing just two hits, a double and a single in the third inning, as he struck out six and walked three in a 106 pitch outing. Chris Thomas took the loss after allowing five runs, four earned, on eight hits in five innings.

The Crusaders never trailed as they took a 2-0 lead in the second. Alex Castellanos led off with a single and scored all the way from first on a Carlos Vasquez double off the wall in left. Vasquez scored on the next at bat on McConnell's single through the left side.

The Cobras cut the lead in half with a run in the third, but the Abbey responded with three in their half, using a two RBI double to left by Castellanos. After a wild pitch moved Castellanos to third, Vasquez brought him home with a single to left to widen the lead to 5-1.

The Abbey pushed the final run of the game across in the sixth as McConnell blasted a solo homer to left center field, his third of the year, to push the lead to 6-1. Powell retired the side in order in the seventh, and then gave way to Evan Jonas, who did not allow a run in the eighth. Trey Summerlin finished the game in the ninth.

Belmont Abbey finished with ten hits as McConnell led the way with three and drove in two runs. Castellanos and Vasquez both finished 2-4 and each had a pair of runs batted in.

The Crusaders are back in action Monday afternoon at 2:00 when they host Bloomsburg, while Coker returns to the field on Wednesday as they host Bloomsburg at 1:00 p.m.

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