LAURINBURG, N.C.—Junior first baseman Josh Axelsen (St. Charles, IlI.) drove in five runs in the opener and senior right fielder hit a bases loaded walk-off single in the nightcap as St. Andrews Presbyterian College swept a pair of Conference Carolinas baseball games, 13-11 & 5-4, from Coker College on Saturday afternoon at Clark Field.
The Knights have won three straight and are 3-1 at home this season. SAPC maintains a 3-11 overall and 2-3 conference record. The Cobras maintain a 7-8 overall and 1-4 league ledgers. The two teams will wrap up the three-game series on Sunday at 1:00 p.m.
“The guys had a tough beginning to the season but we played some difficult opponents,” said St. Andrews second year head coach Keith Williams. “We knew we would have some growing pains with a bunch of young guys starting but the pitchers are starting to settle in and the position players are starting to feel better after getting more at bats. They are adjusting to the college game and showing a lot of resilience both on Thursday and today after losing a lead only to come back and win the game.”
Senior leftfielder Ivan Rodriguez (New York, N.C.) collected a pair of base hits in each game including a double in each contest to finish with a team-high four hits for St. Andrews. Junior centerfielder Samson Williams (Wilmington, N.C.) and freshman second baseman Ethan Powell (Greenville, N.C.) both had a hit in each game as they increase their current hitting streaks to 10 games.
Senior Andrew Mudd (Laurinburg, N.C.) picked up the save in the first game and was credited with the win in the second game after tossing a combined 2 1/3 innings of shutout relief. Junior Alex Ridout (Wake Forest, N.C.) and freshman James Shahayda (Virginia Beach, Va.) each had their best start of the season for the Knights as they both went 5 1/3.
“Ridout and Shahayda threw great games for us. We made a couple key errors behind us but they gave us a chance to win. They both built on their performances last weekend at Anderson.”
Senior Brian Luchsinger (Farmingville, N.Y.) led the Cobras offensively with four hits. Classmate Kyle Walker (Centrailia, Ill.) followed with three hits and junior Jessie Crockett (North East, Md.) hit his first home run of the season.
GAME ONE: St. Andrews 13, Coker 11
The opener started out as a pitchers dual between Ridout and senior Jesse Hatchell (Florence, S.C.) with St. Andrews clinging to a 1-0 lead after four innings before the two teams exploded for 23 more runs. Coker took a 10-7 lead into the eighth but the Knights put together their second six-run frame of the contest to rally back and win, 13-11.
Walker and Luchsinger had three hits apiece helping Coker build its lead. Walker had a two-run double in the fifth and Luchsinger capped the Cobras six-run sixth with an RBI-single. Senior Karl Ankersen (Mt. Pleasant, S.C.) also had a two-run double for the visitors.
Axelsen provided most of the Knights damage including an RBI-double in the fourth, a two-run single in the fifth, and a tw-run homer in the eighth. Axelsen finished the game going 3-for-4 with a sac bunt and five RBI. After a leadoff single by Kyle Norris (Laurel Hill, N.C.), Axelsen started the Knights comeback in the eighth with his two-run blast to left. Axelsen has two home runs on the season.
Williams had a pair of run-producing singles while Rodriguez had two RBI and two runs scored off of his two hits. All eight position players had a hit for St. Andrews in the first game.
Ridout allowed seven runs (five earned) on seven hits over 5 1/3 while striking out three in the no-decision. Senior Travis Lee (Frederick, Md.) was credited with his first win of the season in three innings of work and Mudd saved the game after Coker put the potential game-tying runners on base in the ninth.