BELMONT, N.C. - Belmont Abbey sophomore first baseman Danny Brion capped a five run Abbey comeback with a two-run homer in the bottom of the seventh, and sophomore pitcher Nate Cudney held Coker to just two hits while striking out eight in seven innings of relief as the Cobras dropped their Conference Carolinas series with Belmont Abbey thanks to a 5-4 victory Abbey win in the rubber game of a three-game series. The Abbey moves to 10-9 overall and finishes its home Conference Carolinas schedule with an 8-3 mark, while Coker falls to 11-10 overall and 5-7 in Conference Carolinas.
Cudney picked up the win after only allowing a single and a double in seven innings of relief of starter Steven Thiele, striking out eight and walking none. He retired the side in order three times. Dan Meyer (Seaford, N.Y.) (0-1) took the loss, the first of his college career, after allowing Brion's winning homer, the only hit he allowed, while striking out four in 2.1 innings.
Coker scored the first four runs of the game, with three coming in the first, two of which came on an Abbey fielding error. The Cobras made it 4-0 in the second as Brinley Griffin (Port St. John, fla.) singled home catcher Jessie Crockett (North East, Md.), who led off the inning with a walk, but the Cobras, who finished with just six hits, only had two more for the rest of the game as they failed to score again.
Belmont Abbey began its comeback in the fourth when leftfielder Tim Dye cut the lead in half with a two-run shot to left, scoring Spencer Sobol, who led off the inning with a double. Designated hitter Zach Berger followed with a fielder's choice. Roland Rodriguez then singled to right center, scoring Berger to inch the Abbey closer at 4-3.
That was all of the scoring until the seventh when Brion, for the second time in three games, moved the Abbey ahead in the seventh inning or later. After Meyer walked Rodriguez to leadoff the inning, Roberto Sanchez was retired on a popout. Brion followed with a high, towering blast to left for his second homer in three games to move the Abbey ahead 5-4.
Cudney shut down Coker in the final two innings, retiring the last six men in order to preserve the 5-4 win.
Belmont Abbey finished with ten hits as Brion went 3-for-3 with two RBI. Dye and Rodriguez had two hits and Dye drove in two runs.
Griffin had two of the Cobra's six hits, the only Coker player to record more than one.
The Cobras return to the diamond on Monday to take on Clarion in a non-conference game starting at 3:00 p.m.