Davidson falls in Atlantic 10 tournament finals despite earlier Hudson win

Posted 5/31/19

BRONX, N.Y. — Davidson’s run at the Atlantic 10 baseball tournament — and in 2019 — came to an end Friday night at Fordham’s Houlihan Park with a 5-2 loss to Dayton, but not before the …

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Davidson falls in Atlantic 10 tournament finals despite earlier Hudson win

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Posted

BRONX, N.Y. — Davidson’s run at the Atlantic 10 baseball tournament — and in 2019 — came to an end Friday night at Fordham’s Houlihan Park with a 5-2 loss to Dayton, but not before the Wildcats put themselves in position to reach a third A-10 final by beating Richmond earlier in the day.

With the loss the collegiate career of Josh Hudson, former Jordan-Matthews star and Siler City native, also came to a close.

But as Davidson concludes the season 29-22, with a program-best sixth straight winning season, Hudson and his fellow 2019 seniors leave as the winningest class in program history. The 29-win campaign is tied (with 2014) for third best in the record book, following only the 35 wins in 2017 and the 33 in 2018.

“We expected to be playing Saturday, and I really wanted that for this team,” Davidson coach Rucker Taylor said after the loss. “Unfortunately that’s not going to happen, but this group will always be a special one for many reasons.”

After beating No. 5 Richmond 6-3, the No. 2 Wildcats met No. 3 Dayton for a second time in the tournament. The Flyers (32-25-1) scored runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings to take control.

Outfielder Alex Mardiney drove in both Davidson runs. He hit a solo home run to right in the fourth inning, and his seventh shot of the year tied the game at 1-1. Mardiney then singled in a run in the sixth to make it 4-2.

Davidson threatened in the seventh, but left the bases loaded. The tying run came to the plate twice in the ninth, but the Flyers held on.

Hudson, who will be attending Wake Forest University for graduate school, hurled Davidson over Rhode Island 4-2 on Thursday. Hudson cruised through six innings, surrendering just one hit and retiring 11 of 13 batters in one stretch. The senior righthander said he was motivated to lead the Wildcats to another win.

“I just didn’t want to go home yet,” he said. “I had a lot of adrenaline in the first inning, and I had to settle in later.”

In the seventh, with Davidson leading 4-2, the Rams earned three hits against Hudson, pushed a run across and loaded the bases with two outs. The Wildcats called on reliever Dan Spear to work out of the jam, and he answered the call by forcing an inning-ending flyout to left.

Freshman closer Gabe Levy recorded the final five outs to earn his 10th save. He entered with two runners on and one out in the eighth and struck out Josh Brodeur for the second out and forced a chopper to third baseman Eric Jones for the third. In the ninth, he struck out two batters after hitting leadoff hitter Greg Cavaliere, and Kevin Heiss flied out to Justin Lebek in deep right to end the game and a long day at the ballpark.

Hudson improved to 5-2 on the season after working the 6.2 innings to get the win while yielding four hits, four walks, two runs and striking out six while throwing 110 pitches.

For his senior season, Hudson made 12 starts and 14 appearances overall while hurling 69.1 innings and allowing 33 runs (28 earned), 66 hits, 26 walks, and six hit batters while holding opponents to a .242 batting average and compiling a sharp .363 ERA.

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