HARTSVILLE, SC – Coker’s late-season pitching woes continued at the CVAC Tournament on Friday and Saturday, as the Cobras lost two straight and returned home. In the first game CC fell 11-8 to host Barton and lost in the consolation bracket 28-19 against Erskine.
A windy day and a small park led to game one’s high scoring. Nine homeruns rocketed over the fence in the game, representing 12 of the 19 runs scored. Eric Losten and Conrad Deese hit back-to-back homers in the first inning for a 2-0 Coker lead but the Bulldogs answered with two runs in the second.
The two teams were tied at 3-3 after three innings but Barton took control of the game in the fourth with a five spot. Tyler Petty’s three-run homer with two out did the most damage and left CC with a hole to climb out of.
Justin Sims hit a two-run bomb in the fifth and Losten hit his second blast of the day in the sixth to cut the lead to 9-7. The Bulldogs added one in the seventh and eighth, however and Coker managed only one run in the bottom of the eighth to complete the scoring.
Freshmen Brad Boob had a rough day, pitching seven innings with 11 runs and 18 hits allowed. Senior Ben Kershner went 4-4 with a walk, one run scored and a RBI, while Losten and Deese both had a pair of solo homeruns.
In game two the Cobras built a 9-1 lead in the first three innings only to see Erskine storm back in the second three innings to lead 13-11. In the eighth inning the Flying Fleet seemingly took control of the game with a six run outburst and a 19-11 lead. In the bottom of the ninth Coker had runners on first and second base but the next two batters popped out and struck out. With two outs, Dustin Dockter singled to drive in the runners and started an incredible eight-run comeback to tie the game at 19-19.
A single by Losten made it 19-15 and a bases-loaded double by Kershner drove in three more runs to cut the deficit to one. Sims singled to drive in pinch runner Brantley Bell and put the winning run on third base. Runner Stephen Jackson attempted to steal home with the bases loaded but was thrown out to send the game to extra innings.
The game went so long it had to be postponed for darkness and continued Saturday morning. CC had a runner on third in the 10th inning and a runner on second in the 11th but couldn’t score either time. In the 12th, the Fleet’s Robbie Knapp hit a two-run homer and it opened the floodgates for a nine-run explosion that deflated Coker. There would be no second comeback as CC went 1-2-3 in their final at-bat.
Losten went 4-8 with five RBI and four runs scored and Kershner finished 4-6 with five RBI and three runs scored. Dockter went 4-7 with another five RBI and a run scored.