NEWBERRY, S.C. – The Coker Cobras got their first win over Newberry College in the last two years, defeating the Indians 6-4 on Wednesday night in collegiate baseball. The Cobras were able to stop a late inning rally by Newberry to preserve the win.
Newberry (5-15) looked to be off to a hot start as Nick Martin led off the bottom of the first with a double down the left field line and advanced to third on a Chad Perschbacher groundout. David Tunstill flied out to right field in what looked to be a sacrifice fly, but Martin was gunned down at the plate to end the inning.
Coker (8-12) scored single runs in the second and fifth innings, and shut down the Newberry offense until the eighth inning.
After Phillip Bartz led off the inning with a walk and Casio Grider was hit by a pitch, Martin's sacrifice bunt put two runners in scoring position with only one out. Brandon Mand came into the game as a pinch hitter and immediately delivered with an RBI single up the middle. Tunstill's hard hit grounder appeared to be a double play ball for the Cobras, but the shortstop threw past second base, allowing Grider to score and tie the game at 2-all. However, Robert Danise grounded into a double play to end the threat.
In the top of the ninth, the Cobras struck with a two-out rally to take a four-run lead. Trey Lynch (Florence, SC), Julio Gomez (Santa Fe, NM) and Karl Ankersen (Mt. Pleasant, SC) all drove in runs for Coker.
Thomas Berryhill led off the final frame with a walk, followed by a single through the right side by C.J. Tyrkala. Tyler Hartman lined out to first base, and the Coker first baseman turned it into a double play by throwing Berryhill out at second on a bang-bang play.
Down to their final out, the Indians refused to give in as Bartz singled and Grider hit a two-run double to the left field fence. Martin and Mand were walked consecutively to load the bases, but the deep configuration of the Smith Road Complex played against the home side as Tunstill's deep drive fell just short and into the glove of the Coker left fielder to end the game.
Stephen Byrd (0-2) was tagged with an unfortunate loss, as he allowed three runs in the top of the ninth, none of which were earned. Mikael Owens (2-1) picked up the win for Coker.
The Cobras will return to the diamond on Saturday, as they travel to Belmont, NC, to take on Belmont Abbey College in a Conference Carolinas doubleheader starting at noon, with game three of the series on Sunday, at 1:00 p.m.