Hartsville, S.C. – In the bottom of the 10th inning with two outs and a runner of third, Brian Luchsinger stepped to the plate and wasting no time drove the first pitch he saw through the left side of the infield, scoring Kevin Schlange from third and giving the Cobras a 7-6 win over Limestone College in a Conference Carolinas baseball grudge match on Saturday afternoon.
The win improves the Cobras to 5-4 overall, and 1-0 in the conference, while Limestone falls to 4-3 overall, and 0-1 in the conference with the loss.
It was a back and forth game from the very first inning, as Coker jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead thanks to a pair of triples by Karl Ankersen (Mt. Pleasant, SC) and Kyle Walker (Centralia, IL). Then after a scoreless second and third innings, the Saints tallied their first run of the game when Aldo Mendez was able to score after stealing second and then coming home with the help of a Cobra throwing error on a pick-off play.
Coker regained their two run lead with a run in fifth, but a three run sixth inning gave Limestone its first lead of the game, with two runs coming off a two-run double by Joseph Maloney. The Cobras tied the game in the seventh with an RBI from Luchsinger (Farmingville, NY) and then regained the lead in the eighth with a triple from Ellis Logeman (Suwanee, GA) and an RBI single from Walker.
Limestone was not ready to go down yet, as Mendez drove home two-runs with a triple to left field, giving the Saints a one run lead. The Cobras found themselves in a tight situation in the bottom of the ninth, as Jesse Crockett (North East, MD) stepped to the plate to pinch hit with two outs and a runner on third. After working the count to 2-2, Crockett drove a big base hit into right field tying the game at six apiece.
The Saints came back strong again in the 10th, as Tim Welsh led the inning off with a double and eventually advanced to third, but a diving catch by Walker in left with two outs saved the run from scoring and gave the Cobras the momentum needed to bring home the win, leaving Luchsinger to drive home the winning run in the bottom half of the inning.
Tom Oschip (Concord, OH) (2-0) earned the win in relief, tossing an inning, allowing just one hit with a strike out, while Jordan Robinson (0-1) took the loss for Limestone, going two innings, allowing two runs on five hits with a strike out.
At the plate, Walker dominated the Saints pitching, going 5-for-6 with two RBIs and two runs scored, while Luchsinger was 3-for-6 with two RBIs and a run scored. Ankersen, Logeman, Taylor Evans (Arvada, CO), Brinley Griffin (Port St. John, FL) and BK Harfst (Arvada, CO) each had two hits in the game.
For Limestone, Mendez was 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a run scored, while Greg Dailey was 2-for-4 with a run scored and Maloney was 1-for-4 with two RBIs.
Coker and Limestone will complete their three game series on Sunday, as they play two seven inning games starting at 1:00 p.m.