GREENWOOD, S.C. – The Coker baseball team got their 2011 season off to a rocky start on Tuesday, as the Cobras took a hard 14-1 loss to the Lander University Bearcats in collegiate baseball action.
Lander, which pounded out 14 hits, opens the season at 1-0, while Coker starts at 0-1.
Cory Hopper (1-0) struck out four batters in 2.1 innings to earn the win for the Bearcats. Lander’s pitching corps – Hopper, Brandon Farquhar, Brantley Blalock, Ross Davis and Darrin Tew – held the Cobras to three hits.
Coker’s Matt Long (Florence, S.C.)(0-1) took the loss as he struck out one, walked two and allowed six runs (three earned) on three hits in 1.1 innings pitched.
For Lander, AJ Nunziato batted 2-for-5 with two runs scored and two RBI, Alan Abreu went 2-for-3 with two doubles and three runs scored, Robert Skinner 2-for-3 with one double, two runs and one RBI, and Adam Davey 2-for-4 with one double, three runs and three RBI. Erik Lunde went 2-for-3 with three RBI and Patrick Grady added a grand slam in the seventh inning.
For Coker, Chad Nader (Rock Hill, S.C.) went 1-for-4 with one double, while Jake Frazier (Indian Harbor Beach, Fla.) batted 2-for-3 with an RBI.
The Bearcats took a 2-0 lead in the first inning on Lunde’s bases-loaded single that scored Abreu and Davey.
Lander then exploded for five runs in the second inning. With bases loaded, Nunziato bunted in Ryan McNulty, Davey’s two-RBI double plated Abreu and Skinner, Nunziato then scored on a Coker error, and Davey went home on Lunde’s sacrifice fly.
Coker scored its only run of the game in the fourth on Frazier’s RBI single.
Lander stretched the lead to 8-1 in the sixth on Nunziato’s RBI triple, then added six more runs in the seventh. In addition to Grady’s grand slam, Abreu went home on Skinner’s sacrifice fly and Davey’s RBI single sent Abreu across the plate.
The Cobras will not have to wait long to redeem their loss as they return to the diamond to face St. Augustine’s College on Wednesday in Hartsville. First pitch is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. at Tom J. New Field.