WILSON, N.C.—Coker’s senior second baseman Matt Ammons (Chester, S.C.) had the Cobras biggest hit of the day, as he belted the first grand slam of his collegiate career in the seventh-inning of game two, but it was not enough to give Coker a victory as Barton College swept the Cobras in a Conference Carolinas baseball doubleheader 18-1 and 7-6 against on Saturday afternoon at Barton’s Nixon Field.
Barton’s Chris Rawlings was 6-for-9 with seven RBI, four runs scored and two stolen bases in both games. The junior second baseman added a three-run homer in the opener and a one-run double in the nightcap.
The Bulldogs climb to 11-15 overall and 4-5 in the conference after sweeping a league twin bill for the second straight Saturday. The Cobras have lost five consecutive conference games, stumbling to 10-18 and 3-8.
The two teams will wrap up the three-game weekend series on Sunday with first pitch at Nixon Field slated for 1 p.m.
The Bulldogs scored in each of the first seven innings and hit three home runs en route to the 18-1 blowout victory. Barton scored a season-high 18 runs with a season-best 17 hits.
Rawlings, Jordan Smith and David Gibbons all went deep as Barton doubled its home run total on the season from three to six dingers. Gibbons started the power surge with his first collegiate homer in the fifth, a solo shot over the right field fence. Smith led off the seventh with his second homer of the season. Four batters later, Rawlings crushed his three-run shot to left.
Senior right-handed starter Hunter Meekins kept Coker at bay with his second straight complete-game victory. Meekins (2-4) recorded six strikeouts and did not allow an earned run, scattered four hits and only issued one walk over nine innings.
Coker was given several scoring opportunities in part because of four Barton errors but Meekins wiggled out of harm each time with quality pitching that featured batters guessing with a variety of speed changes. The Cobras stranded 10 total runners.
Senior Daniel Hiatt (Elwood, Ind.) drove in the lone Cobra unearned run with a single up the middle in the fourth. Hiatt’s two-out rip just out of reach of Meekins glove was Coker’s first base hit.
Barton took command with five runs in the first that featured a bases-clearing, three-run double by senior Aaron Watkins. The Bulldogs tacked on one run in each of next four innings before pulling away with five runs in the sixth and four more in the seventh.
Rawlings and Crumpler each tallied four hits. Smith followed with three base knocks. Rawlings produced five RBI and scored four times. Crumpler and Smith rounded the bases a trio of time apiece.
Leading 6-3 in the nightcap, the Cobras allowed Barton to rally for its fourth consecutive victory with four runs in the bottom of the seventh. Senior Matt Willis and Rawlings completed the dramatic finish with clutch two-out singles.
Gibbons started the rally with a leadoff infield single. Junior Ryan Daughtry walked before freshman Collins Cuthrell plated Gibbons with a double down the left field line.
Coker reliever Matt Bowman (Streator, Ill.) was brought in for the save opportunity before Smith pulled Barton to within one with a groundout that scored Daughtry. Bowman got the second out before Willis knotted the scoreboard in Barton’s last at bat with a single up the middle as Cuthrell stepped on home plate for the game-tying run.
Sophomore Clay Martin kept the rally alive with a walk sending Rawlings into the batter’s box. Rawlings sent a 1-0 offering back up the middle and Willis was waved home from second before the throw from the center fielder reached the catcher to end the game.
The Bulldogs and sophomore starter Kyle Norville were closing in on a 3-1 win, needing three outs in the top of the seventh but Coker countered with five runs to jump in front. A pair of singles followed by a walk loaded the bases for Ammons, who tagged his go-ahead grand slam to left. A freshman Fico Kondla (Miami, Fla.) drew a bases loaded walk later in the inning for the Cobras fifth run of the frame.
Sophomore Mitchell Frazier was credited with his first collegiate win by getting the final two outs in the top of the seventh. Bowman (1-1) was slated with the loss for Coker.
Dyson Coker (Turbeville, S.C.) also had a pair of hits for the Cobras in game two with a run scored.