FLORENCE, S.C. – The Coker Cobras baseball team closed out their 2011 season with a bang on Wednesday night defeating the nationally ranked No. 6 Patriots of Francis Marion University 3-1. The win marks the first time the Cobras have defeated the Patriots since April 10, 2007.
Francis Marion was first to strike with an unearned run in the third inning, giving the Patriots the 1-0 lead.
Coker took the 2-1 lead in the fifth when they scored a pair of runs by taking advantage of a walk, an error and three wild pitches. The Cobras added an insurance run in the sixth when Tyler Witzel (Melbourne, Fla.) drove Chad Nader (Rock Hill, S.C.) home giving Coker the 3-1 advantage.
The Cobras used superb pitching a solid defense to secure the 3-1 victory over the final four innings. Coker allowed just seven base runners during that time, allow just two hits and three strikeouts.
Witzel (6-4) got the win on the mound allowing one unearned run on five hits with four strikeouts in 6.1 innings of work. Matt Long (Florence, S.C.) and Sean Tracy (Farmingville, N.Y.) combined for 2.2 innings of scoreless baseball allow just one hit while striking out two. Tracy (2) earned the save thanks to a scoreless ninth.
FMU’s Joe Wagstaff (4-4) was tagged with the loss. He allowed two runs on a hit with four punch outs in 4.2 innings of work. As a staff, three Patriot pitchers held Coker to just three hits in the game with eight strikeouts and three walks.
Jake Fraaier (Indian Harbor Beach, Fla.) Matt Ammons (Chester, S.C.) and Fico Kondla (Miami, Fla.) each had one of the Cobras three hits, while Witzel had the Cobras lone RBI of the game.
The Cobras finish the season with a record of 16-27 overall and 6-15 in Conference Carolinas play. Coker finished seventh in the conference standings.