Clutch Pitching Gives Coker Two Wins Over Barton

HARTSVILLE, S.C. – Pitchers Tyler Witzel and Zach Loraine were unhittable as they led Coker to a pair of wins over Barton College in Conference Carolinas baseball action on Sunday (Feb. 24). The Cobras came from behind to win both games; the first 7-6 and the second 3-2.

Witzel (3-0) came on in relief in both games, earning both wins, while tossing two and a third innings of scoreless baseball on the mound. He allowed no hits and had a strikeout. Loraine (2) picked up the save in both games, throwing two innings of hitless baseball with four strikeouts.

With the wins the Cobras are 9-3 overall and 2-0 in league play.

In game one, Coker trailed 5-0 after the fourth inning. The Cobras trimmed the Bulldog lead to just two by scoring three runs on three hits in the fifth. Another two runs in the sixth tied the game at five. Barton answered with a go ahead run in the top of the seventh, but an RBI single by Brinley Griffin in the bottom half of the inning evened the score at six. Frank Suarez drove in the eventual game-winner for Coker in the bottom of the eighth, as Loraine shut the door on the Bulldogs in the top of the ninth.

Griffin finished the game 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI, while Fico Kondla and Shea Bell each had a pair of hits with an RBI. Erine Kirkwood also had a double with an RBI and Suarez finished the game 1-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored.

In game two, the Cobras once again found themselves in a hole early, this time Coker trailed 2-0 after three thanks to back-to-back home runs by Phillip Williams and Collins Cuthrell. The Cobras managed to scratch a run across in the bottom of the fourth on a sacrifice fly by Loraine, making it a 2-1 ball game.  After a scoreless fifth, Keith Wolf drove in two runs on a single up the middle in the sixth to give Coker the 3-2 lead. Loraine then closed out the game with another scoreless inning.

Wolf was 1-for-3 with two RBIs in game two, while Griffin, Bell and Chad Nader each collected hits.

The Cobras and the Bulldogs will complete their three-game Conference Carolinas series with a single nine-inning game on Monday. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. at Coker's Tom J. New Field.

McDonald's Player of the Game- Tyler Witzel