HARTSVILLE, S.C. – The Coker baseball team dropped the first game of its three-game series with Belmont Abbey, losing 14-8 in Conference Carolinas action on Friday (Apr. 12) afternoon. The loss drops the Cobras to 25-12 overall and 11-8 in league play.
The Abbey scored the first run of the ball game, as Emilio Pagan hit a solo homer on the very first pitch of the game. Right-hander Tyler Witzel settled down and was able to hold the Crusaders to just one run over the next five innings.
The Cobras took the 3-1 lead in the bottom of the third with an RBI single by Fico Kondla, a sac fly by Ernie Kirkwood and an Abbey error. Another Crusader run in the third cut the lead to one, 3-2. Coker tacked on a run of their own in the fourth with an RBI single by Kirkwood, and three more runs in the sixth to take a 7-2 lead.
In the seventh the Abbey bats came to life with four runs, making it a 7-6 ball game. The Cobras were able to plate an insurance run in the bottom of the inning to make it 8-6. A scoreless eighth inning sent the game to the ninth with Coker holding a two-run advantage. Unfortunately for the Cobras, the Crusaders were able to send eight runs across the plate in the top half of the ninth to earn the 14-8 win.
Zach Loraine (1-2) was tagged with the loss. He allowed seven runs on two hits with a strikeout in an inning of relief work.
The Cobras and the Crusaders will complete their three-game series with a double-header on Saturday (Apr. 13) beginning at noon. Prior to first pitch, the Cobras will honor their 13 seniors with a special pre-game ceremony.
McDonald's Player of the Game- Ernie Kirkwood