CARY, N.C. – The No. 3 Coker Cobras dropped their opening game of the 2013 NCAA Division II Baseball National Championship to the No. 1 Tampa Spartans, 12-4, on Sunday (May 26) afternoon. The loss drops the Cobras to 38-15 on the year and snaps Coker's eight-game winning streak in their first-ever appearance at the NCAA National Championship.
With the loss, Coker drops to the elimination bracket where they will await the loser of the St. Edwards and Grand Canyon game on Tuesday (May 28) at 3 p.m.
Tampa was first to strike with a run in the bottom of the first. The Cobras answered with two runs in the top of the second thanks to an RBI single by Ernie Kirkwood and a safety squeeze by Frank Suarez. The lead was short lived, however, as the Spartans tacked on three runs in the bottom half of the inning to take the 4-2 advantage.
After a scoreless third, Tampa added a run in the fourth and another two in the fifth for a 7-2 lead. The Cobras trimmed the Tampa lead to three runs, (7-4) with a two-run single by Fico Kondla in the sixth. The score remained 7-4 in favor of the Spartans until they scored five runs in the bottom of the eighth to take the 12-4 lead and eventual win.
Dan Meyer (8-4) was tagged with the loss. He allowed seven runs on 10 hits with four strikeouts in four innings of work on the mound.
Kondla led the Cobras at the plate, going 2-for-4 with a pair of RBIs and a run scored. Kirkwood and Suarez each drove in a run, while Zach Loraine scored two runs and had a hit.
For all the latest on the 2013 NCAA Division II Baseball National Championship visit www.ncaa.com.