HARTSVILLE, S.C. – The Coker College baseball team will open the 2014 season when they take on the Chowan University Hawks in a three-game series on Saturday (Feb. 1) and Sunday (Feb. 2).
Coker is coming off a very successful 2013 season that ending with a Conference Carolinas tournament title, an NCAA Southeast Regional title, and a trip to the NCAA Division II national finals.
The 2014 season is already off to a good start. The Cobras are ranked fourth in the South Atlantic Conference preseason poll, and are the No. 25 team in the Collegiate Baseball national preseason poll. This ranking is the highest preseason ranking that Coker has achieved in baseball history since becoming NCAA affiliated. Additionally, three players were named to the SAC preseason all-conference second team; Shea Bell, Andrew Goot, and Fico Kondla.
Bell, a senior shortstop, batted .247 last season with 40 hits, 24 runs, 17 RBIs and 21 stolen bases. In the field, Bell racked up 90 putouts and 130 assists.
Goot, a senior pitcher, finished last season with a perfect 8-0 record on the mound. He struck out 62 batters while posting a 4.50 ERA in 34 appearances. He was named Conference Carolinas player of the week twice, first team all-conference and was also NCBWA Southeast region pitcher of the week in 2013.
Kondla, a senior first baseman, had a monster season in 2013. He batted .418, drove in 50 runs with 76 hits, scored 42 runs and belted three home runs. He also racked up a .990 fielding percentage to go along with 469 putouts and 20 assists. He was named to the Conference Carolinas first team, was named Conference player of the week three times, Conference Carolinas all-tournament team, NCAA Southeast regional all-tournament team and the NCBWA all-region team. In addition, he was a finalist for the Josh Willingham Award, which recognizes the top player in Division II.
As a team, the Cobras batted a .309 last season. They had a .401 on base percentage and a .398 slugging percentage. They hit 11 home runs as a team, scored 354 runs and stole 131 bases.
Chowan went 21-27 in 2013. The Hawks also had a .309 batting average, a .386 on base percentage, and a .412 slugging percentage. They hit 14 home runs and 310 scored runs total.
Saturday's double-header will begin at noon and Sunday's single game will begin at noon as well. The games will be broadcast live online at www.cokercobras.com.