Donato Lifts Coker Past No. 20 UNCP in Extra Innings
HARTSVILLE, S.C. – Jarren Donato sent a two-out single down the right field line to score Dustin Russell in the bottom of the 11th inning, giving the Coker Cobras an 8-7 victory over the No. 20 UNC Pembroke Braves on Tuesday (April 8) in collegiate baseball action.
UNCP was first to strike with two runs in the top of the first. The Cobras responded with six runs on five hits, including doubles by Evan Rybicki, Russell and T.J. Giczkowski, in the bottom of the second to take a 6-2 lead. A double steal by Giczkowski and Shea Bell added another run in the fourth, making it a 7-2 game in favor of the Cobras.
The Braves then put together back-to-back two-run innings to make it a 7-6 ball game. The score remained unchanged for the seventh and eighth innings, as neither team was able to push a run across. Then in the top of the ninth UNCP drove home the tying run, sending the game into extra innings. After a scoreless 10th, Russell reached base by way of an error to put the lead-off man aboard for the Cobras in the bottom of the 11th. A sacrifice bunt by Bell, put Russell in scoring position. He then advanced to third on a grounder to second, which brought Donato to the plate with two outs and the game-winning run, just 90 feet away. Donato then sent a line drive down the right field line, scoring Russell and giving the Cobras the 8-7 win.
Andrew Goot (2-4) picked up the win in relief. He allowed just one run on three hits with three strikeouts in four innings on the hill.
Donato and Russell each drove in two runs to lead the Cobras at the plate, while Rybicki and Giczkowski each had two hits including a double with an RBI. Jack Leech picked up three hits and scored a run, and Ernie Kirkwood also drove in a run.
The Cobras will be back in action on Wednesday (April 9) against the No. 20 UNCP Braves once again. The two teams will take the field at 6 p.m. at UNCP's Sammy Cox Field.
McDonald's Player of the Game- Jarren Donato