HARTSVILLE, S.C.- The Coker College baseball team took on the no. 12 ranked UNC-Pembroke Braves in a midweek non-conference game on Wednesday, March 7 at Tom J. New Field at Dave Schmotzer Stadium. The Cobras scored five runs, but fell victim to the Braves.
Coker (9-8) took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning. Lake Lybrand worked his way aboard on a leadoff infield single to short. With one out, KJ Curry reached on a single to third base, but the throw got away from the Braves' (15-3, 6-3) third baseman, Trey Jacobs, which brought around Lybrand and put Curry on third. Bryson Conner then stepped in and lifted a sacrifice fly to right field to put the Cobras on top 2-0 heading into the fourth inning.
UNC-Pembroke tied the game 2-2 in the fourth on a pair of base hits a hit by pitch and an error.
The Navy and Gold secured a run in the bottom half of the fourth courtesy of an RBI groundout from Connor Cleary. With one out, Thomas Lopez reached after being hit on the top of the helmet. Matt Swiderski followed with a walk and then both runners advanced on a wild pitch. Cleary proceeded to ground out to the right side, giving the Cobras a 3-2 lead.
The Braves broke open the offense in the top half of the sixth, pushing eight runs across on six hits, two walks, and an error to lead Coker 10-3.
Two more runs pushed across the plate for UNC-Pembroke in the seventh with a two-out rally, on two singles, a walk and a hit-by-pitch.
Cleary added his second RBI on the day in the bottom of the eighth, driving in Brooks Estrada, who was hit by a pitch to lead off the frame. Estrada moved into scoring position after tagging up on a fly out to left from Lopez. With two outs, Cleary roped a line drive single to left, scoring Estrada for Coker's fourth run on the afternoon.
In the ninth, Curry racked up his third hit on the Braves' pitching staff and Conner singled up the middle to put runners on the corners. On the ensuing pitch, both runners were able to advance on a wild pitch, as Curry scored the fifth run for Coker.
The Cobras will be back in action on Friday and Saturday, March 9 & 10, as they will travel to Anderson, S.C. to take on a South Atlantic Conference opponent in the Anderson University Trojans. Friday's game will take place under the lights, as first pitch is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. Live-stats can be found by visiting www.cokercobras.com.