PEMBROKE, NC- Coker battled back from four-runs down in the eighth inning to tie the score but gave up two runs in the bottom of the inning to fall 9-7 at UNC Pembroke in its baseball season opener. 

Coker (0-1) jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning when Justin Sims/Westville, NJ doubled to score Ben Kershner/Wellington, CO and Nick Fletcher/Littleton, CO.  Pembroke (1-0) got one run back in the bottom of the inning and tied the score at 2-2 in the third on a single by Robbie Redic with a runner on third.

After falling behind 4-2 in the fourth the Cobras plated one in the fifth on a Kershner single, but UNCP added two more in the bottom half to grab a 6-3 advantage.  Coker retired the first two batters in the seventh inning but a single and a double by the next two batters made it 7-3 with only six outs left for the Cobras.  CC wasn’t done yet, however, and stepped up with a big eighth inning.

Sophomore T.J. Dawson’s/Conway, SC two-RBI single with two outs made it 7-5 and classmate Brian Nally/Highland Heights, OH pushed Dawson across with a RBI single of his own.  A single by senior Conrad Deese/Pageland, SC and a walk by Kershner brought Fletcher back to the plate and he delivered again with a single.  Nally scored to tie the game at 7-7 but Deese was thrown out at the plate to end the inning.

The tie was short-lived, however, as Redic and Tripp Lockhart hit back-to-back homeruns for the Braves to make it 9-7.  Freshman Brad Boob/Charlotte, NC settled down after that to retire the next three batters but the Cobras were retired in order in the ninth after the deflating homers.

Boob took the loss for CC and Sandy Jacobs earned the win for Pembroke.  Fletcher went 4-4 on the day with a run scored and one RBI.  Dawson finished 2-3 at the plate with two RBI and a run scored and Kershner went 2-4 with a RBI and a run scored.

Coker will next head to Columbia, SC to take on Benedict College in a double-header on Saturday, February 5, at 1:00 PM.