MOUNT OLIVE, N.C. – The No. 4 seed Coker Cobras knocked off the No. 3 seed Armstrong Pirates 11-6 in the opening round of the 2013 NCAA Division II Southeast Region Baseball Tournament on Thursday (May 16).
With the win the Coker (35-14) moves to the winners bracket where they will await the winner of the game between the No. 2 seed USC Aiken and the No. 5 seed Georgia College on Friday (May 17) at 7 p.m.
Armstrong (31-16) falls to the elimination bracket. They will face the winner of the game between the No. 1 seed Mount Olive and the No. 6 seed Lincoln Memorial on Friday at 3 p.m.
The Cobras took care of business on both sides of the field in the win. They pounding out 11 runs on 17 hits, while shutting down the Pirate offense with three solid pitching performances.
Dan Meyer (7-3) earned the win on the mound allowing just four runs on four hits with five strikeouts in six innings of work. Relievers Andrew Goot and Hunter Ressler closed out the final three innings for the Cobras, allowing just two runs on three hits with four strikeouts.
Keith Wolf and Zach Loraine led the offensive attack for Coker. Wolf drove in four runs on a pair of hits, while Loraine drove in three runs on three hits. Fico Kondla also drove in two runs on a double. Shea Bell and Brinley Griffin had an RBI each and Justin Blechle had a double and a triple with two runs scored.
An RBI single by Loraine in the first got the game started for the Cobras, followed by a two-run single from Wolf and an RBI by Griffin in the second, giving the Cobras a 4-0 lead heading to the bottom of the second. Armstrong cut the Cobra lead to just one run with three runs in the bottom half of the second.
Two more runs in the fourth and another in the fifth gave Coker the 7-3 advantage. After a scoreless sixth, Armstrong plated a run in the bottom of the seventh to make it a 7-4 ball game. The Cobras tacked on four insurance runs in the top of the eighth, all with two outs, including a two-run double by Kondla, to take the lead, 11-4. A two run inning by the Pirates in the bottom of the eighth made it 11-6.
Ressler closed out the game with a scoreless ninth, giving the Cobras their first ever NCAA tournament victory.
For all the latest information on the 2013 NCAA Southeast Region Baseball Tournament visit www.cokercobras.com.