HARTSVILLE, S.C.- Coker baseball dropped its conference doubleheader and ultimately the series to visiting Tusculum on Saturday (Mar. 19), falling in the first game 12-5 and 3-2 in the nightcap.
A lead in the first game slipped away from the Cobras as the Tusculum offense finally found its spark. Coker led 5-2 after five innings of play before the Pioneers erupted with unanswered back-to-back five run innings to complete the comeback victory.
Freshman Colton Henthorne paced the Cobras offense in game one, going 3-4 with an RBI, while Will Winslow, Bryson Conner, Darius Coldiron and Miguel Frias all notched two hits in the contest. Ryan Wayne and Jack Leech each tallied one hit in the loss.
Anthony Scaccia (3-2) took the loss in the contest, allowing five runs, four earned on two hits. The southpaw also issued one free pass. Scaccia relieved starter Forrest Arnold, who tossed 5.1 innings allowing four runs, three earned on three hits. The right-hander also walked two and punched out five. Kenny Barry and JT Whritner also made relief appearances in the contest.
The Cobras pitching matched Tusculum starter Ethan Carpenter frame for frame in the nightcap, but the Cobras ultimately fell short in the 3-2 loss. The Cobras trailed 2-0 until the fifth inning when Wayne led off with a single to left. Henthorne flied out to left, but it was deep enough that Wayne could tag up and advance to second. Clint Allen stepped to the plate and chopped a ball at Tusculum's third baseman and it deflected off his glove and into left field, advancing Wayne to third. During AJ Strnad's at-bat, Clint Allen stole second putting himself in scoring position. Strnad would poke a single into left to score both men and tie the game. The Cobras threatened yet again after Strnad stole second and advanced to third on an infield single by Conner. Tusculum summoned Zach Slagle from its bullpen and he would get back-to-back strikeouts to extinguish the threat.
Ryan Milner (1-3) would come on the following inning, when a Tusculum sacrifice fly would put the Pioneers ahead 3-2 for good. Milner allowed one earned run on one hit, while walking three and striking out one. Devan Watts would redeem himself from Friday's loss by picking up his fourth save of the season.
In the nightcap, six different Cobras recorded hits. Strnad, Conner, Winslow, Leech, Wayne and Allen each tallied hits in the loss.
The Cobras will take the field again when they travel to Carson Newman next weekend (Mar. 25-26). First pitch is set for 3:00 p.m.
McDonald's Player of the Game- Colton Henthorne