HARTSVILLE, S.C.- The Coker College baseball team picked up wins seven and eight on Sunday (Feb. 18), sweeping the Alderson Broaddus University Battlers by scores of 3-0 and 7-6 at Tom J. New Field at Dave Schmotzer Stadium. Michael DeVecchio continued his early season dominance with a complete game shutout in game one and RJ Ball provided the go-ahead grand slam to put Coker on top in game two.
The Coker Cobras (7-1) secured their sixth straight victory, taking game one, 3-0 over Alderson Broaddus (0-3). Michael DeVecchio (3-0, 0.00) was once again on his mark, tossing a complete-game, seven-inning shutout. The left-handed junior allowed just four hits on the afternoon, walked one and struck out five to get his third win.
The Cobras scored all three of their runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to take a 3-0 lead. Larry McCabe was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and moved to second after Brooks Estrada legged out an infield single to third. RJ Ball then grounded out to third putting both runners in scoring position with one out. With two outs, Connor Cleary worked a walk to load the bases. Alderson's pitcher, Gordon Zwigler balked to bring in McCabe, and advanced the other runners 90 feet as well. Jon Koski then reached on a fielding error by the second baseman, scoring both Estrada and Cleary to give Coker the 3-0 advantage.
With the Coker Cobras (8-1) trailing 6-3 heading into the bottom of the fifth, a monster shot grand slam from RJ Ball gave the Navy and Gold the 7-6 lead over Alderson Broaddus (0-4) and helped give them to their seventh consecutive victory on the season.
Trailing 6-3 going to the bottom of the fifth inning, after the Battlers put five on the board in their half of the fifth, RJ Ball belted a grand slam over the 15-foot fence in left field to put the Cobras on top of Alderson Broaddus, 7-6.
Caleb Hites entered for the Battlers on the mound in relief in the fifth. He first faced Lake Lybrand and plunked him in the thigh. Bryson Conner then stepped up and roped a single through the left side, followed by another single by Larry McCabe to load the bases. Alderson Broaddus went to the bullpen for Stephen Ault-McGhen (0-1), but that spelled more trouble for the Battlers. With one out and the bases loaded, Ball stepped up to the plate and cranked the go-ahead, grand slam to left, putting the Cobras on top 7-6.
Griffin Hollifield (1-0) took over for Tanner Wofford with two outs in the fifth inning, working the final 2.1 innings. Hollifield relented just a lone run on three hits, but was able to get out of jams to pick up his first win on the season. The First-Team All-SAC selection also recorded four strikeouts on the afternoon.
Wofford tossed 4.2 innings and picked up eight strikeouts himself, giving up five runs, three earned, on three hits, and two walks.
After Alderson Broaddus took a 1-0 lead, Coker tied the game in the bottom of the third. With one out, Reilly Hall drew a walk. With two away in the inning, Bryson Conner ripped a double off the wall in left driving in Hall to tie the game, 1-1.
Coker scored two more runs in the bottom of the fourth pulling ahead, 3-1. Brooks Estrada got the rally started with a sharp single through the left side of the infield. After a double play cleared the bases, Michael Serafin doubled to left. Tanner Crosby then reached on a throwing error by the third baseman Tyler Amadure, which put the runners on the corners. Jon Koski came to the plate and ripped the second Navy and Gold double of the inning to left, driving in both runs to put Coker up 3-1.
The Coker College baseball team will be on the road for the first time in 2018, as they will head down south to Orangeburg, S.C. to take on the Claflin University Panthers on Wednesday (Feb. 21) afternoon. First pitch is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. Results from the game can be found by visiting www.cokercobras.com.
McDonald's Player of the Game-
Game Two- (1-for-3 | Go-ahead grand slam | HR | 4 RBI)