HARTSVILLE, S.C.- The Coker College baseball team used a very productive day at the plate, collecting 16 hits, four for extra bases, and scored 10 runs to defeat South Atlantic Conference opponent Lincoln Memorial, 10-7 on Friday (April 6) afternoon.
Reilly Hall, Bryson Conner, Brooks Estrada, Connor Cleary, Matt Swiderski, and Thomas Lopez all combined for 14 of Coker's 16 hits, eight runs scored, nine RBI, three doubles and triple on the afternoon.
Coker scored a run in each of the second, third and fourth innings, drawing a 3-0 lead.
In the second Thomas Lopez plated Brooks Estrada on a single through the left side. Estrada and Connor Cleary both opened the frame with singles and moved into scoring position off of a sacrifice bunt from Matt Swiderski. Lopez then picked up the first of his three hits and runs driven in giving the Cobras a 1-0 lead.
Bryson Conner put the ball in play with one out in the bottom of the third inning with a double down the left field line and moved to third on a wild pitch before Estrada lifted a two-out flare single to center to put Coker up 2-0.
After Swiderski led off the fourth with an opposite field single to left, Tanner Crosby moved Swiderski over to second on a sacrifice bunt. With two outs in the inning, Charlie Burguieres lashed a single back up the middle as Coker grew its lead to 3-0.
Lincoln Memorial took their chance at Griffin Hollifield (3-3) in the fifth, tying the game. The Navy and Gold, however, didn't savvy, taking control of the contest in the bottom half of the inning as they sent 10 to the plate and scored six runs to lead 9-3.
Conner got on base again, this time with a single to left, followed by a Larry McCabe single to center. The bases then became full of Cobras. Estrada reached on a fielding error by the Railsplitters' third baseman as the hard-hit line drive fell out of his glove. With one away, Swiderski brought in a run on a base hit to left, before Thomas Lopez belted the first of his two doubles on the day, scoring Estrada and McCabe putting runners on the corners. With two outs, Burguieres walked to re-load the bases. Reilly Hall then lined a triple off of the wall in left center to put the exclamation mark on the fifth inning, chasing the Lincoln Memorial starter, Ethan Elliott (5-4), out of the game.
The Navy and Gold caused Elliott to give up the most amount of runs in an outing to date on the season. Elliott lasted just 4.2 innings, tying his season-low in innings pitched. The left-hander surrendered nine runs (five earned), on 12 hits, walked one and struck out six.
Coker tacked on one more run in the seventh, causing the Railsplitters to use three arms in the inning. Lopez doubled for the second time to lead off and moved over to second on another Crosby sacrifice bunt. With one out and two pitchers later, Hall ripped a base hit to left that scored Lopez easily handing the Cobras a 10-3 lead going to the eighth.
Lincoln Memorial scored four runs in the eighth, but the Coker bullpen held the damage to give Hollifield his third win on the year. Hollifield was masterful in his first start on the season. The sidewinder worked 7.1 innings allowing six runs (five earned) on 12 hits, walked three and struck out four.
The Cobras and Railsplitters are set to play a doubleheader on Saturday with game one slated for an 8:00 a.m. first pitch. The series finale will take place approximately 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first game. Video will be provided on the Cobra Sports Network and live-stats will be available online by accessing www.cokercobras.com.
Tickets are available at the gate, $5 for adults $3 for students, and free to all Coker faculty, staff and students.
McDonald's Player of the Game-
Thomas Lopez- (3-for-4 | 3 RBI | 2 R | 2 2B)