HARTSVILLE, S.C.- The Coker College baseball team won 14-13 over Lincoln Memorial in game one of Sunday's (April 8) doubleheader, claiming the series victory in walk-off fashion. After a near four-hour contest, Coker prevailed as Brooks Estrada drew the two-out, bases loaded walk to give the Cobras the walk-off win.
After falling behind 2-0 early to the Railsplitters, the Coker College baseball team rallied for 12 runs in the third and fourth innings.
The Navy and Gold charged back for seven runs in the bottom of the third inning sending 11 batters to the plate. After two walks and a single, Larry McCabe blasted the third Coker grand slam of the season over the right field wall to take the 4-2 lead. With two outs, Connor Cleary and Thomas Lopez reached on back-to-back base hits. On Lopez's single, he beat out the infield hit to short, but the throw went wide of first base allowing him to reach third and Cleary to score. A batter later, Matt Swiderski walked and then stole second. Next, RJ Ball nearly connected on the second home run of the inning, but the ball stayed within the confines of Tom J. New Field, doubling off the top of the wall in right center scoring two more. Coker took the 7-2 lead heading into the fourth.
An inning later, the Navy and Gold struck for five more runs to extend their lead to 12-2. Reilly Hall led off the charge with a double down the left field line and moved to third on a Bryson Conner single to left. A wild pitch then scored hall, and a passed ball put Conner on third. With one out, Estrada was plunked and Cleary drove home Conner on a RBI base hit to right. After a pitching change from Lincoln Memorial, Lopez grounded out to third, but plated Estrada. Swiderski joined in the hit parade with an RBI knock up the middle and stole second for the second time. Ball then drew a walk and Charlie Burguieres followed with a base hit to right, scoring Swiderski with ease. Coker batted around for the second inning straight, scoring five runs on five hits with an error to lead 12-2.
The Railsplitters came charging back. Lincoln Memorial scored 11 unanswered runs amounting in the fifth, seventh and eighth innings.
The Cobras, however, still had fight in them, scoring twice in the ninth to walk it off. Swiderski led off the ninth with a leadoff walk and was advanced into scoring position on a RJ Ball sacrifice bunt. Burguieres then tied the game at 13 apiece with a line drive single to center. Lake Lybrand was brought in to pinch run for Burguieres before the Railsplitters intentionally walked Reilly Hall. With runners on first and second and one out, Lincoln Memorial made a pitching change to face Bryson Conner. Conner's at-bat resulted in a fly out to right, but proved to be effective as Lybrand to third on the play. With two outs, Hall stole second before McCabe was walked to load the bases. With the bases loaded and two outs, Brooks Estrada worked a full count and watched ball four sail outside of the zone for the game-winning RBI walk, sealing the game and series win over Lincoln Memorial 14-13.
In a day that featured 15 hits for the Cobras, five had a multi-hit outing, though McCabe's grand slam provided the spark back in the third.
Tanner Wofford entered in the ninth inning and shut down the Railsplitters, getting one strike out in his one inning of work, to secure the vulture win.
Coker's offense was limited in game two, being held to just five hits, two of which were doubles from Bryson Conner and Brooks Estrada. The Cobras were able to work baserunners on to the paths, collecting five hits and earning five walks, but the Railsplitters' pitching staff and defense held the Cobras to their first scoreless game on the year.
However, Coker provided of plenty of offense over the course of the series, batting .356 as a team with 24 runs on 36 hits, seven doubles, a triple, and McCabe's grand slam in game two of the series. The Navy and Gold drew 14 walks, a hit by pitch, stole three bases and forced four Railsplitter errors.
Coker baseball will be back in action with a midweek home game on Tuesday, April 10 against St. Andrews. First pitch is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. The game will be available to be watched on the Cobra Sports Network and live-stats can be accessed by visiting www.cokercobras.com.
McDonald's Player of the Game-
Larry McCabe- GM 1 (2-for-5, Grand Slam, 4 RBI, R, BB)