LAURINBURG, N.C.- Derek Roy was aided by seven runs in the final three innings from the Coker offense to secure his second win of the season. The Cobras defeated the St. Andrews University Knights 11-10, using timely pitching by Nick Taylor to earn his first save.
St. Andrews jumped out to an early three-run lead heading into the top of the third inning, before Coker tied the game. RJ Ball led off the inning by being hit by a pitch. Charlie Burguieres then singled to right field before Gavin Matthews laid down a sacrifice bunt to move both runners into scoring position with one out. The next batter in Reilly Hall, reached on an error for the second time in the game, this one a fielding error by the Knight's first baseman, scoring both runners, but was thrown out trying to reach second on the play. Bryson Conner then sent his team-leading 12th double into the gap in right center before touching the plate on a Larry McCabe RBI single to left center. McCabe also swiped a stolen base before the inning ended.
The Knights retook the lead with single runs in the fourth and fifth innings to lead 5-3. Coker got within a run in the top of the sixth that started with a Brooks Estrada walk. Connor Cleary then put runners on the corners with a base hit to right. With one out, Ball hit into a fielder's choice that plated Conner, but eliminated Cleary at second to bring the Cobras down one run, 5-4.
The Navy and Gold took charge of the game in the top of the seventh, scoring five runs on six hits and capitalized on two St. Andrews errors in the inning. Robert Wilkerson pinch hit for Mattews and reached on a fielding error by the third baseman. Next, Hall laid down a sacrifice bunt on the Knights' pitcher tried to throw out Wilkerson at second, but instead sent the ball into centerfield putting runners on the corners on the fielder's choice error. With one out, Hall stole second and McCabe followed with another run-scoring base hit through the right side to again put runners on the corners. After a pitching change, Estrada lifted a line drive into center field scoring Hall to take the 6-5 lead. Next Cleary reached on an infield single, but Estrada was eliminated at second. Cleary then stole second, drawing the throw down, which McCabe took advantage of and sped home to score making it 7-5. Thomas Lopez continued the inning's success with an RBI single to left, scoring Cleary, and moved to second on the play at the plate. Next, Ball also recorded a base hit, singling through the left side to put the Cobras on top 9-5.
The Knights, however, came back to tie the game 9-9 with a four-run seventh. The Cobras responded with two runs in the eighth to take the lead back, extending the score to 11-9. St. Andrews went to the bullpen for their third pitcher of the day, who surrendered the runs to pick up the loss. With one out, Conner collected hit number four on the day and moved into scoring position with his sixth stolen base on the season. With two outs, Estrada drove Conner home on an opposite field double to the gap in right center. Cleary then drew a walk, which helped bolster his team-leading on-base percentage to .466. Next, Lopez took a pitch off of the left arm to load the bases before Ball drew the bases loaded walk to plate Estrada.
Derek Roy (2-2) came on in relief of Drake Adams for Coker with one away in the second inning. Roy picked up his second win of the season working 5.2 innings, allowing six runs, all earned, on 13 hits, walked one and struck out four. Nick Taylor entered for the eighth and ninth innings tabbing his first save allowing a run (earned) on two hits, and a walk. Taylor struck out the final four batters to secure the 11-10 Coker win.
Bryson Conner had a standout day at the plate going 4-for-6 with two runs scored, a double and a stolen base. Four other Cobras; Larry McCabe, Brooks Estrada, Connor Cleary and Charlie Burguieres each tallied two hits apiece.
The Navy and Gold will be back in action on Wednesday, April 18, traveling to face UNC Pembroke. First pitch is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. Live-stats can be found by accessing www.cokercobras.com.