HICKORY, N.C.- Bryson Conner collected his 208th hit as a Cobra on Saturday (April 21) afternoon against Lenoir-Rhyne, taking sole possession of second place for all-time hits at Coker. The Coker College baseball team claimed the South Atlantic Conference series with a win in game one of the doubleheader, added to their win on Friday. Nick Taylor picked up the complete game win in game one as well.
Coker presented problems for the Bears beginning in the top of the fourth inning, blistering the home team's pitching staff yet again, this time for eight runs. Connor Cleary led the inning off by getting hit by a pitch. With one out, Matt Swiderski put runners on the corners after a single to left. Next, Coker collected four straight hits, RBI singles from RJ Ball and Charlie Burguieres, followed by back-to-back doubles from Reilly Hall and Bryson Conner to push the score to 5-0. Larry McCabe was also hit by a pitch before the Bears gave way for the bullpen. After a pitching change and two outs, Cleary was back in the box and drew a walk before Thomas Lopez tallied the third extra base hit for Coker in the inning with a three-run double to left, giving Coker the 8-0 lead.
Lenoir-Rhyne got two runs back in the bottom of the fifth and Coker got one back in the top of the sixth. McCabe opened the inning with a base hit to center but was eliminated at second on an Estrada fielder's choice. With two outs, Lopez ripped his second double of the contest, scoring Estrada on the play.
The Bears scored one more run in the seventh and the Cobras put themselves in double digits run-wise in the top half of the eighth. Estrada led off the inning with a single through the left side before Cleary attempted a sacrifice bunt and reached on a throwing error. After Lopez was walked to load the bases, the Bears made another pitching change. The strategy move proved to be not useful as the new reliever walked Swiderski that brought in the run to give Coker the lead 10-3.
Nick Taylor was masterful for the Navy and Gold in game one, throwing a complete game (9.0) earning his third win on the season. Taylor allowed three runs, all earned on six hits, walked two and struck out three.
Lenoir-Rhyne controlled game two beginning in the bottom of the third, retaking the lead from Coker.
The Cobras put a three-spot up on the Bears in the third that was led off by Reilly Hall who singled to left center. After Bryson Conner was walked, Larry McCabe and Brooks Estrada then both tabbed singles to left and center. Estrada's single scored Hall and Conner to take the lead 2-1. Connor Cleary laid down a bunt, but tabbed McCabe at third for the first out. A batter later, Thomas Lopez reached on a fielder's choice and an error, scoring Estrada form second.
Lenoir-Rhyne went on to score 16 unanswered runs for the remainder of the game.
Bryson Conner connected for a 1-for-2 game with a run scored and a walk, moving him into second place all-time at Coker with 208 career hits.
Coker claimed the series victory from the Bears, which draws an end to their 2018 season.