HARTSVILLE, S.C. -- The Coker College baseball team picked up a big non-conference victory in their home opener, downing St. Andrews 11-3 on Tuesday (Feb. 5).
Michael DeLeo stole the show in his first start for Coker, throwing 6.1 innings, and allowing just three runs while striking out four. DeLeo retired nine out of the ten batters he faced between the third and fifth innings, giving the Cobras the opportunity to take control of the game offensively.
The Knights opened the game by posting two runs in the top of the first inning, but the Cobras responded with two of their own in the bottom half of the inning. Grant Thompson and Lake Lybrand opened the inning with singles, and Evan Pawlowski reached base after getting hit by a pitch. R.J. Ball reached base on an error, scoring Thompson, and then Reilly Hall hit a sacrifice fly to Lybrand and even the score at 2-2.
The Cobras struck again in the third inning when Larry McCabe doubled with the bases loaded to clear the bases and give Coker a 5-2 advantage. They added to their lead in the fourth Pawlowski singled in a run. Pawlowski and Lybrand then stole second and third, setting the stage for a sacrifice fly from R.J Ball and pushing the lead to 7-2.
Coker scratched across another run in the sixth on a sacrifice fly by Lybrand, and then added three in the seventh thanks to a clutch pinch-hit, two-RBI single by Harrison Morris.
Grant Thompson went 3-5 on the afternoon, recording his fourth multi-hit game of the young season, and pushing his season average up to a robust .550. Lybrand, Pawlowski, and Chase Bruno each had two hits apiece.
The Cobras will be back in action on Friday (Feb. 8), and Saturday (Feb. 9) when they host Kentucky Wesleyan in a pair of doubleheaders. First pitch is scheduled for noon on Friday at Tom J. New Field at Dave Schmotzer Stadium.