HARTSVILLE, S.C. -- The Coker College baseball team improved to 10-8-1 on the season with a 4-1 victory over Newberry in the opening game of a three-game, South Atlantic Conference series on Friday (Mar. 8).
Newberry entered the contest 17-5 on the season, and 3-0 in conference play, but Coker starting pitcher Jon Koski silenced the Newberry bats with a dominant seven-inning performance.
The Wolves struck first with a run in the top of the first, but Coker responded with a run of their own in the bottom half of the inning to tie the game at 1-1. Lake Lybrand singled with one out in the inning, then stole second, and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Reilly Hall came through with a grounder to the right side of the infield, scoring Lybrand and tying the score.
The two teams remained tied until the bottom of the fourth inning when Coker posted a pair of runs to take a 3-1 lead. Larry McCabe singled to lead off the inning, and RJ Ball followed with a double to left field, scoring McCabe. Gavin Matthews then followed with his second hit of the contest, scoring Ball.
The Cobras added an insurance run in the eighth, but the story was Koski's performance on the mound against one of the best offenses in the conference. Koski threw seven innings, allowing just one run while striking out four batters. That's back-to-back dominant performances for Koski, who has now allowed just one run in his last 14 innings pitched.
Drake Knight came on in relief in the eighth, and blanked Newberry for two straight innings, preserving the rest of the Coker bullpen for their doubleheader on Saturday (Mar. 9).
Grant Thompson extended his on-base streak to 19 games with an infield base hit in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Coker will be back in action for that doubleheader on Saturday (Mar. 9) against Newberry. First pitch is scheduled for 12 p.m.
McDonald's Player of the Game: Jon Koski