LAURINBURG, N.C.—Coker College scored the first 10 runs of the game and held on for a 15-9 Conference Carolinas baseball victory over host St. Andrews Presbyterian College on Sunday afternoon at Clark Field to avoid being swept in the three-game weekend series.
The Cobras even their overall record at 8-8 while the Knights had their three-game winning streak snapped falling to 3-12 on the year. Both teams maintain 2-4 records in league play.
Junior catcher Jessie Crockett (North East, Md.) led the Cobras to the victory going 3-fo-4 from the plate with four RBI and three runs scored. Senior Ricky Deleandro (Mentor, Ohio) added three hits and three RBI for Coker.
Both teams had 13 hits on the day but the Cobras did most of their damage by drawing 10 walks. Six of the 10 walks eventually rounded the bases for Coker, which happened to be the final margin of victory.
Junior Charles Weber (Concord, N.C.) provided three singles for the Knights and senior Ivan Rodriguez (New York, N.Y.) had a pair of hits including a triple off the base of the right field fence. Both Weber and Rodriguez drove in two runs for St. Andrews.
Freshman Ethan Powell (Greenville, N.C.) had his 10-game hit streak come to an end but he still managed to drive in two Knights with a bases loaded walk and an RBI-groundout. Classmate Michael Hale (Haynesville, Va.) highlighted a five-run ninth inning rally by the Knights with a two-run single. Hale finished with two singles, two RBI, and two runs scored.
Coker built up a quick 10-run lead with three in the first frame and seven in the second stanza. The No. 2 through No. 4 hitters in the Cobras lineup -- junior Kevin Schlange (Carson City, Nev.), senior Kyle Walker (Centrailia, Ill.), and junior Taylor Evans (Arvada, Colo.) -- all reached base and scored in each of the first two innings. Evans and Walker crossed home plate a total of three times apiece. Evans and senior Brian Luchsinger (Farmingville, N.Y.) both plated two runs for the visitors.
The Cobras added one run in five separate innings to build up an 11-run advantage heading into the bottom of the ninth. The resilient Knights kept battling putting the first six hitters on base with four singles and two walks. Coker then brought in freshman reliever Joey Papczynski (Merritt Island, Fla.) and he minimized the damage by retiring the next three SAPC batters to end game at 15-9.
Senior starter Chris Thomas (Bluffton, S.C.) went seven strong innings for Coker, allowing four runs (two earned) on eight hits while striking out five. Thomas (2-1) picked up his second win of the season. Freshman counterpart Xavier Cruz (San Juan, Puerto Rico) took the loss giving up four runs (three earned) in just over one inning of work. Cruz only allowed two hits but could not find the strike zone allowing four walks in the 10 batters he faced.
St. Andrews visits Lenoir-Rhyne College (Hickory, N.C.) on Wednesday at 3 p.m. while Coker hosts Newberry College at the same time Wednesday.