HARTSVILLE, S.C. – In a pair of rain soaked baseball games, the Coker Cobras picked up a win and took a loss to the Limestone Saints on Saturday afternoon. The Cobras won the first game of their Conference Carolinas doubleheader 5-2, but lost game two 12-3.
Tyler Witzel (Melbourne, Fla.) was masterful on the mound for the Cobras (12-21, 4-10) in game one, as he took a no hitter through six innings. He eventually got the win allowing just two runs, both unearned, on two hits with seven strikeouts.
Then in game two, Limestone (20-12, 8-5) head coach Chico Lombardo earned his 500th win at Limestone behind a powerful offensive outburst from the Saints hitters, as they posted 12 runs on 11 hits.
Game one was all about Witzel (4-4) through the first six innings, as he kept the Limestone hitters off balance all day.
Coker plated two runs in the second on a two-run double by Fico Kondla (Miami, Fla.) down the right field line. Two innings later Kondla drove in his third run of the game on a sac fly to right. Two innings after that, Kondla struck again with an RBI, followed by an RBI sac fly from Chad Nader (Rock Hill, S.C.) to give the Cobras a 5-0 lead through six.
In the top of the seventh with one out Jeremy Peed broke up the no-no with a single through the right side of the infield. In the eighth, Micah Robinson scored the first run of the game for the Saints off a infield error and then Chad Balderman doubled home Joe Maloney to make it a 5-2 ball game.
Matt Long (Florence, S.C.) (1) earned his first save of the season going 1.2 innings allowing no runs and a hit. Witzel finished the day going 7.1 innings, allowing two runs on two hits with six walks and seven strikeouts.
Limestone’s Cameron Ward (5-1) suffered his first loss of the season allowing five runs on four hits with four strikeouts in six innings of work.
Kondla finished the day with a double and four RBIs, while Witzel was 2-for-3 with a run scored at the plate for the Cobras.
Balderman and Robinson each had doubles for the Saints with Balderman driving in a run and Robinson scoring one, while Peed was 1-for-3.
In game two the Saints offense put together three huge innings of scoring to give Coach Lombardo his 500th victory at Limestone. Limestone scored two runs in the first, five in the third and another five in the fifth to take the 12-3 win.
After taking a 2-0 lead in the first, the Cobras scored three runs of their own in the second to take the 3-2, but that would be the last time Coker would lead thanks to the five runs scored in both the third and fifth innings by the Saints.
Zack Lucas (1-1) got his first win of the season in his first start of the season. He went the distance allowing three runs on seven hits with a pair of strikeouts.
Jonathan Gainey (Hartsville, S.C.) (1-3) took the loss for the Cobras. He allowed seven runs on six hits in 2.2 innings on the mound.
Maloney was the offensive leader in game two for the Saints. He was 3-for-5 with two doubles, a triple, two RBIs and three runs scored. Robinson and Al Benson also drove in two runs each and Josh Troutman had a pair of hits with an RBI and a run scored.
Dyson Coker (Turbeville, S.C.) was the only Cobra with multiple hits in game two, he also scored a run. Jake Frazier (Indian Harbor Beach, Fla.) was 1-for-3 with a double, an RBI and a run scored, while WItzel and Nader each drove in a run.
The Cobras and the Saints will complete their Conference Carolinas series with game three on Sunday. First pitch is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. at Coker’s Tom J. New Field.