Coker Captures Conference Title and Secures NCAA Bid
BURLINGTON, N.C. – The Coker Cobras are the 2013 Conference Carolinas Baseball Tournament Champions! The Cobras defeated the King Tornado 6-3 on Monday (Apr. 29) to take home the championship. With the win Coker improves to a 34-14 overall record and it earns a bid to the NCAA Southeast Regional.
In a game that took over 24 hours to complete thanks to a rain delay, the Cobras took advantage of stellar pitching by Tyler Witzel, Dan Meyer and Zach Loraine, as well as solid hitting by Brinley Griffin, Frank Suarez and Loraine to secure the win.
Witzel started the game for Coker back on Sunday afternoon and threw two innings of scoreless, hitless baseball. He passed the ball to Meyer (6-3) on Monday and he dominated the Tornado hitters for four innings, earning the win. He threw four innings allowing just three runs on five hits while fanning eight batters.
Loraine (14) earned his league and nation leading 14th save of the season by final three innings of the game. He gave up just one hit and struck out three, including the final batter of the ball game.
Coker's first run of the ball game came in the bottom of the first inning on an RBI single by Loraine. Griffin drove in a run in the bottom of the third to give the Cobras a 2-0 lead. An RBI single by Suarez in the fourth put the Cobras on top 3-0. The score remain unchanged until the top of the sixth inning when King's Hunter Smith hit a three-run homer to tie the game.
It was Griffin that broke the tie and gave the Cobras the eventual win in the bottom of the sixth. He drove a two-out bases loaded single back up the middle, scoring Keith Wolf and Suarez to give Coker the 5-3 advantage. Loraine added an insurance run a batter later, making it 6-3.
It was all pitching and defense for the rest of the game as the Cobras retired nine of the final 12 batters to win the game.
Griffin paced the Cobras at the plate going 3-for-5 with a double and three RBIs, while Loriane had a pair of hits and drove in two runs. Suarez finished with two hits, an RBI and a run scored.
With the win the Cobras earn an automatic bid to the 2013 NCAA Southeast Regional May 16-19 at a site to be determined.