MOUNT OLIVE, N.C. – In the bottom of the tenth inning with the score tied at one, Shea Bell drew a bases loaded walk to score Fico Kondla and give the No. 4 seed Coker Cobras a 2-1 win over the No. 2 seed USC Aiken Pacers on Friday (May 17) night at the 2013 NCAA Division II Southeast Region Baseball Tournament.
With the win, nationally ranked No. 29 Coker (36-14) moves on to play the No. 1 seed Mount Olive in a battle of undefeated teams on Saturday (May 18) at 11 a.m. Nationally ranked No. 3 USCA (42-12) drops to an elimination game and will take on the No. 5 seed Georgia College at 3 p.m.
It was a pitching duel between the Cobras and the Pacers, with either team willing to give an inch to the other.
Coker starter Tyler Witzel pitched the game of his career as he kept the Pacers off-balance for 6.2 innings, allowing just one run on nine hits with three strikeouts. He gave way to the eventual winning pitcher, Zach Loraine (5-2), in the seventh. Loraine closed out the game allowing just one hit with six strikeouts in 3.1 innings of work.
On the other side of the field, Aiken starter Derek Beasley (9-2) went nine full innings allowing two runs on six hits with six strikeouts. Although Beasley is tagged with the loss, Pacer closer Taylor Grover walked two batters and hit another to allow the game-winning run.
It took three and a half innings before Coker scored the first run of the ball game on an RBI single by Kondla. After a scoreless fifth, Aiken tied the ball game at one.
The score remained deadlocked at one for the next three and a half innings. Then in the top of the tenth, Kondla led off the inning with a double into left center. Grover then issued a walk to Ernie Kirkwood, he hit Frank Suarez in the back, and then walked Bell to bring home Kondla for the game-winner.
Kondla finished the night 2-for-3 with a double, an RBI and a run scored, while Zach Loraine also had two hits and scored a run. Bell and T.J. Gizckowski had the other two hits for the Cobras.
When asked about the win, Coach Dave Schmotzer said, "This is just an amazing ride. We fought hard tonight and it started with Witzel on the mound. He gave us a chance to win and we beat a very good USC Aiken ball club."