HARTSVILLE, S.C.- The Coker College baseball team put up a hard fight against South Atlantic Conference opponent Carson-Newman, but fell in Saturday's (March 3) doubleheader at Tom J. New Field at Dave Schmotzer Stadium. Jon Koski lifted a home run in game one, while Brooks Estrada and Michael Serafin combined for six hits in game two.
GAME ONE (NINE INNINGS)
Coker's (9-6) Michael DeVecchio (3-1) made his fifth start of the season on Saturday and carried his way into the eighth inning with another solid outing and a three run lead. Carson-Newman (10-6, 3-1), however, stormed back to score seven unanswered runs to defeat the Cobras in 10 innings.
Coker took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third on a Reilly Hall RBI groundout to second. Tanner Crosby led off the inning with a walk, stole second and moved to third on a wild pitch. With one out, Hall grounded out to second giving the Cobras a 1-0 lead.
Later in the fifth, Jon Koski belted an absolute no-doubt bomb to right field putting the Navy and Gold on top 2-0. The blast was Koski's first of the season and Coker's seventh.
In the bottom of the seventh, Crosby helped push the lead to 3-0 on a single back up the middle. Designated hitter RJ Ball led off the inning with a base knock to left and with one out, Connor Cleary followed suit. With runners on first and second, Crosby delivered the RBI single to center.
DeVecchio carried a 3-0 lead heading into the eighth and that's where the Coker southpaw found issues. The lefthander walked the first batter and the second reached on an error to put both runners in scoring positon. One batter later, the Eagles scored two runs on a pinch-hit triple, and a single that followed tied the game 3-3. That's where DeVecchio's day ended as Griffin Hollifield (1-1) entered.
DeVecchio finished with 7.0 innings pitched, as he gave up three runs, two earned, on five hits, two walks and five strikeouts.
Coker and Carson-Newman took the game into extra innings, but the Eagles put up a four-spot in the top of the 10th to take game one, 7-3.
GAME TWO (SEVEN INNINGS)
Carson-Newman (11-6, 4-1) opened game two by scoring 10 runs in the first five innings. Coker (9-6) though, fought back with six runs in the final three frames.
Behind a bevy of substitutions by both clubs, the Cobras scratched across a lone run in the fifth on a bases loaded walk issued to Bryson Conner.
In the sixth, the Navy and Gold pushed two across the plate. After the Eagles made a pitching change and with one out, Ryan Caldwell drew a pinch-hit walk. With two outs, Michael Serafin sent a base hit up the middle to put runners on the corners. On the next pitch, Serafin took off for second, swiping the bag, but Carson-Newman's Ethan Goforth's throw sailed high that allowed Caldwell to score. KJ Curry then stepped in and belted a triple to the gap in left to put the score at 10-3.
Coker tried once more to put the pressure on the Eagles, scoring three runs in the seventh. With more defensive substitutions for Carson-Newman and a new pitcher on the hill, Reilly Hall led off with a single up the middle. Conner then reached on a fielder's choice as Hall was eliminated at second. Behind Conner, RJ Ball lashed a single to left to put runners on the corners. Brooks Estrada stood in and collected his third hit of the game, shooting a laser to right center, scoring both runs with the standup triple. With two outs, Matt Swiderski singled to left, putting the Cobras within four.
Derek Roy entered for Cody Brown (1-1) with two outs in the top of the second inning and held the game from there. Roy tossed the final 5.1 innings and allowed three runs on nine hits, walked two and struck out four.
Hall, Ball, Estrada, Swiderski and Serafin all had a multi-hit game, combined with Estrada's triple and double. Serafin also picked up a stolen base on the afternoon.
Coker will take on Carson-Newman in the series finale on Sunday, March 4 at 1:00 p.m. at Tom J. New Field at Dave Schmotzer Stadium. Live video and live-stats will be available by visiting www.cokercobras.com.
Tickets for the baseball game will be available at the gate, $5 for adults, $3 for students and free to all Coker faculty, staff, and students.
McDonald's Player of the Game-