By: Jake Miller
GREENVILLE, TENN.- Coker baseball split its South Atlantic Conference doubleheader but was able to win the series at Tusculum on Saturday (Feb. 25). The Cobras earned the 5-3 win in game one and dropped the third game 3-0.
Both teams were silent until the fourth when three straight singles from Robert Lybrand, AJ Strnad and Thomas Lopez loaded the bases with no one out for the visitors. Darius Coldiron singled to center for the fourth straight hit, scoring Lybrand and Strnad while leaving the Cobras still in a threatening position. The Cobras would cap off the inning with two runs, with Tusculum getting one in their half of the fourth.
The teams would trade zeros behind solid pitching from both sides, before Coker would strike three times in the eighth. Strnad drove home Bryson Conner on an RBI double, and he would later score on a wild pitch. Jon Koski got in on the action with an RBI triple that brought Charlie Burguieres home.
Tusculum would score twice in the bottom of the eighth, but Coker would ultimately hold on for the series-clinching victory.
Forrest Arnold (1-0) collected his first win of the season, firing seven strong innings allowing one earned run on four hits while punching four out. Brooks Estrada made his first appearance on the hill this season, allowing two unearned runs and issuing one walk. Griffin Hollifield closed the game out for his fourth save of the year, allowing one hit in two innings of relief. Lybrand and Strnad each tallied two hits, while Conner, Lopez, Coldiron and Koski each chipped in one.
Tusculum would come back to win the second game, holding Coker to just two hits. Will Sutton (3-1) took the loss, tossing six innings allowing three runs, two earned on six hits. The southpaw registered one walk and five punchouts.
The Cobras hit the road Tuesday (Feb. 28) to take on the Barton Bulldogs for a 2:00 p.m. start.