MOUNT OLIVE, N.C. – The nationally 29th-ranked/regionally fourth-seeded Coker baseball team claimed a 2-1 10-inning victory over No. 3/regionally second-seeded USC Aiken in the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional on Friday evening at Scarborough Field.
With the loss, USC Aiken will now face off against No. 25 Georgia College in an elimination game at 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 18 at Scarborough Field. USC Aiken bested regionally fifth-seeded Georgia College, 11-7, in the opening round of the Southeast Regional on Thursday, May 16. Georgia College eliminated regionally sixth-seeded Lincoln Memorial, 12-0, on Friday to stay alive in the double-elimination regional.
With the win, Coker stays in the winner's bracket of the regional and will next face off against national No. 1/regional top-seeded Mount Olive at 11 a.m. on Saturday.
The winner of the USC Aiken-Georgia College game at 3 p.m. will move on to face off against the loser of the Mount Olive-Coker game at 7 p.m. on Saturday. The winner of that game will move on to the championship game at 1 p.m. on Sunday, May 19 with a second game at 5 p.m. if necessary.
The game tied 1-1 entering the bottom of the 10th, Coker's Fico Kondla started the inning by doubling off USC Aiken starter Derek Beasley.
Beasley (Harlem, Ga./Harlem HS) then left the game in favor of USC Aiken closer Taylor Grover (North Augusta, S.C./Midland Valley HS), who picked up the win on the hill for USC Aiken in its opening round victory over Georgia College.
Grover walked the first batter he faced and then hit Coker catcher Frank Suarez to load the bases.
Shea Bell was then walked next to allow Kondla to score the game-winning run for the Cobras.
Beasley suffered the loss due to allowing the double to Kondla. Despite the loss, Beasley (9-2) pitched an absolute gem for the Pacers as he dealt nine complete innings while striking out six and allowing just six hits.
Coker reliever Zach Loraine pitched the final 3.1 innings to obtain the win. He fanned six Pacers in moving to 5-2 on the year.
Coker starter Tyler Witzel pitched the first 6.2 innings of the game for the Cobras. He allowed nine hits and struck out three.
USC Aiken finished the game out-hitting Coker, 10-6.
Three Pacers finished the game with multiple hits with Branden Millhouse (Summerville, S.C./USC Upstate), Josh Miller (Chapin, S.C./Chapin HS) and Tyler Moore (Evans, Ga./Evans HS) each registering two hits in the contest.
Miller scored the lone run of the game for USC Aiken in the top of the sixth. He started the inning for USC Aiken by doubling to left centerfield. He was then brought home a short time later by a single through the left side by Bill Gerstenslager (Solon, Ohio/Mercyhurst).
Loraine and Kondla led Coker in its win with two hits each.
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