LMU baseball splits with Coker

Published 3:29 pm Monday, April 9, 2018

HARTSVILLE, S.C. — Lincoln Memorial University baseball split Saturday’s doubleheader at Coker by dropping the nine-inning opener 14-13 on a walk-off walk before salvaging a game in the series in the seven-inning nightcap, 6-0. The Cobras (13-21, 3-18 SAC) won their first South Atlantic Conference series of the year while the Railsplitters (26-16, 10-11 SAC) dropped their third straight conference road series.

LMU returns home for one game against No. 2 Belmont Abbey on Wednesday before hitting the road again to face SAC-leading Catawba over the weekend.

Game One: Coker 14, Lincoln Memorial 13

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The Cobras walked off LMU with a two-out, bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the ninth to win 14-13. The Railsplitters made a valiant comeback to take a 13-12 lead after falling behind 12-2 after the fourth inning before allowing two runs to cross in the bottom of the ninth to drop their sixth straight game.

The game featured a combined 27 runs, 31 hits and 14 walks.

Lincoln Memorial tallied 16 hits while Coker had 15. Nate Stinson had a career day by going 5-for-5—all singles—with two RBI and three runs scored. Seth Hunt, Justin Shaw, Chris Salvey and Timmy Wages added two hits apiece. Shaw drove in and scored a pair, and Hunt also recorded two RBI.

All nine starting Cobras notched at least one hit, and five had at least two. Connor Cleary finished 3-for-5 with an RBI and two runs scored while Larry McCabe went 2-for-5 with a grand slam. Matt Swiderski was 2-for-3 with a pair of walks, three runs scored and two stolen bases.

LMU took a 2-0 lead in the second inning on RBI singles by Stinson and Hunt before Coker scored the next 12 runs.

The Cobras scored seven runs in the third inning and added five more in the fourth. McCabe’s grand slam put Coker on the board and gave the team a 4-2 lead. Thomas Lopez later singled in another run, and RJ Ball drove in two more with a double.

Joe Bobiak tied his shortest outing of the season with 2 2/3 innings pitched and allowed a season-worst seven runs—five of which were earned. He was relieved by Jake Grenus, who allowed the next four runs over two thirds of an inning.

The first of five Coker runs in the fourth scored on a wild pitch. Two RBI singles sandwiched by an RBI groundout ended Grenus’ short outing. The final run, charged to Chase Randolph, crossed on another RBI single.

Randolph held the Cobras scoreless over the next four-plus innings as LMU mounted its comeback.

Wages and Stinson kickstarted a six-run rally in the top of the fifth with RBI singles. Three bases-loaded walks and a hit-by-pitch brought in the next four runs. LMU also left the bases loaded after Tyler Adams popped out to end the threat.

Coker starting pitcher Cody Brown allowed eight runs—all earned—in 4.2 innings in a no-decision. Jake Moore allowed the other five runs over 3.1 innings, though only two were earned.

Three more LMU runs crossed in the seventh with two coming on an error by Swiderski. Salvey also doubled in a run.

The Railsplitters took the lead the following inning. Dalton Dedas doubled in the tying run. Shaw’s sac fly later plated Dedas to cap LMU’s string of 11 unanswered runs to put the team ahead 13-12.

Randolph allowed three base runners to reach in the bottom of the ninth, including the tying RBI single off the bat of Charlie Burguieres. Matt Mullenbach entered with two runners on and one out and got the first batter he faced to fly out. However, he then walked each of the next two to push across the winning run.

Randolph was hit with the loss while Tanner Wofford picked up the win after pitching a scoreless top of the ninth.

Lincoln Memorial extended its program record to six straight games of allowing at least 10 runs.

Game Two: Lincoln Memorial 6, Coker 0

Mullenbach continued to pitch in the seven-inning nightcap and fired a complete game shutout to snap the Railsplitters’ six-game losing streak. The righty allowed five hits and walks and also struck out five to improve to 4-2.

Hunt and Shaw each went 2-for-3 with an RBI for LMU. Five different Railsplitters drove in one run apiece while six each scored a run.

LMU scored two runs in each of the second, fourth and sixth innings. Wages and Joe Stucky each singled in runs in the second. Hunt tripled in a run in the fourth and later scored on a wild pitch. Shaw drove in a run in the sixth on a fielder’s choice, and Will Reddick followed with a sac fly.

Five different Cobras had one hit apiece. Coker hit just 1-for-10 with runners on base and went 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position.

Michael DeVecchio surrendered two runs over the first 2.1 innings to take the loss and fall to 3-6. Wofford allowed the other four runs over 3.0 innings of work.

The shutout is Lincoln Memorial’s second of the season and first on the road since 2016.