Griffin's three RBIs, Loraine's save help Coker earn Conference Carolinas title
BURLINGTON, N.C. -- Coker defeated King (Tenn.) 6-3 on Monday to take home the Conference Carolinas tournament championship. With the win, the Cobras improved to 34-14 overall and earned a bid to the Southeast Regional of the NCAA tournament.
In a game delayed more than 24 hours due to rain, the Cobras took advantage of solid pitching by Tyler Witzel, Dan Meyer and Zach Loraine, as well as solid hitting by Brinley Griffin, Frank Suarez and Loraine to secure the win.
Witzel started the game for Coker on Sunday and threw two scoreless innings. He passed the ball to Meyer (6-3) on Monday. Meyer dominated the Tornado hitters for four innings, earning the win. He threw four innings, allowing just three runs on five hits while fanning eight batters.
Loraine earned his league- and nation-leading 14th save of the season in the final three innings of the game. He gave up just one hit and struck out three.
Coker's first run of the game came in the bottom of the first inning on an RBI single by Loraine. Griffin drove in a run in the bottom of the third to give the Cobras a 2-0 lead. An RBI single by Suarez in the fourth put the Cobras on top 3-0. The score remain unchanged until the top of the sixth inning when King's Hunter Smith hit a three-run homer to tie the game.
It was Griffin that broke the tie and gave the Cobras the eventual win in the bottom of the sixth. He drove a two-out bases loaded single back up the middle, scoring Keith Wolf and Suarez to give Coker the 5-3 advantage. Loraine added an insurance run a batter later, making it 6-3.
It was all pitching and defense for the rest of the game as the Cobras retired nine of the final 12 batters to win the game.
Griffin paced the Cobras at the plate, going 3-for-5 with a double and three RBIs. Loriane had a pair of hits and drove in two runs. Suarez finished with two hits, an RBI and a run scored.
• Conference Championship Central