Coker wins Southeast Regional, advances to Division II CWS
By MOC Sports Information
Published in Sports on May 20, 2013 1:48 PM
MOUNT OLIVE -- Dan Meyer earned MVP honors with a complete-game effort on the mound and fourth-seeded Coker (S.C.) College defeated Georgia College, 7-2, in the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional championship game Sunday afternoon.
Mount Olive played host to the regional.
The Cobras (38-14 overall) become just the third team in Conference Carolinas history to advance to the College World Series. MOC won the national championship in 2008 and tied for third at the 2011 CWS, while Belmont Abbey advanced in 2009.
Coker faces perennial power Tampa (Fla.) during opening-round play of the CWS at the USA Baseball National Training Center in Cary. First pitch is 1 p.m. on Saturday.
Georgia College (36-19) won three consecutive elimination games to reach the regional final. But Meyer remained sharp despite a 79-minute rain delay, scattering nine hits and fanning six Bobcat batters en route to his second regional win.
Coker seized a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning, despite having two runners thrown out. After Justin Blechle drew a lead-off walk, Keith Wolf and Brinley Griffin followed with singles. Blechle over-ran third and was tagged out by shortstop Daniel Bick, who kept Griffin's hit from going into the outfield. After a force at second, T.J. Giczkowski and Fico Kondla followed with RBI singles.
Georgia College used a two-out rally in the top of the fifth to get on the scoreboard. Steve Hazel was hit by a pitch, went to second on Rob Hogenkamp's single and scored on Ikaika Anderson's single to left to pull the Bobcats within 2-1.
The bottom of the fifth saw fireworks both on the scoreboard and on the field as Coker loaded the bases on Griffin's one-out single and consecutive two-out singles by Giczkowski and Kondla. Ernie Kirkwood fell behind 0-2 before lining a single to right to drive in Griffin and Kondla, which extended the lead to 4-1.
Suarez singled to left, but Bobcat left fielder Jake Sandlin threw Kondla out at the plate to end the inning. Both dugouts emptied after the collision at the plate and words were exchanged, but the umpiring crew quickly restored order. Each team received a warning and no ejections were issued.
The Cobras broke the game open in the bottom of the sixth as Shea Bell and Blechle both reached on singles that never got past the infield grass. Both runners scored on Wolf's single to left and a throwing error. Wolf scored on Zach Laraine's one-out single to short against a drawn-in infield as the Cobras extended their lead to 7-1.
A lengthy rain delay followed.
Hazel homered off Meyer in the ninth, but the fifth-seeded Bobcats could manufacture nothing else at the plate.
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