MOUNT OLIVE, N.C. – The Coker Cobras are the 2013 NCAA Division II Southeast Region Champions.
Behind a spectacular complete game pitching performance by senior left-hander Dan Meyer, the No. 4 seed Cobras picked up their fourth win of the Southeast Region Tournament, defeating the No. 5 seed Georgia College Bobcats, 7-2 on Sunday afternoon.
With the win, the Cobras (38-14) move on to the NCAA Division II Baseball Championship May 25-June 1 at the USA National Training Complex in Cary, N.C. extending their first ever trip to the NCAA postseason.
On just two days rest, Meyer (8-3) took the mound and went the distance for the Cobras. He scattered nine hits, allowed two runs and fanned six batters.
The Cobra offense gave Meyer the support he needed, putting up seven runs on 14 hits. Fico Kondla and Keith Wolf led the way with three hits and an RBI each. Ernie Kirkwood had two hits including a double with two RBIs, while T.J. Giczkowski also had a pair of hits and an RBI. Brinley Griffin also collected two hits and Zach Loraine drove in Coker's other run of the ball game.
Coker wasted no time getting the offense going as Giczkowski and Kondla had back-to-back RBI singles, giving the Cobras the 2-0 lead in the first. After three scoreless innings, Georgia College plated their first run of the ball game in the top of the fifth. The Cobras answered with two runs in the bottom half of the inning, courtesy of a two-run single by Kirkwood, making it a 4-1 ball game.
The Cobras tacked on three more runs in the bottom of a sixth inning that featured an hour and 19 minute rain delay for a 7-1 lead.
Meyer continued to deal through the next two innings. After a scoreless eighth, Meyer got the leadoff batter to fly out to right to start the ninth. The next batter, Steve Hazel, earned the Bobcats' second run of the ball game with a solo homer to right. Meyer was not fazed, forcing the next batter to line out to center. The final out of the ball game came on a diving stop by second baseman Wolf to his glove side, firing a strike to Kondla at first.
The Cobras first game of the 2013 NCAA Division II Baseball National Championship will be on Sunday (May 26) against the winner of the South Region at 1 p.m.
Dan Meyer was named the tournament MVP, while Fico Kondla, Ernie Kirkwood, Brinley Griffin, Justin Blechle, T.J. Giczkowski and Zach Loraine were named to the 2013 NCAA Division II Southeast Region All-Tournament team.