Coker takes two from Chowan

Published 10:43 am Tuesday, February 3, 2009

MURFREESBORO – It was a Super Sunday spoiler!

Coker College ruined the 2009 debut of Chowan University baseball as the Cobras took both games of a double-header against the home-town Hawks, 10-1, and 13-6, at Hawkins Field in the season-opener for both teams Sunday afternoon.

Chowan, who returned 13 players from last year’s school-record winning 36-20 team that finished fourth in the National Christian Collegiate Athletic Association national championships, banged out 18 hits in the twin-bill with fifth-year coach Aaron Carroll showcasing a lot of players with playing time.

Sophomore Jordan Whitlach was 2-for-2 in game one, with junior Mike Taylor going 2-for-3.

Junior John Kellett knocked in the Hawks’ only run with a fielder’s choice RBI in the bottom of the second to prevent the shutout. Sophomore pitcher Chris Nelson absorbed the loss giving up seven runs as Coker scored a run in the top of the first inning and seven more in the third to put the game away.

“We made a lot of mistakes, which isn’t typical of us,” said Carroll, “and when you make mistakes against a team like this you get buried.”

In the second game, Chowan took the early lead when freshman Adam Capps drove in a pair in the bottom of the first inning. They collected another in the bottom of the second when Kellet drove in a run in Chowan’s half of the second and led, 3-0.

Coker came back with five runs on five hits in the top of the third. Chowan collected one more in the bottom of the frame to only trail by a run, but senior lefty Bryan Hill was chased in the fourth as Coker plated two more runs and were never threatened after that.

For the Hawks in the second game Justin Bagbey finished 3-for-4 and Capps and designated-hitter Matt Price drove in a pair of runs each. Despite the loss, Hill had three strikeouts and only gave up one base-on-balls for the 21 batters he faced.

“Our young players played well,” said Carroll, “but we’ve got a lot of work to do. We’ve only had seven days on the field of our 15 days of practice because it’s been either too wet or too cold, so we’re starting pretty slow with a young team.

“Pitching should be our strong suit this season (with 13 hurlers on the roster),” he added, “but we didn’t open things up with quality starts. We’ll have to go back and just work on everything.”

Chowan (0-2) will have 19 more consecutive home games beginning with a noon double-header next Saturday against Davis & Elkins.