Walk-Off Homer Highlights Season Opening Split
The Oglethorpe University baseball team began their season in style on Sunday afternoon by enjoying a final inning 3-run walk-off homerun from Brendan Pilger to claim the season opener over Maryville, 8-7.
The Scots rallied to claim game two of the doubleheader by the score of 16-8 to earn the series split but it was the bat of Brendan Pilger in game one that carried the story of the day after the senior belted a staggering three homeruns in the 7 inning contest.
Maryville jumped out to a 4-0 lead by plating 2 runs in each of the first two innings of game one against Petrel pitcher Sam Briend. The Petrels got one run back in the bottom of the second after Stephen Archer doubled and was driven home on freshman Nick Manai's first career RBI. Oglethorpe got two more runs in the bottom of the third after Pilger followed a Matt Cornwell double with his first homer of the game.
The Scots pushed the lead back to 6-3 by plating 2 in the top of the fifth but Oglethorpe responded immediately with 2 of their own in the bottom half on Pilger's second blast of the day that also plated sophomore Jake Spear.
Maryville pushed another run across in the 6th to head into the decisive bottom of the 7th holding a 7-5 lead. Junior Andrew Lofholm began the 7th by collecting a hit-by-pitch and Jake Spear reached on a Scot error. After unsuccessfully trying to bunt the runners over, Cornwell popped out to right field. Pilger stepped to the plate and ran the count to 1-1 before crushing the third pitch over the left field fence to set off a wild celebration on Anderson Field.
The Scots managed to temper some of the game one celebration by rallying from a 8-1 deficit to win game two, 16-8. The Petrels jumped on top in the first with a two-run double from Andy Farrey and then piled on 6 runs in the second with Cornwell driving in 1, Farrey plating 2 more, Adam Brazenas collecting a 2-run RBI and the final run scoring on a throwing error. Those would be the Petrels final runs of the game, however, as the Scots got 3 in the 3rd, 2 in the 4th, 1 in the 5th and 7 in the 6th to put the game away.
Oglethorpe is now 1-1 on the season and will have a few days off before facing Emory this Friday on Anderson Field at 4:00 p.m.