The Oglethorpe baseball team took its second consecutive high-scoring victory Tuesday afternoon on Lookout Mountain in northwest Georgia, defeating the homestanding Covenant Scots 11-8 in the game. After trailing by three runs early in the contest, Covenant fought back with three runs in the fifth to take a 7-6 lead. However, the Stormy Petrels responded with three runs of their own in the seventh to build a lead which they they would not relinquish, and secure their third win in their last four contests. The victory improved the team to 9-10 on the season.
Covenant jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning, but the Petrels responded with four runs in the second. Sophomore first baseman Andrew Mink started the rally with a 1-out walk, then junior designated hitter Bobby Rezac walked two batters later. A wild pitch advanced the runners into scoring position and freshman shortstop Sam Held reached on an error that allowed both runs to score, giving Oglethorpe a 2-1 lead. Junior left fielder Britton Araujo came up next, and he smashed a home run down the left-field line to add two more unearned runs and give the Petrels a 4-1 advantage. The Scots added two in the bottom half of the inning, but the Petrels still led 4-3.
The visitors added a couple more in the third, when senior right fielder Brandon Fish singled with one out and junior catcher Adrian Celata followed with a 2-run homer, giving Oglethorpe a 6-3 advantage. The Scots responded, though, tallying a run in the fourth and adding three more in the fifth, taking their lead back, 7-6.
The Petrels responded and seized back control of the game, however. They tallied three runs of their own in the seventh inning, taking the lead back. Mink walked with one out in the inning, and that was followed by a go-ahead home run from junior second baseman Matt Motz, giving Oglethorpe an 8-7 edge. The inning wasn't over, however. Rezac walked and Held singled to right field, setting the table for Araujo to drive Rezac home with a single, extending the Petrel lead to 9-7.
Oglethorpe added an insurance run for good measure in the eighth inning, as junior third baseman Connor Crooke singled and stole second to lead off the inning. Celata walked two batters later and Mink drove in Oglethorpe's 10th run of the game with a 1-out single. Covenant responded with another run to make it 10-8, but the visitors scored on a passed ball in the ninth to take their 3-run lead back.
Senior right-hander Sam Traxler picked up the victory for the Petrels, his first of the season. He pitched 3 shutout innings in relief, allowing just a single hit and striking out four Covenant hitters. Freshman left-hander Preston Vegotsky closed out the victory with a perfect ninth, striking out two. He collected his second save of the season for his efforts.
Motz went 2-for-4 with a home run, a double, a walk, 2 RBIs and a stolen base. Crooke went 2-for-4 with a double, a run scored and 3 stolen bases, while Araujo went 2-for-5 with a home run, 3 RBIs, 2 runs scored and a stolen base.
As a team, the Petrels swiped an impressive seven bags on the afternoon.
"We put together some really good at-bats today, and were able to capitalize with guys in scoring position," said Oglethorpe head coach Dan Giordano. "I thought we also pitched better than the numbers suggest. Guys were pounding the zone and using both sides of the plate. It's nice to keep some momentum into the weekend series."
The Petrels will be in Tennessee over the weekend to take on SAA foe Sewanee in a 3-game set. Saturday will feature a doubleheader set to begin at 1 p.m. Eastern, while Sunday's single game will also get going at 1 p.m.