The Oglethorpe baseball team had a rough go of it Saturday afternoon in Jackson, Mississippi, falling to the homestanding Millsaps Majors in a pair of games that the Stormy Petrels led in the late innings. They had a 9-4 lead in the sixth inning of Game 1 before allowing 6 ninth-inning runs, including a walk-off grand slam, to fall 13-9. Then, they led 3-2 into the sixth inning of Game 2, but allowed a run in each of the final two frames (of the 7-inning game) to fall 4-3. The losses dropped the Petrels to 16-13 overall and 6-8 in SAA play.
In Game 1, the Petrels rushed out to a 5-0 lead with a big second inning. Junior catcher Adrian Celata walked to lead off the frame, while sophomore first baseman Andrew Mink doubled and junior second baseman Matt Motz walked to load the bases. They were followed by senior designated hitter Austin Ferlita, who promptly launched a grand slam over the fence in left field and gave Oglethorpe a 4-0 lead. The inning continued, though, as junior third baseman Connor Crooke singled with one out and stole second base. Junior center fielder Jarvis Miller followed with a single to left and Crooke subsequently scored on a delayed double steal of home.
The Majors got four of those runs back in the third inning, though, drawing to within a single run. That didn't faze the Petrels, as they came back with a pair in the top of the fourth. Shortstop Sam Held led off the inning with a single and was followed by Crooke, who singled and advanced to second on an error. With runners at second and third and one out, junior left fielder Bobby Rezac came through with a single up the middle, scoring both runners and extending Oglethorpe's lead back out to 7-4. They added additional runs in the fifth and sixth, with Miller launching a solo homer in the sixth and Mink scoring on a Ferlita sacrifice fly after being hit by a pitch in the fifth. Millsaps scored three in the sixth, though, drawing to within two, 9-7. They then turned the tables with six runs in the ninth inning.
Ferlita led the team in Game 1, going 1-for-2 with a home run, a sacrifice fly, a walk, 5 RBIs and a run scored. Crooke went 2-for-4 with 2 stolen bases and 2 runs scored.
Junior right-hander Matt Davis got the start and went 6 innings, allowing 7 runs on 6 hits. He issued 5 walks and 3 strikeouts, hitting four Millsaps batters, as well. Freshman left-hander Preston Vegotsky suffered the loss, falling to 4-3 on the season. He allowed 5 earned runs on 4 hits 2 1/3 innings.
Millsaps jumped out to a 1-0 lead in Game 2, but the Petrels scored a run each in the second, third and fourth innings. Celata led off the second inning with a home run, tying the score. Held then led off the third inning with an infield single before junior left fielder Britton Araujo followed with a double to the left-center gap, tying the score. He was thrown out trying to stretch it to a triple, but the Petrels had the lead. Millsaps tied the game back up in the bottom of the inning, but the Petrels took the lead right back. Celata doubled down the left-field line to lead off the fourth and advanced to third on a passed ball. That was followed by Mink driving in the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly, making it 3-2.
However, the Majors scored single runs in the sixth and seventh innings to secure their second consecutive walk-off victory.
Celata went 2-for-2 with a home run, a double, a walk, an RBI and 2 runs scored. Motz was 1-for-2 with a walk in the game.
Sophomore left-hander Kyle Babb suffered the loss, allowing 3 earned runs on 10 hits and 7 walks over a complete-game 6 2/3.
The Petrels will try to shake off the two difficult losses when they return to Twenty Field in Jackson for the final game of the 3-game series. The two teams will get started at 1 p.m. Eastern.