The Oglethorpe baseball team endured a tough day on the field Saturday, as they fell in a pair of games to the visiting Hendrix Warriors at Anderson Field, falling 14-3 in seven innings in Game 1 and 10-8 in eight innings in Game 2. The losses dropped the Stormy Petrels to 18-20 on the season overall and 7-13 in SAA play.
The night cap was a wild, back-and-forth game which featured wild momentum swings throughout. The Petrels held an 8-6 lead going into the seventh and final scheduled inning, looking to earn a split of Saturday's festivities, but allowed two runs to tie in the frame. Junior center fielder Jarvis Miller threw a baserunner out at third on the game-tying hit, though, sending the game to the bottom of the seventh tied 8-8. A promising Oglethorpe rally was derailed by a double-play grounder, though, sending the contest to extra innings.
Hendrix loaded the bases with one out in the eighth against Oglethorpe right-hander Austin Manuel, and a 2-run single from the Warriors' Tanner Cooper gave the visitors a 10-8 lead. The Petrels put runners at first and second with nobody out as they tried to rally in the bottom half of the inning, but the Hendrix closer, Harley Faye, got three straight outs from there to secure the victory. Manuel suffered the loss, allowing 2 runs on 2 walks and a hit batsman over a third of an inning.
With the game tied 6-6 in the fifth, sophomore first baseman Andrew Mink launched a solo home run to give Oglethorpe the lead back. They were able to extend that in the sixth. A 1-out infield single by freshman shortstop Sam Held was followed by a stolen base. That put him in scoring position for senior third baseman Austin Ferlita, who singled up the middle to score Held for what looked like an important insurance run.
The Petrels fell behind 5-0 in the first, as left-handed starting pitcher Kyle Babb allowed 5 runs on 3 hits, 3 walks and a hit batsman over two-thirds of an inning, but the Petrels responded with a huge 6-run second inning. The Petrels loaded the bases with nobody out in the inning. A double-play grounder by junior second baseman Matt Motz scored a run but seemed to allow Hendrix to avert a big inning. However, an infield single from senior designated hitter Tyler Blamble scored another run, and two more consecutive infield singles loaded the bases for Ferlita. The Oglethorpe third baseman launched a grand slam to straightaway center field, turning the tables on Hendrix and giving Oglethorpe a 6-5 lead.
Ferlita finished Game 2 at 3-for-5 with a grand slam and 5 RBIs, while Mink went 3-for-3 with a solo home run, a walk and 2 runs scored. Held finished 3-for-4 with a stolen base and 2 runs scored, while Blamble went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored.
In Game 1, the Warriors took a game that was 3-2 in favor of the Petrels and turned it into a blowout in the visitors' favor. They scored two runs each in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings to build an 8-3 lead. They then tallied six runs in the seventh inning, a mark which gave them an 11-run lead and allowed them to enact the 10-run rule on Oglethorpe when the latter went scoreless in the bottom half of the inning.
The Petrels fell behind 2-0 early, but rallied in the second inning. Mink reached on a leadoff single and advanced to third on an error, then scored on an RBI single from Ferlita. Three batters later, junior left fielder Britton Araujo lofted a game-tying double over the head of the right fielder, then Miller followed with an RBI triple to give Oglethorpe the 3-2 lead.
Junior right-hander Matt Davis got the start and suffered the loss, falling to 5-4 on the season. He allowed 5 earned runs on 9 hits over 5 innings, walking three and striking out three.
Ferlita went 3-for-3 for the game with an RBI, while Araujo went 2-for-3 with a double, an RBI and a run scored.
The day was a momentous day for the Petrels off the field. They honored their seven seniors at Senior Day festivities prior to Game 1. Morgan Blake, Ryan Brennan, Trevor Davis, Brandon Fish, Sam Traxler, Blamble and Ferlita all earned plaudits for their careers prior to the contest. Then in between games, the Petrels celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Oglethorpe baseball program, with alumni from as far back as the 1950s taking the field for the ceremony.
The Petrels will complete the 3-game set at Anderson Field against the Warriors on Sunday at noon. After that, they'll wait to see where they're headed next weekend for the SAA Tournament.