February 10, 2012

Petrels Start Season Off Right, Down Covenant 8-5

The Oglethorpe baseball team won its season opener, 8-5, on Friday, scoring all eight runs in innings 5-8. David Langhan picked up the win in relief for the Petrels.

After a slow start led to a 1-0 deficit, the Petrels started to come alive in the fifth inning. First baseman Casey Tuttle provided the first hit and run of the game for Oglethorpe with a solo home run, the first of his career, tying the game.

Oglethorpe exploded in the next two innings for three runs apiece. In the sixth, third baseman Nick Manai started the rally with a one-out double. Right fielder Cory Leff followed with an RBI single to give the Petrels their first lead of the game. Catcher Joseph Parillo advanced both himself and Leff into scoring position with a double, setting the table for the big blow of the inning, a two-run single by Tuttle.

In the seventh, the Petrels went to work adding to their 4-1 lead. Center fielder Vernon Trice led off the inning with a double. He then reached third on a Jake Spear sacrifice bunt and scored on a Ryan Grau fielder's choice-RBI. Grau reached on an error on that fielder's choice and was driven in with a Manai double. Two batters later, Leff singled Manai in and the Petrels had a 7-1 lead. They would add another run when Trice walked, stole two bases and scored on an error in the eighth.

In the meantime, Oglethorpe pitching held off a late Covenant rally to secure the victory.

Tuttle went 2-for-4 with three RBIs, including his first career home run. Leff also went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a run scored. Manai went 2-for-5 with two doubles and two runs scored, and Trice made his debut by going 1-for-3 with a double, a walk, two stolen bases and two runs scored.

The Petrels will play the home half of their home-and-home series with Covenant on Saturday, beginning at 1 p.m. It will be their home opener.

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