The Oglethorpe baseball team was swept by Birmingham-Southern in a doubleheader Saturday, losing the first game 8-5 and falling in the second game 6-3.
The Petrels were either ahead or tied late in both games, but Birmingham-Southern's firepower proved to be too much in both cases.
In Game 1, Oglethorpe fell behind 2-1 in the third after taking an early 1-0 lead. However, in the fourth inning first baseman Josh Morgan led off with a single, and he advanced to second on obstruction by the Panthers' first baseman. After a Petrel out, catcher Hunter Riley walked and center fielder Vernon Trice singled to load the bases for the Petrels. Oglethorpe scored a run on another Panther error, tying the game. That brought right fielder Cory Leff to the plate, and he delivered with a bases-clearing double to the wall in left, giving the Petrels a 5-2 lead.
From there, the game was all Birmingham-Southern, though, as they scored two runs in each of the remaining innings, eventually taking the lead back, 6-5, in the eighth, and putting the game away in the ninth.
David Langhan got the start and wound up with a no decision for the Petrels, allowing three earned runs on six hits over five innings. He walked just one and struck out two. Joey McAlpin suffered the loss, blowing the potential save in the eighth. He allowed three earned runs on four hits in two innings.
Leff finished 1-for-3 with the three-run double. He was also hit by a pitch. Morgan had a good game at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a run scored.
In Game 2, Oglethorpe fell behind in the third again, 2-0, but again came back, this time to tie the game. Right fielder Nick Manai started the fourth-inning rally with a one-out double down the right-field line. Shortstop T.J. Schmutz walked and first baseman Morgan followed with an RBI single, cutting the Panther lead in half. Third baseman Frank Sarno followed with another single, loading the bases, and left fielder Riley drove in the tying run with a bases-loaded walk. However, a double play would cut the inning short for the Petrels and the game would remain tied into the eighth.
The Panthers rallied for four runs in the eighth and, though Oglethorpe would get a run back in the ninth, essentially put the game away, ensuring the series victory and doubleheader sweep for Birmingham-Southern.
Leff got the start at pitcher for the Petrels in Game 2 and suffered the loss, despite pitching very well over the first seven innings. He finished the game having allowed six runs on nine hits in seven-plus innings, as the Panthers exploded in the eighth.
Catcher Joe Parillo went 3-for-5 with an RBI for Oglethorpe in Game 2.
The losses drop the Petrels to 10-23 on the season, 2-9 in SCAC play. They will complete the three-game weekend series with a single game against Birmingham-Southern Sunday at 1 p.m.