February 24, 2013

Baseball Secures First Victory of Season, Defeats Bates 7-1

The Oglethorpe baseball team won its first game of the season Sunday night, defeating Bates 7-1 at Anderson Field. 

The story of the game for the Petrels was the pitching of freshman left-hander Kyle Mitchell. He secured Oglethorpe's first win of the season with 5 2/3 innings of excellent pitching. He allowed just one run on three hits and struck out six. He maintained a no-hitter through 5 1/3 innings.

With Mitchell pitching so well, the Petrels wouldn't need very much hitting, and they got more than enough. They scored a run in the second after second baseman Will Hanna singled and subsequently scored on two Bates errors. 

Still up just 1-0 in the fifth, Oglethorpe tacked on an insurance run. Right fielder Nick Manai walked and stole second, and designated hitter Jeff Brothers followed with a run-scoring single. That doubled the Petrels lead and made it 2-0. 

It looked like that might wind up as a pretty big insurance run, as Bates finally scored a run off of Mitchell in the sixth. However, with the bases loaded and Bates slugger Ryan Sonberg stepping to the plate, freshman Justin Thigpen came on in relief and got a huge strikeout to get out of the jam with the lead still intact, 2-1.

From there, the Petrels extended their lead, scoring two in the sixth and three in the seventh, putting the game away. In the sixth, third baseman Frank Sarno scored on a wild pitch, then center fielder Vernon Trice drove in another with an RBI double down the line. In the seventh, Oglethorpe loaded the bases with nobody out. First baseman Casey Tuttle came through with an RBI single to give the Petrels a three-run lead, then the Petrels went on to score twice more in the inning, building the lead to six runs and effectively putting the visiting Bobcats to bed.

In addition to Mitchell, the Petrel bullpen pitched very well in this one. Thigpen threw a perfect inning-and-a-third and freshman Joseph Marco completed the all first-year pitching trio for the Petrels, going two innings without allowing a hit or a run and walking just one.

At the plate, Tuttle had another solid game for Oglethorpe, going 2-for-4 with an RBI, a stolen base, and a run scored.

The Petrels improved to 1-5 on the season with the win. They will next be in action Tuesday evening, when they welcome Piedmont to Anderson Field. First pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m.

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