The Oglethorpe baseball team got locked in a close game with Piedmont Wednesday night, but came out on the wrong side of it, losing to the visiting Lions, 5-3.
The second inning told the tale for the Petrels, as they gave up three runs to the visiting side, one of which was unearned after an Oglethorpe throwing error. After the inning, the Petrels found themselves down 3-0.
They did come back with two in the third, though, cutting the Piedmont lead to 3-2. In the inning, senior right fielder Nick Manai singled to lead it off, extending his hitting streak to 15 games dating back to the end of last season. Shortstop TJ Schmutz singled as well, and after the runners were moved up into scoring position with an out, designated hitter Cory Leff singled them both home, netting two RBIs and slicing the Lions' lead to a single run. However, with a chance to tie or take the lead, the Stormy Petrels stranded two men on base and were forced to settle for just the two runs.
This proved costly, as Piedmont came back with two more runs in the fifth, extending their lead to 5-2 and chasing Petrel starter Joey McAlpin from the game.
Oglethorpe came back with a single run in the seventh when Manai again singled, advanced to third on a Schmutz single, and scored as part of a fiedler's choice on the basepaths. This cut the Lion lead to 5-3, but the Petrels would see only one more batter reach base in the game.
Piedmont outhit the Petrels 8-7, but also committed three errors to Oglethorpe's one. The Oglethorpe error was a big one, though, allowing a run to score and prolonging the third inning.
McAlpin suffered the loss, allowing four earned runs on six hits over five innings of work. Emmett Goodman came on in relief and mowed the Lions down over three innings, allowing just two hits and striking out six Piedmont hitters.
Manai represented the hitting star on the night for Oglethorpe, as he went 2-for-4 with a walk and two runs scored, extending his hitting streak in the process.
The loss drops Oglethorpe to 1-6 on the young season. They will take the weekend off before returning to the field for a doubleheader on Tuesday against Wabash. The night features two seven-inning games, and gets started at 5 p.m. That leads into the first SAA series of the season next weekend against Rhodes at Anderson Field.