March 4, 2013

Baseball Swept in Doubleheader by Wabash

The Oglethorpe baseball team was swept in a doubleheader by Wabash Monday night on Anderson Field, losing the first game 9-5 and the second 10-4. Untimely errors and baserunning mistakes doomed the Petrels' chances of getting back into both games.

In the first game, Wabash scored seven runs over the first four innings of the game. Though they found themselves down 7-0, the Petrels fought back with a run in the fifth. First baseman Casey Tuttle walked and advanced to second on a wild pitch, third on a balk. That allowed third baseman Frank Sarno to drive him in with a sacrifice fly, cutting the Wabash lead to 7-1.

Wabash got the run back in the top of the sixth, but Oglethorpe came back in the bottom half with a rally of their own. Shortstop Spencer Transue and right fielder Nick Manai singled to lead off the inning, then catcher Jeff Brothers hit a screaming double to the gap in left-center, scoring both runs. The inning continued with designated hitter Cory Leff getting hit by a pitch. After a Petrel foulout, second baseman T.J. Schmutz singled to load the bases. Sarno came up and again delivered a sacrifice fly, cutting the Wabash lead to 8-4. However, the inning ended on the basepaths for the Petrels with a pick-off. They had cut the lead to four, but missed an opportunity.

They scored another run in the seventh after left fielder Casey Innis and Transue sandwiched singles around a strikeout and Manai drove Innis home with a run-scoring single. However, the Petrels loaded the bases with one out down 8-5, but struck out twice to end the inning, squandering another golden opportunity.

That was the last good chance for Oglethorpe. The visiting Little Giants picked up an unearned run in the eighth, and Oglethorpe did not threaten again.

Emmett Goodman suffered the loss, dropping him to 0-3 on the season. He allowed five earned runs on six hits over 2.1 innings.

Transue went 3-for-5 for the game with a stolen base and a run scored, while Brothers went 2-for-3 with a double, two walks, two RBIs and a run scored.

In Game 2, the Petrels again fell behind 1-0 in the second, but this time they answered in the bottom half with a couple of their own, Tuttle was hit by a pitch, then after a Petrel out, third baseman Keith Dearden walked, as did catcher Hunter Riley. The Petrels then scored twice on two Wabash errors, taking the 2-1 lead without the benefit of a hit in the inning.

However, Wabash returned the favor in the top of the third and then some. They scored seven runs on four hits and three Petrel errors. All of the runs came after a catcher's interference call went against the Petrels. With one out and a runner on first, the Little Giants hit a ground ball that looked like it would turn into a double play that would end the inning. But instead of that, catcher's interference was called on the play, putting runners at first and second with one out. From there, the inning unraveled for the Stormy Petrels.

In the fifth, Manai walked, stole second, and came home on a double from designated hitter Jake Purcell. Purcell then advanced to third on a groundout and scored on a wild pitch. This cut the Wabash lead to 8-4, giving the Petrels hope.

However, the Little Giants extended their lead in the seventh with another sacrifice fly, then the Petrels squandered another bases loaded opportunity in the bottom half by getting picked off to end the inning again.

That was pretty much the death knell for the Petrels. Wabash scored an insurance run in the ninth and cruised through the bottom half for the 10-4 victory.

Kyle Mitchell suffered the loss for the Petrels, allowing five earned runs (three unearned) on six hits and four walks over four innings. He did strike out six Wabash hitters.

Offensively, Purcell went 2-for-3 with a double, a walk, an RBI and a run. He entered the game in the third inning after Brothers, who started at DH, doubled in his first at-bat but was injured running the bases.

Manai extended his hitting streak to 16 games with his 2-for-5 performance in Game 1, but saw it come to an end after going 0-for-4 in Game 2.

The losses drop the Petrels to 1-8 on the season. They begin SAA play this weekend, when they welcome Rhodes onto Anderson Field for a big three-game series beginning Friday night. The two teams play at 7 p.m. on Friday, 2 p.m. on Saturday and noon on Sunday.

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