The Oglethorpe baseball team played yet another one-run game with Rhodes Sunday afternoon, but this time emerged victorious, as they came back from an early 4-0 deficit to win 7-6 in 10 innings.
With the game tied 6-6, the Petrels squandered chances in both the eighth and ninth innings to take the lead and/or win the game. In the 10th, Spencer Transue, who started the game as the shortstop but came in to pitch in the ninth, mowed the Lynx down in order in the top half. In the bottom half of the inning, third baseman Keith Dearden doubled to the wall in left-center, putting a runner in scoring position with nobody out. Rhode intentionally walked cather Hunter Riley, and second baseman Will Hanna moved both of the runners into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt. Rhodes intentionally walked pinch-hitter Jake Purcell, and that brought Transue to the plate. Needing only a medium fly ball to win the game, he lofted a ball down the right field line that the Rhodes right fielder could not get to, bringing in Dearden and winning the game for the Petrels.
Rhodes came back from a 6-4 deficit with a run each in the sixth and the seventh. However, the Petrels had come back from an even larger deficit early in the game. Down 4-0 in the second, the Petrels proceeded to score at least a run in each of the next four innings to take the 6-4 lead. Dearden started the rally with a two-run homer in the second, the first home run of the year by a member of the Stormy Petrels, to cut the Rhodes lead to 4-2.
Oglethorpe then tied the game in the third, getting an RBI double down the left-field line from designated hitter Cory Leff and an RBI groundout from first baseman Casey Tuttle. The Petrels tacked on single runs in the fourth and fifth. Dearden stole home on a rundown play in the fourth, then Leff homored to deep left in the fifth.
Transue won the game for himself with his game-winning single. He pitched two innings and allowed just one hit. Kyle Mitchell got the start, and allowed four runs, but only one earned, on seven hits over 4.1 innings. He walked two and struck out three. David Langhan pitched well in relief for the Stormy Petrels, allowing two runs, one earned, on four hits and no walks over 3.2 innings of work.
Several Petrels had good days at the plate. Transue went 2-for-4 with two walks, the game-winning RBI, and a run. Dearden went 3-for-5 with a home run, two doubles, two stolen bases, two RBIs and three runs scored. Leff went 3-for-4 with a home run, a double, a walk, two RBIs and a run, while right fielder Nick Manai was 2-for-4 with a sacrifice bunt and a run.
This marks 10 out of the last 11 times these two teams have played that the game has been decided by one run. It also marks the fifth time in that stretch that a game between the two teams has gone into extra innings, including the epic 21-inning game at the 2011 SCAC Tournament two years ago.
The win improves Oglethorpe to 2-10 on the season, 1-2 in SAA play. They will next be in action next weekend, when they travel to Birmingham, Ala., to take on Birmingham-Southern in another crucial three-game SAA series. First pitch Friday is scheduled for 7 p.m. Eastern time.