The Oglethorpe baseball team swept a doubleheader Wednesday in Augusta, Ga., against Paine, winning the first game 7-3 and the second one 4-2.
In Game 1, the two teams remained scoreless until the third inning, when the Petrels struck for a three-spot. First baseman Justin Thigpen walked to lead off the inning, then third baseman Frank Sarno sacrificed him to second. A Paine error on the play allowed Thigpen to score and put Sarno on third base, giving the Petrels a 1-0 lead. Two Petrel walks followed, bringing up right fielder Nick Manai, who came through with a sacrifice fly to give the Petrels a 2-0 lead. The next batter was left fielder Cory Leff, and he delivered a second sacrifice fly, giving the Petrels a 3-0 edge with three unearned runs.
Oglethorpe tacked on two more in the fourth. Catcher Jeff Brothers singled to lead off the inning, then designated hitter Casey Tuttle doubled down the left-field line, moving Brothers to third. With two outs in the inning, Sarno hit a two-run double the opposite way down the right-field line, scoring both runs and extending the Oglethorpe lead to 5-0.
Paine answered with three in the fourth to cut the Oglethorpe lead to 5-3, but the Petrels answered back with two more in the fifth, more or less putting the seven-inning contest on ice. Shortstop Spencer Transue walked and stole second to start the inning. Then, Manai came through with a single to score him and build the Petrel lead back up to three runs. Manai advanced to second on a wild pitch, then Brothers walked and advanced to second on a wild pitch, as well. Second baseman Keith Dearden followed with a run-scoring single, advancing the scoreline to 7-3 in favor of the Petrels.
Sam Franklin picked up the victory, going four-and-two-thirds innings allowing three runs on nine hits. Sarno had the best game at the plate for the Petrels in Game 1. He was 2-for-3 with a double, two RBIs and a run scored.
In Game 2, the Petrels got an excellent start from Joey McAlpin and rode that to a victory. McAlpin pitched six of the seven innings, allowing two runs on three hits. He struck out five batters and walked just one. He also retired 16 straight Paine batters during one stretch.
After falling behind 2-0 in the first, the Petrels did all their damage in the third inning of the contest, scoring four runs in the frame. Transue led off the inning with a walk, then Manai singled and Brothers walked. The Petrels had the bases loaded with one out and Dearden striding to the plate, down by two. Dearden quickly changed that, ripping a bases-clearing double that turned the game around. The Petrels went from down 2-0 to up 3-2 in the blink of an eye, and they added another run when Dearden scored on a Paine error.
From there, the Petrels cruised home on the back of McAlpin, who was pitching his gem en route to his first win of the season. Joseph Marco picked up his first career save in the contest, throwing the final inning. He allowed the potential tying run on base with two hits, but he struck out one and got out of it, securing the win for the Petrels.
The victories improve Oglethorpe to 4-13 on the season. They will get back to SAA action this weekend, when they travel to Mount Berry, Ga., to take on Berry in a three-game set. The first game Friday has been moved up to 1 p.m. due to weather. Saturday's game is scheduled for 4 p.m., while Sunday's is scheduled for 1 p.m.