The Oglethorpe baseball team got eight consecutive runs over the middle innings Friday afternoon against the visiting MIT Engineers, coming back from a 2-0 deficit to pull away from the visitors en route to an 8-3 victory in the first of a 3-game series between the two teams. The Stormy Petrels pounded out 10 hits on the afternoon while Oglethorpe pitching held the Engineers to 6 hits over the course of the game. The victory improved Oglethorpe to 7-9 on the season.
The Petrels got outstanding relief work over the course of the game, with senior right-hander Ryan Brennan and sophomore right-hander Caleb Feibus combining for 7 innings of work and allowing just 4 hits, 1 run and 5 walks over that time, striking out three. Feibus picked up his first career win in the process, allowing a single run, 2 hits and 3 walks over 3 2/3 innings.
MIT got on the board in the second inning, scoring on an Oglethorpe wild pitch. They doubled their lead in the fifth inning when they scored on a rundown play.
However, the Petrels began fighting back from there. With two outs in the inning, junior catcher Adrian Celata walked and senior right fielder Brandon Fish singled. A double steal followed, putting both runners in scoring position. Junior second baseman Matt Motz got the Petrels on the board by reaching on an error. After the Engineer pitcher hit junior first baseman Dee Kelly with a pitch, junior third baseman Connor Crooke followed with a bases-loaded walk, tying the game.
Oglethorpe continued their outstanding hitting in the sixth, and again did it with two outs. Junior designated hitter Bobby Rezac singled to center field to start the rally and Celata followed with another single that skipped past the MIT center fielder. Rezac scored on the play, giving Oglethorpe the lead. After a Fish intentional walk and another double steal with Celata and Fish, Motz singled off the glove of the Engineer shortstop to drive in a pair of runs and extend their lead to 5-2.
The home side added three more in the seventh. Freshman shortstop Sam Held got himself aboard with a bunt single, then junior left fielder Britton Araujo followed with another infield single on which Held scored after a throwing error. Oglethorpe junior center fielder Jarvis Miller then bombed a 2-run homer to give the Petrels an 8-2 lead.
In the ninth, the Engineers loaded the bases and brought in their third run of the game with a bases-loaded walk, but senior right-hander Justin Thigpen got a ground ball to get out of the inning and secure the game.
"Our bullpen really stepped up and gave us a chance," said Oglethorpe head coach Dan Giordano. "Brennan coming on in a really tough spot and and getting the ground out was huge. And Feibus threw up a bunch of zeroes. It gave our offense a chance to get going, and we capitalized on a few of their mistakes."
The Petrels and Engineers will be back at Anderson Field for two more games to complete this 3-game set. The two teams will meet Saturday at 3 p.m., then return on Sunday for a noon first pitch.