The Oglethorpe baseball team earned a doubleheader split from the homestanding Berry Vikings in Mount Berry Saturday afternoon, defeating their opponent 10-9 in the opener and falling 14-5 in the night cap. The results moved the Stormy Petrels 17-17 on the season overall and 7-11 in SAA play, putting them in seventh place in the league with three conference games to go.
The Petrels jumped out early in the opener, scoring a pair of runs in the third and another in the fourth for a 3-0 lead. Junior designated hitter Adrian Celata led off with a double in the third, and junior catcher Bobby Rezac followed with a 2-run shot to give Oglethorpe a 2-0 advantage. They added on in the fourth, when junior left fielder Britton Araujo singled to lead off the frame and scored on a double from junior center fielder Jarvis Miller.
Berry bounced back with three runs in the fifth inning, tying the game headed into the late innings. However, the Petrels answered quickly with seven runs over the next two innings. They scored three in the sixth, as Araujo and Miller walked to lead off the frame and senior third baseman Austin Ferlita followed with a 3-run homer, giving Oglethorpe a 6-3 advantage. They left two men aboard in the inning, but came back in the seventh. Freshman shortstop Sam Held singled to lead off and, after a fielder's choice where Berry did not record an out, Miller followed with a run-scoring single. Ferlita was next, and he drove in a pair with another hit through the right side, giving Oglethorpe a 9-3 lead. Sophomore first baseman Andrew Mink singled home Ferlita later in the inning to extend Oglethorpe's lead to 10-3.
The Vikings came back with three runs in the seventh, and scored three more in the ninth. They put the potential tying run in scoring position, but Oglethorpe left-hander Preston Vegotsky induced a fielder's choice grounder to end the game.
Sophomore left-hander Kyle Babb picked up the victory, improving to 4-2 on the season. He allowed 6 runs on 8 hits over 7 innings, allowing 3 walks and striking out a pair.
Miller went 3-for-4 from the leadoff spot, including a double, 3 walks, 2 RBIs and 2 runs scored. Ferlita went 2-for-5, but his 2 hits were huge, driving in 5 runs.
In Game 2, the Vikings tallied a run in each of the first two innings. However, the Petrels responded with four runs in the fourth, taking a 4-2 lead. Celata and Mink walked to lead off the inning and Rezac followed with a single through the left side. Junior second baseman Matt Motz then doubled home Mink and Celata, tying the game at 2-2. That left runners on second and third, and Held followed with a sacrifice fly to give Oglethorpe the lead. Araujo drove in another run with a groundout to give the visitors the 2-run advantage.
However, Berry responded with six runs in the bottom half of the inning, then added three more runs in each of the next two, giving themselves a 14-4 lead. The Petrels responded with a single run in the seventh, as senior Morgan Blake singled and advanced to second on a passed ball before fellow senior Tyler Blamble drove him in with a single of his own, but it was too late for the Petrels to work their way back into the game.
Freshman right-hander Austin Manuel suffered the loss in the contest, dropping to 1-1 on the season. He allowed 3 runs on 3 hits over a third of an inning in relief of right-handed starter Sam Traxler.
The Petrels will stay on the road early next week, as they'll travel to Montgomery, Alabama, to take on Huntingdon Tuesday at 8 p.m. Eastern before heading back to Georgia and traveling up to Demorest for a makeup game with Piedmont at 7 p.m. Wednesday. After that, they'll return home for a big weekend. They'll face Hendrix in a 3-game conference series, and will celebrate the 100th anniversary of Oglethorpe baseball and Senior Day on consecutive days April 22 and 23.