The Oglethorpe baseball team was even with the visiting LaGrange Panthers, 4-4, going into the seventh inning Tuesday night at Anderson Field. However, the visitors came up with a 5-run frame to tilt the game in their favor in a 9-4 victory over the Stormy Petrels. The loss dropped the home side to 20-11 on the season.
A grand slam from center fielder James Poropatic proved to be the big blow in the inning for LaGrange, and served as the only hit of the frame for the visitors. Sophomore right-hander Dylan Childress suffered the loss to fall to 4-2 on the season after allowing four runs on three walks, a hit batsman, and no hits over a third of an inning.
The Petrels took a 1-0 lead in the first on an unearned run after senior center fielder Jarvis Miller singled to lead off the game for the Petrels, advanced to third on a pickoff-attempt error by LaGrange, then scored on a sacrifice fly from senior right fielder Patrick Burnette. The Panthers answered with a run in the third and three more in the fourth, the latter coming on a home run from third baseman Jackson Patrick, to take a 4-1 lead, but Oglethorpe came back with two in the bottom half of the inning.
They loaded the bases with nobody out before senior third baseman Connor Crooke grounded into a double play. It scored a run, though, and put a runner on third with two outs. Senior left fielder Britton Araujo came up next and ripped an RBI single through the right side of the infield to make it 4-3.
The home side tied the game an inning later. Miller was hit by a pitch to lead off, then advanced to third on another pickoff error by the Panthers. Senior designated hitter Adrian Celata came through with a run-scoring single down the line to make the score 4-4.
Despite advancing Celata into scoring position with one out, though, the Petrels wouldn't get anything more from the inning. They also failed to score in the sixth despite the Panthers committing three errors in the frame. That came back to haunt Oglethorpe an inning later, when the visitors posted their 5-run inning.
Oglethorpe pitching allowed just four hits, but LaGrange drove in seven runs combined on the two home runs. The home side also issued seven walks and hit four LaGrange batters.
"We got beat by a good team," said Oglethorpe head coach Dan Giordano. "They made pitches when they had to and got some big hits, and things just didn't go our away tonight. We look forward to rebounding with a big SAA weekend coming up, though."
The Petrels travel to Conway, Arkansas, Saturday and Sunday to take on Hendrix in a big 3-game set. Oglethorpe currently sits in third place in the league with six games to play, a game back of second-place Berry and two back of first-place Rhodes. Saturday's doubleheader is scheduled to get started at 2 p.m. Eastern, with Sunday's single game set for 1 p.m.