The Oglethorpe baseball team ran into a tough LaGrange team Sunday afternoon on the final day of the Firehouse Classic in Montgomery, Alabama, falling 9-4 to the Panthers after falling behind 6-1 over the first four innings. The loss dropped the Stormy Petrels to 1-2 on the season, headed into their home opener on Wednesday evening.
Both the Petrels and Panthers knocked 10 base hits, but Oglethorpe pitchers issued 12 walks and hit two batters, putting them behind the eight-ball all afternoon long. Meanwhile, LaGrange pitching issued just a single free pass over the course of the game. The Panthers strung 5 hits together in the fourth inning, leading to a 4-run outburst that gave them a 6-1 lead. The Petrels were able to get no closer than 4 runs after that.
The Petrels took the early lead in the bottom of the second on a sacrifice fly from junior third baseman Connor Crooke after a double from senior right fielder Brandon Fish and a single from junior catcher Bobby Rezac put runners on second and third with one out.
However, LaGrange responded with a pair of runs in the third inning, one scoring on the first Petrel error of the season, and 4 runs in the fourth. The Panthers added another run in the sixth before the Petrels finally got back on the board with a 2-run homer from senior first baseman Austin Ferlita, making it 7-3. LaGrange answered with a 2-run homer of their own in the eighth inning, though, pulling their advantage out to 6 runs, 9-3. Ferlita made it 9-4 with an RBI single in the eighth, but Oglethorpe got no closer.
Ferlita finished the day 2-for-4 with the home run and 3 RBIs, while junior center fielder Jarvis Miller went 3-for-4.
Senior right-hander Ryan Brennan got the start and went 3 innings, allowing just 1 earned run on 1 hit. He walked four, though, and wound up with the loss.
"This was a tough loss against a really good team," said Oglethorpe head coach Dan Giordano. "We gave away too many free bases tonight and, no matter who you play, that's gonna come back to hurt you. I thought we played good baseball this weekend and we played hard in all three games. We're certainly not satisfied with the results, but I like the atmosphere around our team as we move forward in the season."
The Petrels will now return to Atlanta for their home opener, schedule for Wednesday at 5 p.m. against in-state opponent Covenant. After that, they'll welcome Curry to Anderson Field for a 3-game series Saturday and Sunday.