Oglethorpe Suffers Two Heartbreaking Losses in Doubleheader Sweep

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The Oglethorpe baseball team suffered two difficult losses Sunday in Danville, Ky., where they were swept by home-standing Centre in an SAA doubleheader. The Stormy Petrels fell 5-4 in Game 1 and 4-3 in Game 2, giving up late leads in both games.

In Game 1, the Petrels jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the fourth inning. Center fielder Vernon Trice walked and designated hitter Patrick Kulick doubled him to third. Third baseman Austin Ferlita followed with an RBI single to give the Petrels the lead and advance Kulick to third, then advanced to second on a wild pitch. After two strikeouts, first baseman Frank Sarno singled home both Ferlita and Kulick. He was thrown out trying to stretch it into a double, but the Petrels had a 3-0 lead. 

Centre would get a run back in the bottom half of the inning, but all appeared well for the Petrels into the seventh. It was there that the game fell apart. Down 3-1 entering the inning, the Colonels scored four unearned runs on two hits off of Oglethorpe reliever Joe Marco. Two Petrel errors were involved and, when the inning was over, they found themselves down 5-3.

They got the tying run to the plate in the ninth when pinch hitter Joey McAlpin homered, but no further men reached base in the inning and the Petrels fell 5-4.

Marco suffered the loss in extremely bad luck, dropping to 2-1 on the season. He allowed four runs, all of them unearned, in three innings of work. He allowed only one hit and walked two.

Left fielder Andre Turnquest went 3-for-4 on the afternoon. Sarno went 2-for-4 with two RBIs, while Ferlita went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored.

The Petrels suffered an even more difficult loss in Game 2. Petrels starter Ryan Brennan delivered four innings of four-hit ball in the scheduled seven-inning game. He allowed a single unearned run and a walk. Though Centre had a 1-0 lead, the Petrels came through with three runs in the sixth to apparently take control of the game. Ferlita reached on an error to start the inning, then pinch hitter Will Hanna sacrificed him into scoring position. Right fielder McAlpin singled and drove Ferlita in with a fielder's choice to tie the game. After a single from pinch hitter Jake Purcell and wild pitch to move the runners up, catcher Kerrigan McManigal brought both runs home with a two-run single to make the score 3-1 in favor of the Petrels. 

Relief pitcher Kulick still had six outs to get, however. He had no trouble with the bottom of the sixth, but in the seventh, two one-out Centre singles were sandwiched around a Petrel error to load the bases. A bases-loaded walk made the score 3-2, and the next batter, Centre's Kyle Cook, singled with the bases loaded to drive in the two winning runs and give the Colonels the 4-3 victory.

Kulick suffered the loss, allowing three runs, two of them earned, over 2-1/3 innings of work. He allowed three hits and a walk, and drops to 1-2 on the season.

Trice went 2-for-4, McAlpin went 2-for-3 with a double, and McManigal went 1-for-2 with two RBIs.

The losses drop the Petrels to 10-13 on the season, 4-7 in SAA competition. They'll now try to shake off these losses with a midweek home game against Piedmont at 7 p.m. on Wednesday before welcoming in nationally-ranked Birmingham-Southern next weekend.