By Mitchell Miegel for BerryVikings.com
Rome, GA—Berry College held on in the first round of the Southern Athletic Association tournament by defeating Oglethorpe, 11-10, in a thriller.
The Vikings were leading 11-7 heading into the ninth inning, when a late surge by the Petrels was cut short by a double play.
On the fly ball to left field with the bases loaded, TC Boyd made a heads up play to throw to third base to get Vernon Trice out trying to advance to third on the fly out. The tagging runner on third did not touch home plate before the out at third base occurred.
Both teams combined to have 21 runs and 31 hits between the two ball clubs. Alex McGill collected a pair of hits, a double and single. He was able to drive in four runs in the game and touch home twice. Zach Farmer collected a pair of hits as well with two RBIs and a run. Kevin Scott led the team with three hits in his five at bats.
The Viking squad tallied 15 hits. Eight of the nine Viking batters collected at least one hit. Stephen Gaylorcracked two hits and scored three times. He also stole two bases in the game to tie the Berry College record for the most stolen bases in a career at 76.
Both starters allowed 14 runs to score in the first four innings of the ball game. For the Vikings, Braxton Teal (2-0) found a groove in the fifth inning where he went four strong innings and was able to slow down the Oglethorpe offense. Teal allowed three runs off five hits while striking out three to pick up the win.
Chad Busby earned his second save despite allowing two hits and letting two of Teal's runners score.
OU's starter, Joe Marco, got pinned with his first loss on the year. His record dropped to 3-1.
Offensively for the Petrels, they outhit the Vikings by one. Frank Sarno, Austin Ferlita, Andre Turnquest, and Trice led the team in hitting. These hitters totaled 11 of the 16 total hits for OU.
The Vikings play Rhodes College Saturday at noon in the winners bracket of the SAA tournament. Centre and Oglethrope will play at 3:30 in an elimination game.