After suffering an excruciating loss Friday, the seventh-seeded Oglethorpe baseball team got off to an excellent start on a Saturday full of elimination games in Mount Berry, Ga., scoring 10 first-inning runs en route to a 12-8 defeat of sixth-seeded Centre. However, they couldn't get past third-seeded Rhodes in the nightcap, ending their season with a 5-2 loss to the Lynx.
The Stormy Petrels quickly proved they had turned the page after Friday night's defeat, bombing the Colonel starter for double-digit runs in the very first inning. Designated hitter Patrick Kulick wound up with six RBIs in the inning, and started the scoring for the Petrels with a two-run single. A sacrifice fly by right fielder Joey McAlpin followed to make it 3-0, then an error scored another run for the Petrels. A Spencer Transue RBI single and an Andre Turnquest bases-loaded hit-by-pitch made the score 6-0. That brought Kulick back to the plate, and he capped the inning off in style, smashing a grand slam over the right-field fence to make it 10-0 Petrels in the very first inning.
From there, the Petrels pretty much maintained their lead and held on for victory. Starter Kyle Mitchell picked up his fourth win of the season, allowing three earned runs on 10 hits over 5-1/3 innings.
The Petrels picked up a couple of insurance runs in the eighth on a Casey Tuttle bases-loaded walk and an RBI single by shortstop Transue. These would turn out to be relatively important, as Centre, who was down 12-4 entering the bottom of the ninth, scored four runs to make it a 12-8 game. However, the Petrels were able to get the final out and secure the victory, advancing to the nightcap elimination game against Rhodes, who lost to host Berry earlier in the day.
Kulick finished the game 4-for-6 with a home run, six RBIs and three runs scored. Transue was 3-for-5 with two RBIs and a run scored. The Petrels pounded out 20 hits over the course of the game, 10 of them in the first inning.
The Rhodes game did not go as well for the Petrels, however. They fell behind 2-0 in the first three innings before getting a run back in the top of the fourth on a run-scoring fielder's choice from first baseman Frank Sarno. However, Rhodes really put the Petrels behind the eight-ball with two more runs in the fifth, extending their lead to 4-1. The Petrels again got a run back, this time in the seventh on an RBI groundout from Transue. However, Rhodes added on an additional run and then held on from there for the three-run victory, ending the Petrels' season.
After the fireworks of Game 1, the Petrels managed only six hits against Rhodes in Game 2. Ryan Brennan suffered the loss, allowing four runs on seven hits over four innings of work. Senior David Langhan came in to try and hold the fort over the final four innings, and allowed just one run on five hits. However, it was too late.
The Petrels end their season with an 18-25 record and this marks the second consecutive year in which the Petrels have won at least a game in the SAA Tournament.