The Oglethorpe baseball team earned a doubleheader split with the visiting MacMurray Highlanders Saturday afternoon at Anderson Field. They won the first game in a 21-6 rout, but MacMurray responded with a 7-4 victory in Game 2. The split moved the Stormy Petrels to 4-2 on the young season with the rubber game of the series coming on Sunday.
The Petrels really got the bats going in Game 1, pounding out 19 hits en route to scoring 21 runs. They saw five players collect two or more hits in the contest, as they put the game away with an 8-run barrage in the sixth inning.
The home side also got off to an outstanding start, scoring seven runs in the second inning to put the Highlanders behind the eight-ball quickly. A single and a stolen base from senior second baseman Matt Motz put him in scoring position for senior third baseman Connor Crooke, who put the Petrels on the board with a single back up the middle. Crooke then stole second and was able to score on a MacMurray error and senior designated hitter Adrian Celata drove in a run with an RBI single a couple of batters later. Sophomore first baseman Andrew Mink followed with a bases-loaded walk and Motz came through with his second hit of the inning, driving in a pair and giving Oglethorpe a 6-0 lead.
The Highlanders responded with three in the third, cutting the Oglethorpe lead to 7-3, but the Petrels came back with a run in the bottom half of the frame and two more in the fourth. Freshman catcher Alec Babb singled home a run and freshman shortstop Alex Featherstone drove in another with a sacrifice fly.
MacMurray scored three more in the sixth, cutting their deficit to 10-6. but the home side removed all doubt in the bottom half of the inning, bringing eight runs to the plate. Back-to-back doubles by Crooke and Babb got it started, and Featherstone followed up by singling home Babb. Mink and senior center fielder Jarvis Miller tallied RBIs, as well, and senior right fielder Patrick Burnette provided the big blow with a 2-run double.
The Petrels cruised home from there, giving sophomore Noah Cole his second win of the season. He allowed three runs on five hits over five innings of work, striking out five and walking four.
Motz went 3-for-5 for the game with two runs and two RBIs. Babb went 3-for-5 with a double, three RBIs and three runs scored.
It was the Highlanders who got off to a good start in the 7-inning Game 2, though, scoring two runs in the third and three in the fourth off of Oglethorpe starter Kyle Babb. The Petrel left-hander allowed four earned runs on seven hits over four innings, suffering the loss to drop to 1-1 on the season. Up 5-0, MacMurray put the Petrels in serious trouble with a couple more in the fifth, giving themselves a 7-0 advantage. The home side picked up three in the bottom half of the inning with a 2-run double by Celata serving as the big blow. They left the bases loaded in the sixth, though, meaning they needed a 4-run rally in the seventh and final inning of the ballgame. They got an RBI single from Motz to make it 7-4 and loaded the bases again, this time with only one out. But the Highlanders again worked their way out of the jam, inducing a strikeout and a groundout to end it.
The two teams return to Anderson Field on Sunday for the rubber game of the 3-game set. First pitch is scheduled for noon. After that, Oglethorpe will travel to Demorest to take on in-state opponent Piedmont on Tuesday before welcoming Berry to Anderson Field for a 3-game series to open the SAA season over the weekend.