The Oglethorpe baseball team saw their difficult stretch of the season continue as they fell 7-5 to Chicago Wednesday night at Anderson Field, resulting in their sixth loss in their last seven games. The Stormy Petrels came back from a 3-0 deficit to tie the game, but fell behind by three again in the seventh inning and couldn't make it all the way back a second time. The victory dropped Oglethorpe to 11-12 on the season, dropping them under .500 for the first time this year.
With the game tied 3-3 going into the seventh, the visiting Maroons were able to push three runs across and take control of the game, 6-3. An Oglethorpe error with one out put a man aboard and, with two men out in the inning, Chicago drove in the three runs with a couple of singles and a steal of home by center fielder Connor Hickey.
Oglethorpe got two runs back in the bottom half of the inning. Freshman right fielder Scott Witt led off the frame with an infield single, then scored on a double into the right-center gap by senior shortstop Spencer Transue. After a Chicago pitching change, Transue advanced to third on a balk, then scored when sophomore center fielder Britton Araujo doubled him home. With Araujo on second and nobody out, the Petrels had an excellent chance to tie the game again, but they left Araujo stranded at third.
The Maroons pushed an insurance run across in the ninth, nudging their lead out to 7-5. The Petrels threatened in the bottom half, putting runners at second and third with one out. Oglethorpe loaded the bases with two outs, but couldn't bring a run across and fell 7-5.
Chicago jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second on a home run by designated hitter Matt Slodzinski, but the Petrels bounced back in the sixth. Transue, sophomore left fielder Jarvis Miller, and junior third baseman Austin Ferlita all walked to load the bases with one out. The Maroons made a pitching change and got a strike out, but a dropped foul ball cost them dearly, as later in that at-bat, junior designated hitter Brandon Fish singled up the middle, scoring a pair of unearned runs. Sophomore catcher Bobby Rezac followed with an RBI single of his own to score Ferlita from second just ahead of the throw, tying the game.
Junior right-hander Sam Traxler suffered the loss on the evening, falling to 0-1 on the season. He pitched two innings and did not allow an earned run, but he did allow three unearned runs on two hits, two walks and a strike out.
Rezac went 3 for 4 with an RBI while Araujo finished his night 2 for 5 with a double and an RBI of his own.
"Tonight was another tough loss where the margin of error was so small," said Oglethorpe head coach Dan Giordano. "We are so close to turning this thing around and getting back to winning baseball. We have to stay focused and trust the process. We've got a big weekend ahead against a good Centre team."
The Petrels travel to Danville, Kentucky, to take on the Colonels in a 3-game SAA series Friday and Saturday. The single game Friday between the two teams will get started at 6 p.m. while Saturday's doubleheader gets underway at noon.