Stormy Petrels hang on for 7-6 victory over No. 25 Cortland

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The Oglethorpe baseball team earned a win over a top 25 opponent Wednesday evening at Anderson Field, knocking off the No. 25 Cortland Red Dragons 7-6 to improve to 8-13 on the season. The Stormy Petrels used a four-run first inning to take the lead early, then withstood a Cortland comeback and got a go-ahead two-run homer from junior first baseman Jack Bartlewski in the seventh. That blow proved to be the difference.

With the game tied 5-5 headed into that inning, senior third baseman Andrew Mink singled up the middle to lead off the frame and Bartlewski followed with a two-run bomb to right field. That gave the Petrels a 7-5 lead. 

In the top of the eighth, the Red Dragons followed a one-out Petrel error with back-to-back walks, loading the bases. One batter later, another walk forced in an unearned run to make it 7-6. However, junior right-hander Dylan Childress got out of the inning by inducing a groundout to short with the bases still loaded.

In the ninth, Bartlewski took the mound to close the game out. He set Cortland down in order and earned his third save of the season. 

Childress pitched 2 1/3 innings and allowed just the unearned run on a single hit, working around four walks while striking out a couple. He got the win and improved to 2-0 on the season.

Oglethorpe jumped on the Red Dragons early with four runs in the opening frame. Junior second baseman Austin Jackson and Mink knocked hits, Jackson's a double, to put themselves on the corners with one out. Mink stole second to put two in scoring position for the Petrels. Senior designated hitter Jacob Gassert came through with two outs, smashing a one-hopper that the Cortland shortstop couldn't handle, earning an infield single and an RBI for his efforts. Freshman left fielder Sebastian Lopez came through after that with the big blow of the inning, a three-run homer over the left field fence, which gave his team the early 4-0 lead. 

The Petrels extended their advantage by one when the first three batters reached in the fifth, including a Mink run-scoring single. 

The visitors mounted a rally in the sixth, though. The first three Cortland batters of the inning were hit by pitches, and the Red Dragons proceeded to score five runs in the frame and tie the game 5-5.

The Petrels used seven pitchers in the game, but they combined to allow just four hits and strike out seven batters. Cortland stayed in the game via the nine free passes issued to them.

Oglethorpe cracked 12 hits on the evening and worked five free passes of their own.

Mink went 3-for-5 on the evening, stealing a pair of bases while driving in a run and scoring twice.

The Petrels will be back in action Saturday and Sunday when they travel to Mount Berry to take on Berry in a three-game SAA set. Saturday's doubleheader is scheduled to get started at 2 p.m. while Sunday's single game is also set for 2 p.m.