The Oglethorpe baseball team scored three runs in the ninth inning Friday to turn a back-and-forth game in their favor for good. They went on to beat the homestanding Millsaps Majors 10-9 to take the first of a three-game set in Jackson, Mississippi.
Down 8-7 entering the ninth inning, the Petrels put three of their first four batters of the inning on base. Senior right fielder Patrick Burnette started the inning with a walk and senior designated hitter Andrew Mink, who finished 3-for-5 with two doubles, a stolen base, an RBI and a run scored, followed with a single to left-center to put runners on first and second. After a fielder's choice, sophomore catcher Alec Babb, who finished the game 2-for-4 with a home run, three RBIs and three runs scored, walked to load the bases. Oglethorpe took the lead one batter later, scoring two runs on a Major error. Senior third baseman Dylan Leonard then drove home Babb with a groundout, extending Oglethorpe's lead to 10-8.
In the bottom half of the inning, Millsaps used an error, a walk and a sacrifice bunt to put the potential tying runs in scoring position. A groundout scored a run but brought the Petrels to within an out of securing victory. After an intentional walk put the potential winning run on base, junior right-hander Dylan Childress induced a groundout to second to end the game.
Childress earned the victory after getting out of an eighth-inning jam, improving to 1-2 on the season. Oglethorpe led 7-6 headed to the bottom of the eighth, but Millsaps scored two runs to take the lead and had the bases loaded with one out. The Petrel right-hander induced a fielder's-choice grounder on which Leonard erased the lead runner at the plate. He then struck out the next batter to get out of the inning.
Childress issued five walks, but didn't allow any earned runs or hits over an inning-and-two-thirds. The lone run he allowed was unearned and came on the run-scoring groundout in the ninth inning.
Down 6-3 headed to the fifth, the Petrels scored a two-out unearned run, but they weren't done. Mink followed with a double and junior first baseman Jack Bartlewski was hit by a pitch. The two moved into scoring position for Babb, who cracked a two-run double and tied the game 6-6.
The Petrels put runners at second and third again in the sixth after singles by freshman shortstop Andrew Noack and senior center fielder Jacob Gassert. Noack scored on an RBI groundout from junior second baseman Austin Jackson, giving his team a one-run lead.
Oglethorpe took a 2-0 lead early with single runs in each of the first two innings. Jackson and Mink each hit doubles in the first, then the Petrels took advantage of two Millsaps errors in the second.
The Majors came back with five combined runs in the second and third on Petrel starter Jonathan Haab, though, building a 5-2 lead. Haab did not allow an earned run, but gave up five unearned over his three innings of work. He allowed three hits and seven walks.
The Petrels maintained seventh place in the SAA with the win, and can do no worse than that with just two games left in the regular season. They sit 7-12 in league play and 11-27 overall after the win and still have a chance to catch Sewanee for sixth. The Tigers entered Friday night's action at 8-10 in league play.
Oglethorpe closes out their regular season with a doubleheader from Twenty Field in Jackson on Saturday. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m. EDT, with Game 2 scheduled for seven innings and set to begin 30 minutes after the conclusion of the opener.