ATLANTA, Ga. - The Oglethorpe University baseball team swept Curry College in a doubleheader Saturday to begin their home schedule. The Stormy Petrels took the first game in an 8-7 nail-biter before pulling away for a 12-0 rout in Game 2.
In the first game, the Petrels took a 6-0 lead in the bottom of the second and looked to be in excellent shape. Second baseman Keith Dearden led off the inning with a single then center fielder Vernon Trice followed it up with a bunt single of his own. Right fielder Jake Purcell came through with an RBI single to give the Petrels a 1-0 lead. Catcher Hunter Riley laid down a sacrifice bunt and reached first on an error on the next at-bat, which led to a wild pitch scoring Trice and giving the Petrels a 2-0 cushion. Two batters later, left fielder Andre Turnquest plated another run with a fielder's choice-RBI and then stole second. Three straight hits off the bats of shortstop Spencer Transue, pitcher Patrick Kulick and third baseman Austin Ferlita plated three more runs for the home team, giving them the six-run edge.
However, the visiting Colonels slowly fought their way back. They scored two in the third on a two-run single by Tim Lathrop, and one in the fourth on an RBI base hit by Philip Perez to cut the Oglethorpe lead in half, 6-3. The Petrels picked up two insurance runs in the fifth. Dearden led off the inning witn a home run to left. Then with a couple of outs, Riley singled, advanced to second on a wild pitch, and scored on an RBI double from first baseman Casey Tuttle. The Petrels had an 8-3 lead. It would barely be enough.
Curry came back with three more in the sixth and one in the seventh to draw to within a single run, 8-7. In the sixth, Perez drove in Matt Moore with a double to left, and after a Matt Warren RBI groundout, Lathrop drove in a run with a double of his own.
With closer David Langhan in to pitch, Curry had the tying run on second with two outs. A single to the outfield by Perez looked as though it might tie the game, but right fielder Brandon Fish, in as a defensive replacement, gunned down Matt Moore at the plate for the final out of the game.
Sam Traxler picked up the win in relief for the Petrels, allowing just two hits and no runs over 1-2/3 innings of work. Langhan picked up his second save of the young season, closing out the game allowing an unearned run on three hits over two innings of work. Transue was 4-for-5 with a double, an RBI and a run scored in Game 1.
Game 2 proved to be much easier for the Petrels, as they got a brilliant pitching performance from freshman Ryan Brennan and rode that to a 12-0 victory. Brennan tossed a three-hit shutout over the course of the seven-inning contest, walking only three.
The Petrels got a run in the first on a Ferlita RBI single and a run in the second on an RBI single by catcher Curry Mapes. They broke it open in the third, however, when they got an RBI groundout from Dearden, which was followed by three straight run-scoring hits from Trice, right fielder Casey Innis and first baseman Frank Sarno. Unlike in Game 1, the Petrels would continue piling on ever more runs. They scored two more the next inning on a Patrick Kulick triple and a Ferlita single. Then they scored four more in the sixth on a home run by pinch-hitter Joey McAlpin and RBI singles from Sarno and left fielder Will Hanna.
For the game, Ferlita went 3-for-3 with two RBIs and a run scored, while Kulick, Innis and Trice all went 3-for-4. Kulick had an RBI triple and scored four runs, Trice drove in a run and scored twice, and Innis drove in two and scored two.
The 3-2 Petrels will finish their three-game set with Curry (0-2) Sunday morning when they take on the Colonels at 11 a.m. on Anderson Field.