EIGHT CONFERENCE TITLES (1973, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1982, 1984, 1987)

Colonels cap DH against Olgethorpe with walk-off win

Colonels cap DH against Olgethorpe with walk-off win

DANVILLE, Ky. – Centre baseball returned to action Saturday at Gary Wright Field, splitting a pair of closely-contested games against Southern Athletic Association (SAA) opponent Oglethorpe.

Centre moves to 8-5 overall and 4-1 in-conference, while the Stormy Petrels are 12-6 (3-2 SAA).

GAME ONE: Oglethorpe 12, Centre 11

The Stormy Petrels won a wild series opener that featured 31 hits and multiple lead changes.

Juniors Mason Falbo (Mississauga, Ontario) and Cameron Duggins (Knoxville, Tenn.) each delivered RBI-doubles in the bottom of the first to help Centre grab a 3-0 lead.

Oglethorpe answered with a big six-run second inning, totaling five hits to take its first lead, 6-3.

The scoring parade continued in the third, as senior Casey Klein (Louisville, Ky.) brought in Falbo on a sacrifice fly.

Sophomore Will Kirk (Morgantown, N.C.) followed with an RBI single in the fourth, and Duggins drove in his third run of the day in the fifth.

After the Petrels plated a run in the top of the sixth, the Colonels added two in the bottom of the frame on a clutch Seth Hagan (Goshen, Ky.) double, making it 8-8.

Oglethorpe quickly reclaimed the lead in the seventh, but Centre again responded with a pair of runs in the eighth. Hagan drew a bases-loaded walk, and Klein smacked an RBI single into right to level the game at 10-10.

Matt Motz came through for the Petrels in the ninth, driving in two runs to put the Colonels on the ropes.

Still, Centre wouldn't go quietly. After a couple of Oglethorpe errors, Kirk came around to score to make it 12-11.

With the tying run just 90 feet from home, pinch-hitting Cole Hilt (Lexington, Ky.) seemed to have found a pocket in shallow center field that would have brought the runner in. But Oglethorpe centerfielder Jarvis Miller made a miraculous catch despite colliding with an infielder to secure the final out.

Kirk and Drew Schacht (Lexington, Ky.) each had three hits for the Colonels, and combined to score seven of Centre's 11 runs.

Hagan and Duggins each drove in three and finished with multiple base knocks.

GAME TWO: Centre 4, Oglethorpe 3 (8 innings)

After the slugfest in game one, the nightcap proved relatively calm as starters Aaryn Chandler (St. John, Ind.) and Kyle Babb each went six innings in solid outings.

Chandler was especially effective, striking out a personal-best nine batters while allowing two runs and four hits over his six frames.

After four scoreless innings, the Colonels finally put up a crooked number on Falbo's double down the right field line, scoring two.

Oglethorpe's Patrick Burnette homered in the sixth, and Connor Crooke tied the game with an RBI groundout.

The Stormy Petrels would take their first lead in the top of the seventh, making it 3-2 after Adrian Celata drove in a run.

In the scheduled seven inning game, Centre needed a run to stay alive in the bottom of the inning. Schacht eventually delivered, executing a perfect squeeze bunt that allowed pinch-running Jordan Gunter (Louisville, Ky.) to tie the game a 3-3.

The following inning, with runners on second and third, pinch-hitter Quinn Andrews (Chicago) came up with the huge walk-off single up the middle.

Chris Esselman (Louisville, Ky.) earned the win, pitching two innings while allowing one earned run and striking out four.

The series rubber match is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET at Gary Wright Field Sunday.