Oglethorpe knocked off top-ranked LaGrange 9-7 in a non-conference game Tuesday night at Cleaveland Field in Williamson Stadium. The loss left the Panthers 20-3, while the Stormy Petrels improved to 11-13.
The Panthers were ranked No. 1 in the Collegiate Baseball American Baseball Coaches Association NCAA Division III poll and fourth in the D3baseball.com/NCBWA Top 25 poll released earlier in the day.
Stephen Bartolotta, the first of seven LC pitchers used in the game, left the game in the fifth with a 3-2 lead. Oglethorpe scored three runs in the seventh and another in the eighth to go up 6-3.
The Panthers went without a hit after the second inning until the eighth when Nate Darwin led with a single. Erves worked a walk to load the bases with two outs. Joe Ruth singled to left center to drive in two runs and Erves came home with the tying run when the ball was bobbled in the outfield.
The tie was short lived. The Stormy Petrels pushed across three runs in the top of the ninth off Ethan Kramer (0-2) to retake the lead, 9-6.
The Panthers rallied once more in the bottom of the inning. Matt Eden and Darwin walked and with one out Gabriel Pallo was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Eden scored as Rhett Mixon grounded out to third to make it 9-7. Erves walked to re-load the bases to bring up Ruth. Will Marconi (1-2) got Ruth to line out to third to end the game.
The Panthers play at Berry next Tuesday, April 5.