Masterful Pitching, Timely Offense Keys No. 9/9 LaGrange’s 4-1 Victory Over Oglethorpe
Published 11:05 pm Tuesday, April 11, 2023
No. 9/9 LaGrange (22-7, 9-0 CCS) would use timely hitting early on and pitching that allowed just three hits over the first six innings in a 4-1 victory over Oglethorpe (6-27, 4-11 SAA) in an NCAA Division III baseball game on Tuesday, April 11.
Following a scoreless top of the first, senior outfielder Rhett Mixon (Loganville, Ga.) got things started with a double to left and sophomore outfielder Jorge Fragoso (East Point, Ga.) notched a single to put runners on first and third. Senior third baseman Joe Ruth (Chiefland, Fla.) then made it 1-0 when he popped out to the shortstop in the outfield to score Mixon on a sacrifice fly. A single and a walk would then load the bases before Oglethorpe got out of the jam with back-to-back swinging strikeouts.
After surrendering just one hit in the second, LaGrange was back at it as junior second baseman Adam Dorn (Canton, Ga.) singled to lead off the inning, stole second with one out and then came around to score on a Mixon single to make it 2-0.
Junior catcher David Smigelski (Canton, Ga.) led off with a double in the third but the Stormy Petrels would set down the next three batters to quell the threat. That would not be the case in the fourth, however, as freshman shortstop Jackson McElvy (Kennesaw, Ga.) led off with a single, stole second and once again it would be Mixon that came through with an RBI poke, this one to extend to a 3-0 advantage. He would eventually cross home plate on a single by freshman outfielder Curt Bonner (Cartersville, Ga.) for a four-run lead.
It would stay that way until the sixth when Oglethorpe manufactured a run without benefit of a hit. Aiden Hosford walked to leadoff the inning and then immediately stole second to get in scoring position. A groundout would get him to third and Drew Jabaley scored him on a grounder to short to cut it to 4-1.
They would threaten in the seventh, eventually getting runners to second and third with two outs before a strikeout shut it down, effectively ending their comeback hopes as they were held hitless over the final two frames.
Jabaley would produce the lone RBI for the Stormy Petrels while Carson Weir was the only player with multiple hits, going 2-for-5. Hosford would finish 1-for-2 with two walks and a run and Dylan Quintilio (0-1) took the loss after giving up just two runs in 1.1 innings of work.
Mixon would fuel the offense for the Panthers, going 3-for-5 with two runs, two RBIs and a double and Bonner added a 2-for-4 day with an RBI. McElvy was 2-for-4 with a run and stolen base and Smigelski smacked a double to round out the offense.
Freshman pitcher Eduardo Peralta (David, Chirqui, Panama) delivered a strong showing on the hill, hurling six innings of one-run, three-hit ball that came with four strikeouts and a win to move to 5-0 and freshman reliever Eli Folds (Cullman, Ala.) threw a perfect ninth with a pair of strikeouts to pick up his first save.
LaGrange hits the road as they travel to Piedmont for a three-game set from April 14-16. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. for the opener, 2 p.m. for the middle game and 1 p.m. for the finale in Demorest, Georgia.