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Stormy Petrels edge Colonels in SAA first round pitching duel

Stormy Petrels edge Colonels in SAA first round pitching duel

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Centre baseball suffered a narrow 2-1 defeat against Oglethorpe in the Southern Athletic Association Tournament opening round Thursday at Rhodes College.

The three-seed Stormy Petrels (24-16) advance in the main bracket, while the six-seed Colonels (15-21) will face elimination Friday. 

Oglethorpe's Noah Cole and Centre's Sam Shelley (Lexington, Ky.) engaged in a spirited pitchers' duel for most of the afternoon, with each starter tossing seven near-spotless frames.

The Petrels manufactured runs in the second and fourth innings, the latter unearned, to take a 2-0 lead midway through the game.

Casey Klein (Louisville, Ky.) coaxed a two-out bases-loaded walk in the sixth, scoring Drew Schacht (Lexington, Ky.) who doubled earlier in the inning.

Centre put a runner on third in the eighth with just one out, but Oglethorpe reliever Christopher Keane managed to get out of the inning with the one-run lead intact.

Shelley threw seven innings, scattering seven hits while giving up two runs (one earned). The junior righty also set a career high mark with eight strikeouts against only one walk.

Mason Falbo (Mississauga, Ontario) went 2-for-4 at the plate for the Colonels, who managed only five base knocks against a stout Oglethorpe staff.

Centre will meet seven-seed Sewanee Friday at 3:30 p.m. ET, needing a win to stay alive. The Tigers fell to host Rhodes 6-3 Thursday. 

Should they win, the Colonels will meet either Rhodes or Oglethorpe at 8 p.m. Friday.