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Baseball scores nine in the 9th to top Oglethorpe, 14-9

ATLANTA, Ga. -- The Bates baseball team overcame a 9-5 deficit with nine runs in the top of the ninth to win 14-9 over Oglethorpe University on Saturday.

With the host Petrels' home field partially flooded, the teams' scheduled doubleheader was changed to a single nine-inning game and played at Emory University's Chappell Park.

Oglethorpe (0-5) led 9-4 going into the eighth inning, when Bates senior Ryan Sonberg (Windsor, Conn.) hit a solo home run to left field to close the gap by a run.

Bates first-year reliever Mark Cunningham (Canton, Mass.) threw a shutout bottom of the eighth inning, keeping the deficit at 9-5 going into the ninth.

Bates started the ninth with four straight hits: a leadoff double by junior Kevin Davis (Andover, Mass.), an infield single by senior Kevin McGregor (Randolph, N.J.), an RBI single through the hole by sophomore Alex Parker (Lewiston, Maine) and an RBI double down the right-field line by sophomore Nate Pajka (Douglas, Mass.), which closed the gap to 9-6.

First-year Samuel Warren (Norfolk, Va.) grounded out to second for Bates' first out, but Parker scored on the play. Sonberg then came up and reached on a fielder's choice while the Petrels failed to throw out Pajka at home, evening the game at 9-9.

Sophomore Mekae Hyde (Lewiston, Maine) then singled through the right side and Sonberg advanced to third on a throwing error, prompting Oglethorpe to lift reliever Spencer Transue in favor of Sam Franklin. Franklin intentionally walked Bates junior Griff Tewksbury (Concord, N.H.) to load the bases for first-year Sam Berry (South Hamilton, Mass.), who laced a two-run single through the left side, scoring Sonberg and Hyde with two go-ahead runs.

Davis then drew a one-out walk to load the bases again, bringing up McGregor, who drew an RBI base on balls for a 12-9 Bates lead. The Bobcats added two more insurance runs as Parker reached on a fielder's choice and McGregor made it safely to second on a fielding error, while both Davis and Berry came home.

Junior righthander Dean Bonneau (Amherst, Mass.) started the bottom of the ninth in place of Cunningham (1-0) and held the Petrels scoreless to preserve the win.

Sonberg, Hyde and Tewksbury had three hits apiece to lead the Bobcats' 17-hit attack. Sonberg scored twice and drove in four runs in the game. Hyde was 3-for-5 including a triple. Pajka hit two doubles, scored three runs and drove in one. Berry scored two and drove in two.

Transue (0-1) was 2-for-5 with three RBIs at the plate for Oglethorpe, including a two-run double in the Petrels' six-run fifth inning. Bates outhit Oglethorpe 17-12 while taking advantage of six Oglethorpe errors.

The Bobcats (3-1) finish their season-opening trip to Georgia with a doubleheader at Emory on Sunday, beginning at 11:30am (Video / Live Stats).