CRESTVIEW — If Crestview High School’s baseball team is to have a chance in District 1-7A games against Navarre, Tate and Niceville next week the Bulldogs must play better than they did Thursday night against McCracken High School from Paducah, Ky.
The Mustangs scored all five of their runs in the fifth inning to take a 5-2 win.
McCracken had already scored twice when Ryan Garner broke the game open with a bases loaded double to clear the bases and break the game open.
It wasn’t as if Crestview didn’t have its share of chances. The Bulldogs had the bases loaded with one out in the third and seventh innings and were unable to score.
“We had our chances,” Crestview Coach Tim Gillis said. “Give those guys credit. They made pitches when they had to.
“They got a big hit when they had the bases loaded. We had some chances and we didn’t (get a hit), but that’s baseball. It’s very frustrating.”
The Bulldogs struck first with a run in the first inning.
Matt Gillis and Corey Armstrong drew one out walks. And with two outs Colter Hancock singled to score Gillis.
With Mustang pitcher Preston Frommeyer showing since of struggling Crestview had a chance to break the game open in the third inning with the bases loaded and one out and Hancock at bat.
Hancock sent a screaming line drive to deep left-center field. But Mustang left fielder Nathan Williams got a great jump on the ball and made a great catch and threw out Armstrong as he tried to get back to second base.
Crestview pitcher Travis Wiljakainen had a two-hit shutout going into the fifth inning when the wheels came off.
McCracken had two runs in and the bases loaded with two out when Tim Gillis brought in Jordan Chamberlain to replace Wiljakainen on the mound with Garner coming to bat.
Crestview picked up a run in the sixth inning when Corey Armstrong was safe at second on a Mustang error to lead off the inning and Austin Armstrong scored him with a single up the middle
Frommeyer worked out of the jam by striking out the side.
The Bulldogs (10-10) had one more shot in the seventh.
Justin Abdo led off the inning with an infield hit. Pierce Cadenhead was next and he struck out due in part to a very questionable called strike two on a pitch that almost hit his foot.
One out walks to Hunter Sullivan and Gillis loaded the bases marking the end to Frommeyer’s night on the mound.
Frommeyer was replaced by Williams. Williams got Corey Armstrong to pop out and Austin Armstrong to strike out to end the game.
Tim Gillis quickly turned his focus to next week’s run that starts Tuesday with the Bulldogs hosting Navarre before traveling to Tate on Thursday and Niceville on Friday.
“You’ve got to wipe the slate clean and start over and go from there, he said. “We are sitting in good shape in the district, but we have to play better in a lot of situations. We have to find a way to be real good next week.”
Randy Dickson is the Crestview News Bulletin’s sports editor. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, tweet him @BigRandle, or call 682-6524.