CRESTVIEW — Powered by an 11-run fourth inning, Crestview High School’s baseball team rolled to a 14-4 win over Northview on Wednesday.
The game was called in the fifth inning on the 10-run rule.
The Bulldogs (13-4) started slowly as the Chiefs led 4-0 after two innings of play, but the rest of the game belonged to Crestview.
In the early going, Northview batters seemed to find a hole with every swing of the bat, while everything the Bulldogs hit found an awaiting fielder for an out.
Crestview coach Tim Gillis didn’t panic when things weren’t going well. He never batted an eye when the Chiefs had six hits and had scored four runs off freshman pitcher Corey Armstrong in the first two innings.
Armstrong righted himself, holding the Chiefs scoreless and to just two hits, through the play’s last three innings. Armstrong only had one strike out, and he didn’t give up a walk.
As Armstrong settled down on the mound, the Bulldog hitters settled in at the plate. The hits that didn’t fall in the first two innings started finding gaps in the third inning.
Seth Thomason and Roman Donofro drew back-to-back walks with two out in the third setting the stage for Austin Armstrong. Armstrong doubled to score Thomason and Donofro and cut the Chief lead in half.
“I thought we put together some good at-bats early,” Bulldog coach Tim Gillis said. “We hit some balls right at them and gave ourselves some chances. As the game went on, it kind of fell our way and we had some big clutch hits and some two out situations with RBI chances.
“That’s the name of the game (clutch hits with RBI chances) and I thought we did a real good job of that.”
The Bulldogs trailed 4-2 as they came to bat in the fourth. Fifteen batters, eight hits and 11 runs later, they were up 13-4 and on the verge of going home early.
Things started innocently enough when Justin Abdo was hit by a Brandon Freeman pitch. Dakota Dean followed with a single, ending Freeman’s day on the mound. Tyler Henderson drew a walk from Northview reliever Winston Riley to load the bases.
Corey Armstrong singled home Abdo to pull Crestview two within a run. Thomason was next, and he doubled to right field, scoring Dean and Henderson.
Riley seemed to settle in, and retired Donofro and Austin Armstrong. It looked as if the Chiefs might get out of the inning without further damage. However, Tate Sweatt singled, scoring courtesy runner Drew Graham and Thomason and extending the rally.
By the time Crestview’s big inning ended, Thomason had a pair of two-run doubles. Dean had two hits, and Abdo, Dean, Henderson and Graham — who was running for Corey Armstrong — each scored twice.
With the game in hand, Gillis elected to give well-earned plate appearances to some backups.
Preston Bass led the inning by reaching on a walk. Pinch-hitters Corbin Carroll and P.J. Grainger were saved on Chief errors. Graham then grounded out, scoring Bass and ending the game.
Thomason led the Bulldog attack with two runs on the two doubles and four runs batted in. Sweatt had two hits, including a double, and Dean had two hits as Crestview ended the day with 11 hits.
Randy Dickson is the Crestview News Bulletin’s sports editor. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, tweet him @BigRandle, or call 682-6524.