FORT WALTON BEACH — Pinch runner Cole Dudley scored from second on a Cody Kilpatrick ninth-inning double to give the Fort Walton Beach baseball team a 7-6 District 2-6A win over Crestview on Friday.
The win was the first of the season in district play for the Vikings and only their second win of the year.
A proud Fort Walton Beach coach Jeremiah Mayville praised his team for the winning effort.
"We've got a bunch of good kids," he said. "I hate to keep saying it, but we are young. Our senior that starts (Kilpatrick) got the winning hit right there. Boswell (Nick) -- once again -- he has pitched awesome every time he's played.
"All I can say is thank the good Lord for shining down on the Fort. That's a good team and they played a very good ball game and we just came out on top tonight."
After Viking starting pitcher Frazier Shoults worked out of bases loaded jam his team seemed to rally behind him.
Fort Walton Beach scored two runs in the first inning on three hits, two of them the infield variety.
Chase Outzen reached on an infield single with one out. And then Kevin Jones was safe at first when the Bulldogs were late getting to first on what would have been a sacrifice bunt.
Casey Wehrhan finally got the ball out of the infield with a line shot down the third base line to score Outzen and Wehrhan.
The Vikings added two more runs in the third to go up 4-0 on the Bulldogs and starting pitcher Corey Armstrong, a freshman.
The Bulldogs (8-4, 4-4) came alive in the fifth inning sending 10 batters to the plate and scoring six runs.
Dakota Dean had a two-run single and Austin Armstrong a three-run double to spark the Bulldog attack.
Crestview chased Shoults in the big inning and he was replaced by Kilpatrick, who worked into the sixth before being lifted for Boswell.
But the Vikings wouldn't be denied as they scored a run in the fifth to pull to within one run of the Bulldogs.
Fort Walton Beach tied the game in the bottom of the sixth when Kilpatrick scored with two out on a wild pitch by Bulldog reliever Roman Donofro.
Neither team scored in the eighth and Boswell held Crestview scoreless in the top of the ninth setting up Kilpatrick's heroics.
Nick Rathke led off the Viking ninth with an infield hit and was replaced by Dudley. A Boswell sacrifice moved Dudley to second base and Kilpatrick turned on a 1-2 pitch from Donofro to deliver the game winner.
"You have to give them credit," Bulldog coach Tim Gillis said. They played a lot harder than us and that's on the coach.
"We didn't execute when we had to execute, and again, that's on me. That's my fault."
Randy Dickson is the Crestview News Bulletin’s sports editor. Email him at email@example.com, tweet him @BigRandle, or call 682-6524