CRESTVIEW — Patience was indeed a virtue for Crestview High School's baseball team Wednesday as the Bulldogs played host to the Randolph Academy Raiders from Huntsville, Ala.
Crestview batters worked Raider pitchers for 19 freebies on 15 walks and four hit batters. Add eight Bulldog hits, a couple of Raider errors ands enough wild pitches and passed balls by Randolph to last a season and you get a 21-3 Crestview win.
"Some of the fruits of the work these kids have put in are showing right now," Bulldog Coach Tim Gillis said. "But we have to keep getting better. We can't be concerned with other people.
"We have to keep doing what we do and staying positive and getting better as a group. I'm proud of these guys for doing that. They (Randolph) had a bad day and we did what we had to."
At times the Raiders looked as if they were doing their best impression of the Bad News Bears as Randolph was unable to perform even the simplest baseball fundamental of catching a pitched ball.
Crestview (9-7) had a quick turnaround playing 14 hours after finishing off a 10-3 win over Washington on Tuesday in Pensacola.
If the Bulldogs were tired after a late night getting home it didn't show.
Crestview wasted no time in getting on the scoreboard scoring three runs in the first inning on three walks and two hits off Raider starting pitcher Will Scoggins.
Matt Gillis got things started with a one-out walk. Austin Armstrong drew a two-out walk as the comedy of mistakes started for the Raiders. Time after time Scoggins couldn't connect with Raider catcher Powell Stockton on a pitch to the plate much to the delight of the Bulldog base runners.
Gillis scored on a wild pitch that was ball four to Armstrong. An alert Armstrong took second on the play when Stockton was slow retrieving the ball behind the plate.
Colter Hancock singled scoring B.A. Larkins, the courtesy runner for Armstrong, the Bulldog catcher. Hunter Willis followed with a walk and Justin Abdo singled to score Hancock.
The three-run first inning was simply a sign of things to come.
Crestview sent nine batters to the plate and scored five runs on just one hit in the second inning as the walks, passed balls and wild pitches continued to mount for the Raiders.
Hunter Sullivan had the only Crestview hit of the inning, but it didn't matter as the Bulldog batters were willing to wait for a walk proving the old baseball adage true that, "A walk is as good as a hit."
Gillis, the Crestview pitcher, had a no-hitter through two innings. The Raiders touched Gillis for two hits and a run, appropriately enough on a wild pitch, in the third inning.
By the time Randolph plated a run the Raiders were out of the game.
Crestview led 8-1 as the Bulldogs came to bat in the bottom of the third. By the time the inning was over Crestview had more than doubled its run total scoring nine runs off a pair of Raider relief pitchers to go up 17-1.
The Bulldogs sent 15 men to the plate in the third inning and everyone in the batting order scored. With the Raider pitchers unable to find the strike zone the Bulldogs needed just three hits to aid in the onslaught.
Sullivan's two-run double in his second at bat of the inning was the big hit for Crestview in the frame.
The Bulldogs added four more runs in the fourth inning as Tim Gillis emptied the bench giving the Crestview reserves some well earned playing time.
A two-run double from Sullivan was once again the big hit of the inning for Crestview as the Bulldogs finished off an impressive offensive performance.
Matt Gillis allowed just two runs on two hits in four inning of work to get the win. Corbin Carroll pitched the fifth inning for Crestview and gave up a pair of hits and an unearned run.
Sullivan, Gillis, Willis and Larkins, who ran for Austin Armstrong, each scored three runs for Crestview. Hancock and Corey Armstrong, who walked twice and was hit by a pitch, each scored twice.
Randy Dickson is the Crestview News Bulletin’s sports editor. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, tweet him @BigRandle, or call 682-6524.