CRESTVIEW — Wins don’t get bigger than the Baker School baseball team’s 4-3 win over Fort Walton Beach on Thursday.
The Class 1A Gators picked up their first recent win over a 6A school — perhaps the first in the program’s history.
“I haven’t been here long enough to know, but I think this may be the first time that we’ve beaten one of the big schools in baseball,” first-year Baker coach Scott Johnson said. “It’s definitely a big win. The kids did a good job.
“We’ve been playing better and better. And it was good for us to play them (the Vikings), definitely.”
The win didn’t come easy.
Baker trailed 1-0 after the first inning and 3-2 after the fourth inning before tying the game in the fifth and scoring the game-winning run in the seventh.
Alan Weidenhammer drew the start on the mound for the Gators. Thanks to some help from his defense, Weidenhammer managed to work into the fourth inning before Ben Crowson replaced him and went the rest of the way for the win.
Despite giving up nine hits, Weidenhammer allowed two runs.
The Vikings wasted no time in breaking out the bats, producing four hits and working Weidenhammer for a walk.
Cody Kilpatrick doubled to lead off the Viking first. Kilpatrick’s stay at second didn’t last long.
Chase Outzen lifted a fly ball to shallow center field and Garrett Sanders made a diving catch to rob Outzen of a hit. Sanders quickly got to his feet and threw to second base to get Kilpatrick out and complete the double play.
Kevin Jones, who followed the double play with a base hit for the Vikings, later scored on a bases-loaded walk to Darren Hasch.
Baker (7-9) scored two runs in the top of the third, shortly to take the lead.
Kyle Davis was safe on a two-out single and took second on a wild pitch. Davis scored on a Sanders single.
Sanders, who finished the game with three hits, stole second and scored on a Logan Nixon base hit.
The Vikings tied the game on an unearned run in the bottom of the third and moved in front 3-2 with a run off Crowson in the fourth.
Crowson helped his own cause with a base hit in the fifth inning that scored Austin Davis.
Adam Crowson scored the game-winning run for Baker on a bases-loaded walk to Logan Nixon.
“This just shows that we can step up and play with bigger opponents and we can come together as a team and play together as long as we’ve got some energy in the dugout,” Sanders said. “The key to the game was we had Ben pitching a great game and some double plays.
Randy Dickson is the Crestview News Bulletin’s sports editor. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, tweet him @BigRandle, or call 682-6524