BAKER — Ten games into the season the Baker School baseball team is starting to find the groove Coach Adam Henry had hoped for when the season opened last month.
Baker’s 9-2 win over Pensacola Christian Academy on Monday was the third straight for the Gators.
“We are starting to come around,” he said. “Our bats are starting to come around for sure. We’ve got some guys that are really wanting to hit the baseball and they are going to get in the lineup.
“We are hitting the baseball a lot better than when we started. This boosts our confidence.”
Very few things went wrong for the Gators, and those things happened in the first inning.
The Warriors scored their only two runs of the game in the top of the first when Baker pitcher Jake Rainey walked the first two Pensacola Christian batters.
Rainey then struck out the next two batters and had a 0-2 count on David Thompson and was one pitch away from getting out the jam. Thompson then hit a ball that hit third base for a base hit to score the only two Warrior runs of the game.
The Gators (4-5-1) wasted no time in pulling even with the Warriors in the bottom of the first inning.
Travis Farmer led off the inning with a single up the middle. Farmer took third when Thompson, the PCA pitcher, threw the ball into right field attempting to pick Farmer off first base.
Farmer scored on a hit by Cody Barnhill.
Josh Long reached on a fielder’s choice and later scored on a Ben Crowson single.
Baker broke the game open with a 5-run second inning that had nine Gators stepping to the plate.
Travis Adams reached on second base on Warrior error to start the inning. Adams, the Gator catcher, was replaced on the bases by courtesy runner Alan Weidenhammer.
With one out, Austin Davis was hit by a pitch. Farmer walked and Barnhill singled up the middle scoring Weidenhammer and Davis.
Long singled in Farmer and a Dakota Blackburn single scored Barnhill. Long scored on a Crowson ground out.
The Gators added a run in the third and another in the sixth to close out the impressive win.
Rainey went six innings on the mound to get the win. Rainey allowed four hits and struck out six Warrior batters.
Henry said Baker has a chance to win any time Rainey pitches as he did against the Warriors.
“He hits the corners pretty well,” he said. “If he throws strikes we will be in the game.”
Trevor Thames worked the seventh inning on the hill. After hitting the leadoff batter Thames settled down to retire the side.
Barnhill and Crowson each had two hits to pace the Gator attack.
Farmer, Long and Weidenhammer, running for Adams, each scored two runs.
Randy Dickson is the Crestview News Bulletin’s sports editor. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, tweet him @BigRandle, or call 682-6524.