CRESTVIEW — One swing of the bat was the deciding factor as Crestview High School hosted Niceville in a District 1-7A baseball game Saturday. Eagle center fielder Chase Outzen came to bat in the top of the seventh inning with two outs and Tyler Head on first base. Outzen, who struck out with the base loaded in the fifth inning, wasn’t going to miss another opportunity.
CRESTVIEW — One swing of the bat was the deciding factor as Crestview High School hosted Niceville in a District 1-7A baseball game Saturday.
Eagle center fielder Chase Outzen came to bat in the top of the seventh inning with two outs and Tyler Head on first base. Outzen, who struck out with the base loaded in the fifth inning, wasn’t going to miss another opportunity.
When Crestview pitcher Colter Hancock threw a first-pitch fastball Outzen was ready hitting a long home run over the left field fence to give Niceville a 5-4 win.
Crestview-Niceville baseball photos>>>
“He hit it pretty good,” Bulldog Coach Tim Gillis said of the Outzen homer. “He hit a pretty good pitch. The ball was down a little bit and he put a good swing on it.
“I thought Colter was excellent. I thought he threw good. He’s going to be just fine.”
In a game that is typical of the rivalry between the Bulldogs and Eagles neither team seemed willing to give an inch.
Crestview (10-12, 4-4) struck first turning in the bottom of the first inning.
With one out Niceville pitcher Trevin Eubanks walked Bryant Berry and Corey Armstrong. Hancock followed Armstrong with a single that scored Berry from second base.
Hancock finished the night with three of Crestview’s seven hits and two runs batted in.
The Eagles tied the game in the top of the second when Outzen, who singled to lead off the inning, later scored on a Bulldog error.
Drew Frederic led off the Eagle third with a triple and scored on a sacrifice fly by Brady Smith.
Crestview tied things up in the bottom of the inning when Armstrong walked and later scored on a Dayne Justice infield single.
Frederic led off the Niceville fifth with his second straight single. Frederic scored when Smith singled up the middle. Niceville loaded the bases with one out and seemed on the brink of breaking the game open, but Hancock worked out of the jam.
The Bulldogs trailed 3-2 when they came to bat in the sixth against Niceville reliever Matthew Boswell.
With one out Alik Whited walked for Crestview and Zach Degraaf followed with a single on a hit and run that moved Whited to third base.
Two batters later Armstrong hit a line drive into left to score Whited. Hancock followed Armstrong with a single that scored Degraaf and gave the Bulldogs the lead.
The joy of the moment for the Bulldogs quickly faded when Outzen homered for Niceville.
“We are going to be just fine,” Gillis said. “It was a tough game. Obviously we wanted to win the game.
“We battled hard and we had a couple of times where we could have maybe added (some runs) on and that comes back and gets you in a game like this. But again I’m proud of the way our guys battled.”
Hancock led the Bulldog attack with his three hits. Armstrong reached base safely all four of his plate appearances. Armstrong walked three times to go along with his seventh-inning single. Degraaf had two hits.
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